Brendin Lange is a Scammer

September 5th, 2018
In Spring 2016 we contracted with Brendin Lange to put dormers on our house. He took the deposit, did a single day of interior demolition, and then disappeared with the money. Since then I've spoken to several other people who he's also ripped off. I wanted to write this up publicly so other people can consider our experience when deciding whether to work with him.

Other people I've talked to with similar experiences:

  • Someone who says Brendin Lange took his $5k deposit and disappeared.
  • Someone who says Brendin Lange defrauded him for $2k.
  • Someone who says Brendin Lange owes him $36k, and that Lange has also defrauded many other people he knows.

He's operated under many business names:

  • Anchor Building and Framing
  • Legacy Builders
  • Brendin Lange Design and Development
  • Lange Construction
  • Landmark Building and Framing

He has a lot of reviews scattered across various sites describing similar behavior to what I saw:

  • Took deposit and never show up for the job. Will always come up with excuse next week, next month etc. contract signed in July 9, wasting so much time.Richard O. on Porch

  • I hired Lange Design and Development LLC (which is actually not a registered LLC - check the SEC's website) to build a small addition on my house. The project was supposed to be completed in 12 working days. After about a month, progress practically stopped and Brendin stopped communicating. I've since been forced to finish the project on my own and to repair all of the faulty workmanship that I uncovered. DO NOT USE LANGE DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT OR ANY COMPANY ASSOCIATED WITH BRENDIN LANGE OR YOU WILL BE DISAPPOINTED!!!Salvatore Z. on Yelp

  • Can not be trusted he will steal You blind will not pay subs and moved out of state to [address] to avoid being caught bewareChet C. on Porch

  • Brendin is a scam artist, he will tell you whatever he needs to to get the job, he will call you regularly until you provide him with a check, then GONE> never shows up to do the work, but he found a loop hole, he starts the work so if you sue him its not criminal because he had intent to do the job at the time he got paid, so it isn't fraud as far as the AG is concerned. DO NOT USE THIS CONTRACTOR. look him up under BBB or just google him you will see many people he has taken financial advantage of, he will also tell you he will just take the money from the insurance, but that is all he does.Robert D. on Porch

  • Brendin is a scam will never finish your home. do some research on him thru calling the BBB and Angie's listJoe O. on Porch

The Better Business Bureau has:

This company has a pattern of complaints alleging Contract issues. Specifically, consumers allege they enter into a contract agreement to have work performed by company and they make partial or full payments to business. They state the business does not complete contracted work as agreed upon and does not return.

On February 15, 2018 BBB sent certified correspondence to the company requesting their voluntary cooperation in responding to the unanswered complaints and eliminating the pattern of customer complaints on file with BBB. BBB will update this alert after receiving the business response.

Here's our experience with him. Since almost all my communication with Lange was over text message, I have pretty good records. Summmarizing the texts:

  • 2016-04: I contact Lange to get a quote on some dormers we want to add to our house. We sign a contract with his Anchor Building and Framing [1] for $52,000, with 10% due at signing and another 10% due at commencement. Completion within 30 days of commencement. I pay the initial $5,200k (10%).

  • 2016-05: once the building permit is issued we agree he'll start Tuesday 5/24. We get all our stuff out and move in with my dad.

  • 2016-05-24: I meet him and one of his workers there, walk them through the house again to confirm what parts should and shouldn't get demo'd, and pay him the second $5,200k (the 10% due at commencement). He says he'll be there tomorrow with his crew to start demo.

  • 2016-05-25: He doesn't show up. When I text him that evening to ask where he was he says he had an emergency with his AC at home and he'll definitely be there tomorrow.

  • 2016-05-26: He doesn't show up. I text him to ask, no response

  • 2016-05-30: His crew does one day of demo. Half the third floor is now uninhabitable.

  • 2016-06-05: He and his crew haven't returned since that single day of demo. I text him, he tells me there's another half day of interior demo needed, and the exterior work needs to wait for a stretch of sunny weather.

  • 2016-06-09: I write to him to check in, no response.

  • 2016-06-13: I write to him to check in, he says he'll give me an update that afternoon, but doesn't.

  • 2016-06-15: I write to check, he says "by next Tuesday", so 6/21.

  • 2016-06-20: I text to confirm that he'll start tomorrow (Tuesday 6/21) he says yes.

  • 2016-06-23: He hasn't shown up. I text him, he says "We are coming Monday 100%" which would be 6/27.

  • 2016-06-27: I write to him to check in, no response.

  • 2016-06-30: I write to him to check in, he says his wife's grandmother passed away, and he'll be here Tuesday (7/5).

  • 2016-07-04: I write to him to confirm we're on for tomorrow, he says yes.

  • 2016-07-05: I write to him ("I'm pretty sure we're now past the point when we agreed you'd be completely finished (30 business days from commencement), and we're just at one day of demo."), no response.

  • 2016-07-06: I write to him to check in, no response.

  • 2016-07-07: I write to him to check in, he says he'll get back to me soon with timing.

  • 2016-07-08: I write to him to check in, no response.

  • 2016-07-10: I write to him to check in, no response.

  • 2016-07-13: At this point I think the problem is he's overbooked himself, not that he's just taken our money. I ask how many jobs ahead of us, he says one.

  • 2016-07-15: I write to him to check in, no response.

  • 2016-07-17: I write to him to check in, no response.

  • 2016-07-18: I write to him to check in, he says he'll be there Monday. (7/25) I offer to bet, he says he'll bet me lunch.

  • 2016-07-22: I write to him to check in, no response.

  • 2016-07-24: I write to him to check in, no response.

  • 2016-07-25: I notice his website is down. It gives a number for more information, I call it. It's his webhost, who says Brendin hasn't paid his hosting bill so the site is off. I write to him to tell him this, no response.

  • 2016-07-26: I write to him to check in, he says he'll call me, he doesn't.

  • 2016-07-27: I ask for a refund, no response

  • 2016-08-10: I tell him that if he doesn't give me a refund I'll need to take him to court, no response.

The next few months I was busy trying to find another contractor who could do the work and get us back into our house. I considered taking him to small claims court, but after discussion with some people that had done this learned that even if it's easy to win a judgement it's often practically impossible to collect it.

I decided to file a police report, though:

  • 2016-12-12: I file a police report with the Somerville Police,a and spoke with a detective there. She told me this was potentially grand larceny.

  • 2016-12-13: The detective gets back to me to let me know it will be a while before they can get a court date.

  • 2017-02-09: I check in with the detective, she says we're waiting for a court date.

  • 2017-04-26: I check in again, she says the had a hearing for probable cause which Lange didn't show up to, so they're awaiting a trial date.

  • 2017-07-25: When the detective had reached Lange he had said he was interested in mediation. They asked me, and I was also amenable. Then the detective told me Lange didn't respond when she tried to set that up.

  • 2017-09-05: Detective tells me still no court date.

  • 2017-12-04: Still no court date.

  • 2018-01-08: Court date schedule for 2018-03-02.

  • 2018-03-02: Lange showed up half an hour late so they needed to reschedule.

  • 2018-06-04: Arraignment date set for 2018-06-28.

  • 2018-07-06: Court date set for 2018-08-22 for a motion to dismiss.

  • 2018-08-22: Motion to dismiss failed. Afterwards, the DA negotiated with Lange's lawyer for a one year period of pre-trial probation, and restitution of $5k.

  • 2018-09-04: I go to court, docket #1810CR000483, the probation and restitution are finalized. He's supposed to pay me the $5k via the probation office by 2018-12-06. I'm not optimistic.

Overall I'm very frustrated about this. Lange seems to have a pattern of taking deposits, doing either no work or a very small amount of work, and then disappearing. It seems like he usually doesn't take enough for it to be worth it for people to sue him, and instead he just keeps on conning more people.

If Lange has ripped you off as well, I'm sorry to hear that, and you should consider filing a police report. You can let the police know that Brendin Lange is under pre-trial probation, which I think will make them take your report more seriously. I'd also be happy to talk to you if you wanted to comment here or write me:

Update 2018-10-28: I got $1,000 in the mail today, which I think is the first installment of the restitution.

Update 2018-11-07: And another $2,000 today.

Update 2019-02-07: He did pay the full amount ($2k more) by the deadline.

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