Earnest money was paid to Heritage Log Homes, of One Heritage Place, Kodak, TN 37764, toward a new log home package by layaway contract payments of more than $10,000. Refund of earnest money is provided for in Heritage's customer contracts, and was a matter of normal procedure and past company policy.
The owner of Heritage Log Homes, William N. Parsons, of Knoxville, TN, and the president of Heritage, Mike Magill, approved using earnest money for large salaries, bonuses and for expenses other than what they were intended. Earnest money, by definition, is supposed to be kept in an escrow account.
The owner of the company, Mr. Parsons, sent an e-mail to his dealer network on Sept. 1, 2010, that he had decided to suspend operations and was looking for investors in order to resume operations. Their doors were closed and all employees were laid off until further notice. There has been no response to complaints, registered letters, and repeated attempts of communication from customers with the owner, Mr. Parsons.
In the months and weeks prior to closing, Heritage Log Homes was promoting itself on the internet, in magazine ads, and through its dealer network, as a viable company, able to fulfill its contracts, commitments, and deliver log home packages that had been reserved by its customers. The closing came as a complete surprise to Heritage's dealer network and customers alike.
Heritage Log Homes and Mr. Parsons is a founding member of The Log Home Council, an organization dedicated to requiring its' members to adhere to a strict code of ethics and consumer fairness in the log home industry. This fact was used consistently in advertising and promotion of Heritage.
There are many other victims of this theft. Some are known, but others are just beginning to surface. The known and confirmed total amount lost by customers alone exceeds $200,000. Heritage Dealers and suppliers are also owed hundreds of thousands of dollars by Heritage Log Homes.
According to local newspaper reports, Heritage is currently selling (or has sold) their operation to another owner, Greg Rollins. http://www.themountainpress.com/view/full_story/14348707/article--EDITORIAL--Nice-save--New-occupant-of-Heritage-Log-Homes-facility-good-news-for-county-
The transaction was to be completed by June 28, 2011. This was learned by searching the internet. No effort has been made to contact the customers directly. No attempt has been made to re-negotiate customer contracts. If there is any intention to honor the customer's contracts, refund earnest money paid, or re-open for business, it has not been made known by Mr. Parsons or by the new owner, Greg Rollins.
Heritage Log Homes or William N. Parsons has NOT filed bankruptcy to date.