Consumer

Galaxie cashes customers' checks, shuts doors

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Galaxie Home Improvements, one of the Chicago area's largest home remodelers, has declared bankruptcy.

Helen McKinney used Galaxie for her Chatham kitchen remodel last summer, and wanted to update the bathroom this spring. She's says the Galaxie salesman called her.

"He asked me, 'Helen are you ready to do that other work again?' And I thought about it and I said, 'Yes,'" Helen McKinney.

What McKinney didn't realize was that since last she used Galaxie, the company's rating with the Better Business Bureau dropped to an F. Last week Galaxie filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy after cashing McKinney's check for $4,000.

"I'm just disgusted. $4,000, you just don't have to give away," McKinney said.

The bankruptcy filing lists hundreds of thousands of dollars of Galaxie's debt. The list of debt includes contractors, supplies and media outlets for advertising -- including WLS.

The Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois received 15 complaints about Galaxie in three weeks.

"People just don't take the time necessary to do their homework- and it can cost them thousands," Steve Bernas, Better Business Bureau said. Bernas recommends homeowners do a little research on the company they want to use by checking them out at chicago.bbb.org

At Galaxie in Lincolnwood, the doors are locked. The attorney representing the company says the home renovation business is shutdown and what happens to its assets, its customers and its employees will be up to a bankruptcy judge.

"They were supposed to start the last week but nobody showed up," McKinney said. "I am a retiree on a fixed income and that does not come easily."

(Copyright ©2014 WLS-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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