April 7, 2003
Sean Caine, 410-576-6357
PROTECTION DIVISION ISSUES CEASE AND DESIST ORDER AGAINST HOME BUILDER
General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that his Consumer
Protection Division has issued a cease and desist order against
a home builder 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 home builder with the State of Maryland,
as required by law.
to the charges, Randall Scott t/a Scott Contracting Co. of Greenbelt,
Maryland, agreed to construct a house for Denise Washington on property
she owns in Bowie, Maryland. On April 9, 2002, Scott accepted $27,300
in partial payment from Washington for the $273,000 house and promised
to begin construction. To date, Scott has not begun construction
of the home, nor refunded the deposit paid by Washington.
Division alleges that Scott violated the Maryland Custom Home Protection
Act by failing to place the $27,300 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 Scott
violated the Consumer Protection Act by falsely representing that
he could lawfully build Ms. Washington's house.
home is the biggest investment most consumers will ever make,"
Curran said. "Consumers should protect that investment by only
using a registered builder and checking whether the builder protects
deposits through a bond, letter of credit or escrow account."
added that consumers can find out whether a home builder is registered
by visiting his website www.oag.state.md.us/homebuilder or by calling
the Division's Home Builder Registration Unit at (410) 576-6573
in the Baltimore area or toll-free at (877) 259-4525 elsewhere in
Maryland. Consumers should also contact the Unit if they have had
problems with Randall Scott t/a Scott Contracting Co.
Division's ex parte cease and desist order immediately bars Scott
from acting or offering to act as a home builder in the State of
Maryland. The order further requires Scott to refund Ms. Washington's
deposit and all other payments collected from Maryland consumers
in connection with the construction of a home in Maryland since
January 1, 2001. Scott has 30 days to request a hearing on the Division's
cease and desist order.