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For Immediate Release
April 6, 2004
Media Contact:
Kevin Enright 410-576-6357

CONSUMER PROTECTION DIVISION ISSUES CEASE AND DESIST ORDER AGAINST MONTGOMERY COUNTY 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 it alleges took deposits and payments from consumers but failed to build the homes.

The Division has charged Jeffrey Bryant of Bethesda and Advanced Building Solutions, Inc. of Beltsville with entering into contracts with consumers to construct homes in Montgomery and Prince George’s County, accepting partial payment from those consumers, but not beginning construction or refunding the consumers’ monies.

The Division further alleged that Bryant and Advanced Building Solutions, Inc. violated the Maryland Custom Home Protection Act and the New Homes Deposits Act by failing to place deposits and payments into an escrow account or having a surety bond to cover the deposit and that they violated the Consumer Protection Act by failing to build the homes as promised. The charges also allege that Bryant entered into contracts to build homes using the name Precision Group, Inc., whose application to register as a home builder was denied by the Division’s Home Builder Registration Unit. Maryland law requires home builders to register with the Consumer Protection Division to build new homes in Maryland. Advanced Building Solutions’ registration expired September 1, 2003.

The Division’s ex parte order immediately bars Jeffrey Bryant and Advanced Building Solutions, Inc. from acting or offering to act as a home builder in the State of Maryland and requires Bryant and Advanced Building Solutions, Inc. to pay $71,956 in restitution to the four consumers identified in the Division’s statement of charges. The order further requires Bryant and Advanced to pay restitution to any other consumers who have been harmed by their unlawful practices.

" Builders who fail to comply with Maryland’s laws protecting home buyers and their deposits will face severe penalties," Curran said.

n addition to the restitution ordered, a hearing on the charges is scheduled for June 18, 2004 at the Office of Administrative Hearings to determine whether civil penalties of $1,000 per violation should be imposed, although the Respondents may request a hearing on the Division’s ex parte order.

The public hearing on the charges will be held at the Maryland Office of Administrative Hearings, 11101 Gilroy Road, Hunt Valley, beginning on June 18, 2004. Consumers who may have had problems with Jeffrey Bryant, Advanced Building Solutions, Inc. or the Precision Group, Inc. should call the Home Builder Registration Unit immediately at (410) 576-6573 or toll-free 1-877-259-4525.

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