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For Immediate Release
May 29, 2002
Contact: Sean Caine, 410-576-6357

CONSUMER PROTECTION DIVISION ORDERS $100,000 PENALTY AGAINST UNREGISTERED BUILDER, AND RESTITUTION FOR UNCOMPLETED HOME

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that his Consumer Protection Division has ordered Chad S. Wilby of Brandywine, Maryland, to cease acting as a home builder. The Division fined Wilby $100,000 and ordered him to pay restitution for taking money from a consumer and then failing to build the house he promised.

The Division found that Wilby violated the Maryland Consumer Protection Act by taking $31,000 from a widowed senior citizen for construction of a home in Oxon Hill, Maryland, but not building the house as promised. The Division also found that Wilby violated the Maryland Custom Home Protection Act by failing to place the consumer's $31,000 payments into an escrow account or having a surety bond to cover the deposit, and that Wilby violated Maryland's Home Builder Registration Act by acting as a home builder without being registered with the Home Builder Registration Unit of the Consumer Protection Division.

"Under Maryland law, home builders must be registered before they can offer to build homes for consumers, and they must protect a customer's deposit with an escrow account, bond or letter of credit," said Attorney General Curran. "Mr. Wilby violated those laws, and will have to make restitution to consumers he harmed."

The order requires Wilby to pay the Division all money he has received as a home builder since January 1, 2001. The order also requires Wilby to pay a civil penalty of $100,000 and the costs of the investigation, and prohibits Wilby from acting as a home builder in Maryland. From that money, the Division will repay the Oxon Hill consumer the $31,000 she paid to Wilby for the home he never built.

Other consumers who paid Wilby money to build homes since January 1, 2001 are entitled to restitution, due to the fact that Wilby was not a registered home builder. Any consumer who paid Wilby any money since January 1, 2001 should contact the Home Builder Registration Unit at 410-576-6573.

 

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