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For Immediate Release
September 23, 2002
Contact: Sean Caine, 410-576-6357

CONSUMER PROTECTION DIVISION ISSUES CEASE AND DESIST ORDER AGAINST VIRGINIA HOMEBUILDER

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that his Consumer Protection Division has issued a cease and desist order against a Virginia homebuilder who allegedly took money from a customer to build a custom home in Maryland but never began construction, and who is not registered as a homebuilder with the State of Maryland, as required by law.

According to the charges, Gregory Clements and Creative Custom Homes, Inc. of Port Royal, Virginia, agreed to construct a house for Jerome Homberg on property Homberg owns in Aquasco, Maryland. On March 17, Clements accepted $7,539 in partial payment from Homberg for the $75,378 house and promised to begin construction. To date, Clements and Creative Custom Homes, Inc. have not begun construction of the home, nor refunded the $7,539 paid by Homberg.

The Division alleges that Clements and Creative Custom Homes, Inc. violated the Maryland Custom Home Protection Act by failing to place the $7,539 into an escrow account or having a surety bond to cover the deposit, and by acting as a home builder without being registered with the Home Builder Registration Unit of the Consumer Protection Division. The Division alleges that Clements and Creative Custom Homes, Inc. violated the Consumer Protection Act by failing to build the house as promised.

The Division's ex parte cease and desist order immediately bars Clements and Creative Custom Homes, Inc. from acting or offering to act as a homebuilder in the State of Maryland. At a hearing in November, the Division will ask for a final cease and desist order, as well as an order requiring Clements and Creative Custom Homes, Inc. to pay Homberg $7,539 in restitution and restitution to any other consumers who have been harmed by unlawful practices. Also, the Division will seek a $1,000 civil penalty per day of unlawful practice and the costs of the investigation.

The public hearing on the charges will be held at the Consumer Protection Division, 200 St. Paul Place, Baltimore, on November 4 at 9:30 a.m. Consumers who may have had problems with Gregory Clements and Creative Custom Homes, Inc. are encouraged to call the Home Builder Registration Unit immediately at (410) 576-6573 or toll-free 1-877-259-4525.

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