A woman hired a private investigator after waiting months for her tiny home to be delivered.
She discovered the Holy Ground Tiny Houses founder didn’t have any assets in his name, NBC reported.
Matt Sowash promised buyers tiny homes, but has filed for bankruptcy, court records show.
A woman resorted to hiring a private investigator to find out why her tiny home had not been delivered months after paying almost $50,000, NBC News reported.
Matt Sowash, the founder of Colorado-based nonprofit Holy Ground Tiny Houses, is facing multiple lawsuits after being accused of failing to deliver homes.
Lori Birckhead, who runs the By Faith Farm in Tennessee with her husband, transferred $46,504 to Sowash in April for an 8-foot-by-28-foot home to put on their property and was told to expect delivery in July.
She told NBC that after multiple attempts at getting in touch with Sowash, an assistant said the home could take more than two years to be delivered.
“That was when I hired a private investigator who did some digging and discovered that he didn’t have any assets in his name,” she told the outlet.
Court records show Sowash filed for bankruptcy on October 7, despite telling NBC in September that he wouldn’t do so “because I can’t sit back and watch all those people lose homes.”
He also told NBC he was not sure if he could construct the 250 homes that had already been paid for.
In an update to customers on October 14, he wrote: “This has really been a week of change. I first want to apologize for this situation. Unfortunately, filing for Chapter 11 is the only way I can make sure the business is safe and that we can live up to our obligation of making sure everyone gets their money back.”
Lender Kinetic Direct Funding filed a lawsuit against him in state court in Brooklyn, New York on September 2.
Sowash told NBC he borrowed $400,000 loan from Kinetic to build the homes, but wasn’t able to make the payments.
Charles Dowling, 39, a disabled Army veteran who lives near Colorado Springs, told NBC he was sleeping on friends’ couches because the 30-foot house he ordered with a $22,000 down payment, failed to arrive in July as well.
“He’s nothing but a shyster, and no one should ever do business with this man,” Dowling said of Sowash.
Englewood Police Department in Colorado said it was investigating the allegations against Sowash and his nonprofit, NBC reported. The police department did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
Sowash was sentenced in 2009 to five years in prison for defrauding investors of more than $470,000 and was also convicted of stealing $140,000 from three people who thought he was looking for investment opportunities for them.
He discovered an interest in tiny homes while in jail, and previously told NBC he built his first home in his garage in 2019, selling it for $12,000.
Sowash did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
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