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For Immediate Release
July 7, 2004
Media Contact:
Kevin Enright 410-576-6357

CONSUMER PROTECTION DIVISION REACHES SETTLEMENT WITH BALTIMORE COUNTY BUILDER OVER EXPIRED REGISTRATION, NEW HOME WARRANTY PROBLEMS

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that Brown Custom Contracting, Inc. of Lutherville and its owner, Kevin A. Brown, have agreed to pay $5,000 as part of a settlement with Curran’s Consumer Protection Division of allegations that they continued to act as a home builder after allowing their registration to expire.

The Division alleged that the registration for Brown Custom Contracting with the Division’s Home Builder Registration Unit expired June 1, 2003, but the company continued constructing homes and entering into new contracts with consumers in violation of the law. The permitting authority for Baltimore County issued stop work orders on all projects being performed by Brown after being notified that the company was not properly registered. The Division further alleged that Brown had also offered and sold consumers new home warranties even though it was not a participant in good standing with an approved new home warranty plan.

“ Consumers need to ensure they are dealing only with a registered home builder and that, if the builder offers a warranty, the builder is in good standing with an approved warranty plan,” Curran said. He added that consumers can check whether a builder is registered and obtain information about new home warranties by contacting the 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.

The Assurance of Discontinuance entered into by Kevin Brown and Brown Custom Contracting, Inc. requires that the company not act as a home builder in the State unless registered as a home builder with the Division; not represent to consumers that they are providing a new home warranty unless they are able to provide consumers with a New Home Warranty Plan approved to operate in Maryland; ensure that consumers’ homes are properly enrolled in an approved New Home Warranty Security Plan; submit to arbitration any consumer complaint that cannot be resolved through mediation, using the arbitration program provided by the Division; and pay $5,000 to the Division to be used for consumer education purposes.

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