BALTIMORE (Legal Newsline) - Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler announced a final order on Wednesday requiring a home building company and its principals to refund $10,000 collected from consumers and to pay a $3,000 penalty.
Bay Area Design & Build Inc., and its principals, Gregory Louis Haigis and Robert Scott Huff, allegedly collected the money from consumers to construct a home in Anne Arundel County, Md., violating Maryland's Custom House Protection Act by failing to place the money in an escrow account, failing to have a surety bond to protect the deposits and payments and failing to construct the home.
The Consumer Protection Division, which issued the final order, also alleged that the company improperly used the deposit money for expenses not related to the construction of the consumers' home.
"Before any money is paid, consumers need to know 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. "Home builders are required to give consumers a pamphlet prepared by this office that discusses consumers' rights under the law and the steps consumers can take to protect themselves."
The order bars Haigis, Huff and Bay Area Design & Build Inc., from acting as home builders in the state unless they meet the requirements to be registered as home builders under the Home Builder Registration Act. The order also requires restitution payment of the $10,000 the defendants received from consumers for the new home they failed to begin. They have also been fined costs and penalties totaling $5,966.34.