Biden seeks restitution in lawsuit

Nick Rees Feb. 19, 2010, 11:54am


WILMINGTON, Del. (Legal Newsline) - Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden has filed a 39-count consumer fraud lawsuit against a home builder alleged to have made multiple misrepresentations in the sale of homes.

The suit names NVR, Inc., doing business as Ryan Homes, which built several sections of homes in Townsend, Delaware' Odessa National Development, the location of the alleged fraud.

Biden's suit, filed in New Castle County Superior court, seeks civil penalties of $10,000 for each violation of Delaware's Consumer Fraud Act, restitution for 39 home buyers, punitive damages and investigative costs.

Ryan Homes, the lawsuit says, advertised a promised a host of amenities at the Odessa National Development, which was to be completed in 2009. Promised amenities included an 18-hole championship golf course with pro shop, putting green and driving range, clubhouse with restaurant and fitness center, swimming pool, tennis and basketball courts, recreation fields, playground and child play area and other recreational areas. According to the lawsuit, the promised amenities were never built.

Ryan Homes is alleged to mischaracterized mandatory golf course fees as homeowners association fees that it said were for the construction of proposed amenities and failed to identify the existence of additional, which were maintenance fees.

Homeowners, as a result of these fees, were required to pay $1,200 annually for as long as they own their home for a social membership in the golf course, which had no clubhouse, Biden said.

"As a result of the alleged misrepresentations and factual omissions that occurred in these sales, buyers purchased homes with more fees and restrictions and fewer amenities than Ryan Homes had promised," Biden said.

"We're taking action today to protect consumers, hold the builder accountable to Delaware law, and ensure that future homebuyers receive the information they need to make informed purchasing decisions."

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