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For Immediate Release

Media Contact:
Shanetta J. Paskel, 410-576-7939
spaskel@oag.state.md.us

Attorney General Gansler Files Charges Against Maryland Home Builder
Westwood Design Build, Inc. failed to construct consumers’ homes


Baltimore, MD (November 5, 2008)- Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler announced today that his Consumer Protection Division’s Home Builder Registration Unit revoked the registration of Westwood Design Build, Inc. of Beltsville, Maryland, and filed charges against the company and its owners, Mary Dietz and Michael Conrad Brown, for failing to comply with the Maryland’s Home Builder Registration Act, the Consumer Protection Act, the Custom Home Protection Act, and the laws governing deposits on new homes.

The Attorney General’s Office suspended the registration of Westwood Design Build, Inc. and filed a statement of charges against the builder and its owners for accepting more than $400,000 in deposits and payments from at least three consumers in Prince George’s County and then failing to begin construction of the homes, pay subcontractors, or refund the deposits and advance payments paid by consumers. The company also failed to disclose to the Home Builder Registration Unit lawsuits filed by consumers and subcontractors concerning the company’s building activities. A hearing on the statement of charges is scheduled for February 25, 2009 at the Office of Administrative Hearings. The Home Builder Registration Unit is seeking injunctive relief, restitution, damages, and civil penalties against the builder for the alleged violations of the law.

“The law in Maryland is very clear: home builders must properly handle consumer deposits and they must honor their commitments to home buyers,” said Attorney General Gansler. “My office will seek severe sanctions against builders who fail to properly handle consumer deposits and who do not operate their businesses fairly and honestly.”

Consumers who may have had problems with homes built by these or other builders should contact the Home Builder Registration Unit at 410-576-6573 in Baltimore or call toll free at (877) 259-4525. Consumers can also email the Home Builder Registration Unit at homebuilder@oag.state.md.us. They can also check to see if a builder is registered over the Internet at www.oag.state.md.us/homebuilder or by contacting the Home Builder Registration Unit via telephone at the above-listed number.

 

   

Attorney General of Maryland 1 (888) 743-0023 toll-free / TDD: (410) 576-6372
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