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Gansler's home builders unit busy with registration violations

By John O'Brien | Jun 5, 2008


BALTIMORE (Legal Newsline) - Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler is not allowing a Greensboro man to register as a home builder because of an unpaid court award.

James Richard Hooper, Gansler said Thursday, still has not paid the $25,000 judgment entered against him in the District Court for Queen Anne's County. The suit was brought by an unhappy consumer.

Gansler's Consumer Protection Division features a Home Builder Registration Unit, which provides guidelines for those engaged in the practice. There are six types of legal entities or people who do not have to register under the act that created the unit, but Hooper was not one of them.

Cedar Creek Builders and F&M Builders also had similar problems, Gansler said, with unpaid judgments of nearly $25,000 and $4,445, respectively. It is a violation of the Act to have an unsatisfied final judgment in favor of a consumer.

Seventeen other home builders agreed to settlements with Gansler. Allegations ranged from operating without being registered to failing to disclose certain information while registering. The companies, as part of the settlement, can not conduct business as home builders until they properly register.

Also, they must submit consumer complaints currently going nowhere in mediation to the Consumer Protection Division's arbitration program.

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