Flood survivor allegedly 'swindled' by mover

HAMMOND, LA (WAFB) - A flood survivor who thought she was on her way back home has hit a big bump in the road.

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The mobile home she purchased was supposed to be moved to her property in October, but 9News has learned the company she hired to do the job was not even in business.

Ashley Traylor, her husband, and two-year-old son have been living at the Western Inn in Hammond since their trailer flooded in August.

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"My child, every day he comes home from school, he wants to go outside and play. He can't do that here," Traylor said.

In October, Traylor said she bought a mobile home for $13,000 and had it delivered to a relative's house. Traylor said when her property was ready, she hired A1 Modular Services in Hammond to move it there.

"My family and I were so excited when we bought it, hoping to be in it for Christmas," Traylor said.

According to the agreement signed on October 13, A1 Modular was to move the mobile home for $2,500. Traylor put down $1,500. It was signed by Traylor and a man named Clarence Vallaire.

"My understanding was that when I paid him, two weeks later that my trailer would be moved on my property," Traylor said.

Nearly three months later, the mobile home is still sitting on cinder blocks on her relative's property, and appears to be falling apart.

"See how this is starting to crack. It's just terrible, terrible," Traylor said.

The floors appear to be rotting and what looks like mold is growing on the walls. Traylor said A1 Modular stopped taking her calls and she is worried her $13,000 investment is wasted.

"I cannot get in touch with the owner or the man I gave my money to," Traylor said.

9News first called the owner, Derek Hammond. Hammond declined an on-camera interview, but said he shut down his moving business a year ago. He claims the man Traylor hired to do the work, Clarence Vallaire, used a "fake contract" to "swindle" Traylor. We called him next.

The person who answered the phone said Vallaire was not available. Meanwhile, Traylor is beginning to wonder if it was all worth it.

"Kind of makes me wish I never bought it, because if I knew things were going to happen the way it did, I wouldn't because now I'm going to have to put a lot more money into fixing it," Traylor said.

The non-profit organization, Catholic Charities, has taken on Traylor's case and is trying to help her find another temporary home.

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