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For Immediate Release
April 7, 2003
Contact: Sean Caine, 410-576-6357
scaine@oag.state.md.us

CONSUMER PROTECTION DIVISION ISSUES CEASE AND DESIST ORDER AGAINST HOME BUILDER

Attorney 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.

According 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.

The 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.

"A 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."

Curran 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.

The 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.

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