Estate sale leaves owner at loss

- After living in their house for 48 years, Maria Whelan and her family recently decided it was time for her to downsize.

“It was hard. It was like I had all these things for such a long time just  for someone to come in and take over and get rid of everything, it's hard,” said Whelan.

After researching several companies which conduct estate sales the Whelan family decided to go with a Rose's Vintage Estate and Moving Sales out of St. Paul. A contract with the owner Dana Jones was signed, a website created. Over the course of four days in late May, Whelan watched antiques, collections from her late husband, furniture, and a house full of memories - sold.

“What they keep saying is ‘we are going to make a lot of money for you Maria, you have some great stuff here. we are going to make a lot of money.' Here I am,” said Whelan.

Despite a promise on the company website that sellers would receive a check within seven days, it has been over two months and the Whelan family has not seen a penny.

“I'd say 15-20 thousand dollars," said family friend Dawn Gominsky. “I don't  know. It could be $50,000 for all we know.”

Now the family is stuck with more than a dozen tables left behind by Jones and her employees, plus a dumpster, which Whelan paid more than $525 in cash for.

“Which he shouldn’t have asked for because they said they were going to get the money through the proceeds of the sale, but my mom didn't know that,” said Patty Rudell, Whelan’s daughter. “There is nothing on the dumpster that says where it came from - nothing.”

Putting the house up for sale has already been delayed by months, making an emotional experience that much harder.

“We want our money and we want all her stuff out of here,” said Rudell. “And I don't want her to do this to anyone else.”

Rose's Vintage been listed on the Better Business Bureau since 2007 without a single complaint, until this summer. Currently, there are four BBB complaints against the company.

Fox 9 has made repeated attempts to contact the owner of Rose’s Vintage and is still waiting to hear from her.

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