February 5, 2003
Sean Caine, 410-576-6357
HOME BUILDER AGREES TO MAKE RESTITUTION TO CONSUMERS WHOSE HOMES
General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that his Consumer
Protection Division has reached a settlement with the owners of
a building company that went bankrupt before finishing the homes
of several Maryland customers. The owners of Nanticoke Homes have
agreed to return up to $216,879 to consumers affected.
am pleased that this settlement returns money to consumers who had
to deal with the builder leaving their homes unfinished," Curran
said. "We are committed to enforcing the laws that protect
consumers when they buy homes."
June 2002, the Division charged Nanticoke Homes, Inc., which built
homes in its Delaware factory and sold them to consumers, and its
principals, John Mervine, Sr., Peggy Mervine, John Mervine, Jr.,
William Mervine and Gregory Mervine, with violating Maryland's Consumer
Protection Act and Custom Home Protection Act. The Division alleged
that Nanticoke and the Mervines filed to place consumer deposits
in escrow accounts as required by the Custom Home Protection Act
and misrepresented Nanticoke's ability to complete homes.
admitting that they violated the law, Nanticoke and the Mervines
agreed to pay $140,000 over 18 months to compensate Maryland consumers
who paid other builders to complete homes that Nanticoke failed
to complete after it filed for bankruptcy in March 2002. The Mervines
also agreed to repay more than $76,000 in consumer deposits if those
deposits are not paid through Nanticoke's bankrupcty estate.
said that home builders are required to be registered with the Consumer
Protection Division of his office. Consumers can check whether a
home builder is registered by contacting the Home Builder Registration
Unit at (410) 576-6573 or at www.oag.state.md.us/homebuilder.
and the Mervines agreed that they will not build homes in Maryland
unless they first register with the Division as a home builder and
they will comply with the requirement to protect consumer deposits
through an escrow account, bond or letter of credit.
consumers who have not previously been contacted by the Division
and who had to pay more than the contract price in order to complete
a home that Nanticoke failed to complete should contact the Division
at (410) 576-6561.