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Homebuyers in Clinton subdivision face liens, building delays

The Sunshine subdivision in Clinton didn't brighten the lives of some new homeowners. Construction delays, multiple liens on their new homes because of unpaid subcontractor bills and even unfinished projects have created headaches for some residents.

Located near 2300 North and 2525 West, Sunshine is one of three city subdivisions, including Sierra Estates and Bridges, with similar problems.City manager Dennis Cluff said he's aware of the problem, and the developer, BauCorp of Salt Lake City, won't receive any more building permits until the current problems are solved.

"People have been complaining. We've gone out and looked at things," Cluff said. "The developer is aware of the problems and is working on them."

Cluff believes BauCorp over-expanded and started building more than it could handle.

David W. Steffensen, the attorney representing BauCorp, doesn't believe the problems represent overbuilding.

Other than a lack of good public relations and some internal accounting errors, he said, the problems mostly represent bad-luck situations beyond the company's control.

Several residents of the Sunshine subdivision say they've had a lot of problems with BauCorp and that they know of many neighbors who have similar hassles.

"It takes forever to get the homes finished," said Shannon Erekson, a Sunshine resident.

Her home took a year to complete instead of the 90 days promised. She also said she received a lien from a lumber company that was not paid by BauCorp.

"They're not paying their contractors," she said.

Erekson said she knows two people in the subdivision with three or more liens on their homes because of unpaid contractors.

Her home also has some unfinished grading.

Another resident who did not want her name in print said it is the multiple liens that most bother Sunshine residents.

She's also concerned where all the money from home loans went.

BauCorp's inadequacies have put many people under a lot of stress, she said.

Steffensen stressed BauCorp is not going bankrupt, nor has any of its money been embezzled. It had some cash-flow problems relating to another company that owed it some $500,000. However, with the addition of another business partner, that problem shouldn't happen again. The company will be stronger than ever, he said.

He stressed BauCorp will make good on all its obligations to the homes and to the subcontractors by early February.

BauCorp also has a dispute with a carpet company. It was the main subcontractor that put liens on some 15 homes because the homeowners overspent their carpet allowances.

"It will be resolved," Steffensen said.

The Northern Wasatch Home Builders Association confirmed BauCorp is a member of its group. However, the association has received no formal complaints regarding any problems involving BauCorp, past or present, association officials said.

Despite the problems, many Sunshine residents like the neighborhood and say they don't want to move.