Tony Fata had been in business for over 20 years, never having a problem with bonding. But when the economy tanked in 2007, three of his properties went into foreclosure. When this appeared on his credit report, his bonding company dropped him after 20 years. “I tried to explain it to them, but they wouldn’t listen.” For the next two years, he went completely out of business. He fired his employees and counted on his brother to look after him. “It was a catastrophe,” says Fata, who is blind. “You cannot image the huge burden on my shoulders.”
In the process of looking for new opportunities, he heard about the Bond Assistance Program. He attended several required classes, where he was elated to find that he met the requirements. His burden was lifted when Betty Walker from BAP told him they could help him. “They adopted me, encouraged me, and guaranteed my bond,” he says. It’s like condemning someone to death, and then resurrecting them,” he says.
He’s now working on the job for the Los Angeles Unifed School District. Depending on the day, he has between 15-35 people working for him, doing everything from demolition to concrete work.
Fata appreciates the support he’s gotten on the project. Working with Los Angeles Unifed School District, Fata says, has been a wonderful experience. “They provided me with work and now I have a way to put meat on the table,” he says. And when he gets frustrated with paperwork, the staff at Merriwether looks after him. “They tell me, Tony please don’t give up! We’re going to help you.”