Swimming pool turns into financial sinkhole after company goes bankrupt

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PHOENIX -- A Valley family wanted a backyard swimming pool, but they wound up with something completely different and it isn't good.

This story really gets under my skin.

This all has to do with a lien that was apparently placed on a family's home by a swimming pool contractor and now that the contractor is bankrupt the family can't get the lien removed.

What looks like an eyesore is actually supposed to be a sparkling swimming pool and it was all being built so Fiona Behan's 6-year-old daughter could have therapy.

"Our daughter has special needs," Behan said. "She has a form of autism called Asperger's Disorder, a lot of sensory problems and anxiety disorder."

It's a disorder Behan says is eased in the water.

"We just noticed that in the water it's therapeutic for her," she said.

So Behan hired a pool company called Riviera Pools to build that therapeutic pool in their backyard.

"We saved up every penny that we could get so we could get the pool," she said. "We used all the money we had in savings for this."

Behan signed the nearly $20,000 contract with Riviera Pools last June and work began.

Behan says she paid as the work progressed to the tune of nearly $10,000 and things were going well until Riviera Pools asked for another installment.

"We gave him a check for over $6,000," Behan said. "It was cashed and cleared the next day and that same day they went out of business."

That's right. After paying $15,000 Riviera Pools filed for bankruptcy and left Behan with a big mess.

"They've left us with a huge pile of dirt, they left us with an open trench, they left us with a concrete hole," Behan said.

But an unfinished pool is the least of Behan's worries. She has a bigger problem because before Riviera went belly up, the company put a lien on Behan's home.

And that lien is for $15,000 more than what she has already paid.

"I don't understand how somebody can go down and go through the process of putting a lien on your house without having good reason," Behan said.

So now Behan's daughter has no swimming pool, the family has an eyesore in their backyard and to add insult to injury, they have a lien on their home that shouldn't be there.

That means if Behan ever sells or refinances her home, they'll lose $15,000 all because of that lien.

"I need some help, I just need help," Behan said. "I need this finished. My daughter needs something to be able to do during the summer."

3 On Your Side is not finished with this investigation.

We are in contact with the law firm that is connected to the pool's bankruptcy filings and we are attempting to get them to remove the lien.

If they do, or don't, remove that lien, I will have a follow-up within the next few weeks.