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

CONSUMER PROTECTION DIVISION SETTLES WITH FOUR BALTIMORE HOME BUILDERS OVER UNREGISTERED STATUS

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that his Consumer Protection Division has entered into settlement agreements with four home builders who have agreed to pay a total of $10,000 to settle allegations that they operated without being registered with the State and fraudulently used the registration of another builder as their own.

“ Under Maryland law, home builders must be registered before they can enter into contracts to build homes for consumers, and cannot fraudulently use the registration number of another builder,” said Attorney General Curran.

Curran encouraged new home buyers to check whether their builder is registered by contacting the Division’s Home Builder Registration Unit at (410) 576-6573 or toll-free 1-877-259-4525, or by visiting the Attorney General’s website at www.oag.state.md.us/homebuilder.

One settlement is with Teem Development Three, LLC, Teem Development Four, LLC, and Teem Development Five, LLC, related companies owned by the same principals and located at 7859 Rossville Boulevard, Baltimore. The Division had alleged that Teem Development Three, LLC failed to renew its registration as a home builder, which expired March 1, 2003, but continued to operate as a builder, and that Teem Development Four, LLC and Teem Development Five, LLC acted as home builders even though they had never registered. The Division further alleged that each of the companies fraudulently used the registration number of another builder as its own registration number.

The second settlement is with Charm City Builders, Inc. of 263 Gina Court, Pasadena, and its principal, Steven Hessler, who frequently worked on new home construction projects with the Teem Development companies. The Division had alleged that Charm City Builders, Inc. acted as a new home builder since January 1, 2003 although it was not registered with the Home Builder Registration Unit and used the registration number of another builder as its registration number in new home contracts.

In settlement of the allegations, each company entered into an Assurance of Discontinuance with the Division which required that it not act as a home builder in the State unless registered with the Home Builder Registration Unit and that it not use any registration number other than one issued to that company by the Division. The Assurance also requires the companies to submit to arbitration consumer complaints arising prior to the date of the Assurance that cannot be resolved through mediation, using the arbitration program provided by the Division. The Teem companies and Charm City each agreed to pay $5,000 to the Division to be used for consumer education purposes.

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