Md. home builder ordered to pay restitution

Nick Rees Apr. 27, 2010, 11:44am


BALTIMORE (Legal Newsline) - Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler has announced final order has been issued to require a home builder to pay more than $480,000 to consumers stemming from alleged failures to complete construction on homes.

Deise Custom Homes and Richard E. Deise, Jr., the owner, are also required to pay $34,000 in penalties after Gansler found that the company had violated Maryland's Custom Home Protection Act and New Home Deposit Act. The company allegedly failed to place or maintain money paid by consumers into an escrow account or failed to have a surety bond to cover the deposits and payments.

Deise and his company were also found to have violated the Home Builder Registration Act and the Consumer Protection Act by failing to build homes as promised.

Substantial deposits and payments were collected by Deise from at least four families for the construction of new homes in Garrett County, Gansler found. Those payments were allegedly not protected by the company, as required by Maryland law, and construction of the homes was not completed. The company also allegedly failed to pay the consumers refunds.

Under terms of the final order, Deise and his company are barred from acting as a home builder in Maryland unless they first meet requirements set by the division. Additionally, they must pay $384,8435 in restitution, $99,903 in damages, $34,000 in civil penalties and $7,926 in costs.

"Before paying any money towards the construction of a new home, consumers need to protect the biggest investment of their lifetime by ensuring that their home is being built by a registered home builder and that any deposits they make are protected by an escrow account, bond, or letter of credit," Gansler said.

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