BALTIMORE (Legal Newsline) — Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh has announced Maryland Property Review Board LLC and its owners (MPRB) will pay back consumers and pay a $200,000 civil penalty after allegedly charging more than 450 consumers $99 each to file an appeal of the consumers’ property tax assessment – an act that consumers can do themselves for free.
MPRB allegedly sent letters to consumers that were designed to look like they came from a state agency. The company told consumers that they could reduce their property tax bill by paying a $99 “filing fee.” MPRB additionally misled consumers about the amount that they could reduce the tax – the company’s letters always used the number $1,346.
"Masquerading as a government agency is deceitful and poses as a real threat to consumers who unknowingly send money," Frosh said. "Misrepresentation to consumers is a violation of the Maryland Consumer Protection Act and our office intends to continue our pursuit of any companies who attempt to mislead consumers about services they provide."
The company indicated it would no longer operate. If it does, it cannot misrepresent its affiliation with the state, its ability to decrease consumers’ property taxes and any other services it provides.