Perryville, MO funeral home closes, leaves some customers looking for answers
PERRY COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - The closure of a funeral home in Perryville, Missouri has a lot of people looking for answers.
Dozens of people in Perryville pre-paid for funeral services with the Miller Family Funeral Home.
However, the funeral home has closed its doors.
While Perry County Coroner Jim Martin said the owner of Miller Family Funereal Home will pay everyone back, people like the Gibbar family are wondering what to do next.
"Paid for it once you didn't want to pay for it again. Yeah, I paid for it like 13 years ago, thought it was done," Emy and Raymond Gibbar said.
Raymond Gibbar pre-paid for his funeral expenses.
A burden he didn't want his family to have to worry about when the time came.
"So the kids wouldn't have to worry about it and they didn't have to take care of it," Raymond said.
Raymond is one of many who pre-paid for his funeral with the Miller Family Funeral Home in Perryville.
On Monday, Aug. 8, his wife talked about taking the money from a funeral home that closed, to another one in town.
"They said we would need to go to the banks because they had no record of where the money was so we went to each bank and nobody had our money," Emy Gibbar said.
Its a problem another local funeral home said they have experienced during the past several weeks.
They have 60 pre-paid contracts requested to be transferred since the closing and have not heard back from the Miller Family Funeral Home.
For the Gibbar family, they finally have the information they've been searching for and now they are waiting for the paperwork.
"We called them back and they had the account number next to our name," Emy said.
The couple said they won't feel secure until the paperwork is in the right place.
"Better than it was when we didn't have the number," Raymond said. "I'll feel better when Young and Sons have the paper work in their hands and hopefully they'll get the paper work from herb... hopefully."
Now, if you bought a pre-paid funeral, hold on to your contract information.
Perry County Coroner Jim Martin said they've been referring people to go the funeral home they want their paperwork moved to and fill out a complaint form with the Missouri Attorney General's Office.
"Essentially, a complaint form and really is a generalized form, and we can't really guarantee how much time it's going to process that to make sure that they are going to receive full compensation for the money they invested," Martin said.
According to the Public Information Administrator Yaryna Klimchak, Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions & Professional Registration:
Miller Family Funeral Home holds a preneed seller license that is current until October 31, 2016 and that licensee is responsible for conducting the duties of a preneed seller in accordance with the statutes governing practice. Miller Family Funeral Home funeral establishment and preneed provider licenses were closed on May 10, 2016.
Statutes allow for consumers to choose alternate preneed funeral providers and sellers and to cancel preneed contracts.
Consumers with preneed contracts, where Miller Family Funeral home was listed as the preneed provider, may choose an alternate provider in accordance with the board's statute, 436.458, RSMo.
Consumers may also request cancellation of their preneed contracts in accordance with section 436.456, RSMo.
Consumers with concerns may file complaints with the State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors. The complaint form can be located on the board's website at http://pr.mo.gov/boards/375-0195_2pages.pdf or they may call the board office at (573) 751-0813 and request a form.
The board's authority lies with the license. Consumer complaints are treated on a case-by-case basis and the timelines vary for investigation.
Consumers may also want to contact the Missouri Attorney General's office in addition to the board. For questions regarding the Consumer Complaint Form with the Missouri Attorney General's Office, please contact their public information officer Nanci Gonder firstname.lastname@example.org.
KFVS12 has reached out to the Miller Family Funeral Home, however, we were not able to get in contact.
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