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For Immediate Release
Match 15, 2004
Media Contact: 410-576-6357

COURT OF SPECIAL APPEALS AFFIRMS ORDER REQUIRING PRINCE GEORGE’S MIRROR COMPANY TO REFUND DEPOSITS, HONOR CANCELLATION RIGHTS

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr., announced today that the Court of Special Appeals affirmed an April 2002 Order by Curran’s Consumer Protection Division requiring a Prince George’s mirror company to cease its unfair and deceptive trade practices in connection with the sale of customized mirrors. The Division found that Sterling Mirror of Maryland, Inc., 182 Log Canoe Circle, Stevensville, and its president, Michael Kaperst, violated the Maryland Door-to-Door Sales Act, the Retail Installment Sales Act and the Consumer Protection Act by failing to disclose consumers’ cancellation rights and refusing to refund consumers’ deposits.

Sterling Mirror sells customized mirrors and installation services to consumers in their homes, and offers financing to consumers. Under Maryland law, consumers who sign contracts in their homes have the right to cancel the contracts within three business days. Also, consumers who are making a financed purchase from the business are not obligated to pay for the items until their financing is approved and they are provided fully executed contracts setting forth the terms of the financing. The Consumer Protection Division found that Sterling Mirror violated Maryland law by denying consumers’ cancellation rights and refusing to refund deposits to consumers who were denied financing and sought to cancel their contracts. It also found that Sterling Mirror deceived consumers in the first place about the availability of financing for their purchases.

" I am pleased that the Court affirmed the Order in this case," Attorney General Curran said. "It is illegal for a business to deny a consumer’s right to cancel a contract and keep the deposit when the promised financing is not provided."

Sterling Mirror must now return deposits totaling approximately $44,000 to more than 400 consumers, pay a $50,000 civil penalty, and adhere to an injunction that requires it to disclose consumers’ cancellation rights and the terms of financing it offers and to return deposits to consumers who are denied financing.

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