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For Immediate Release

Media Contact:
Raquel Guillory, 410-576-6357
rguillory@oag.state.md.us

Consumer Protection Division Orders Harford County Home Builder to Pay Over $500,000 in Restitution, Damages and Penalties

BALTIMORE, MD ( April 27, 2010) -Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler announced today that his Consumer Protection Division has issued a final order requiring Deise Custom Homes, LLC and its principal to pay more than $480,000 to consumers and penalties of $34,000. The Division found that Richard E. Deise, Jr., and his company, Deise Custom Homes, violated Maryland’s Custom Home Protection Act and New Home Deposit Act by failing to place or maintain money paid by consumers into an escrow account or having a surety bond to cover the deposits and payments. The Division also found that Deise and his company violated the Home Builder Registration Act and the Consumer Protection Act by failing to build homes as promised.

The Division found that Deise and his company collected substantial deposits and payments from at least four families toward the construction of new homes in Harford County, then failed to protect those payments as required by Maryland law, failed to complete construction of the homes, and failed to pay refunds to any of the consumers. The order bars Deise and Deise Custom Homes from acting as a home builder in the State of Maryland unless they meet requirements set by the Division, and requires payment of $384,835 in restitution, $99,903 in damages, $34,000 in civil penalties, and $7,926 in costs.

“Before paying any money towards the construction of a new home, consumers need to protect the biggest investment of their lifetime by ensuring that their home is being built by a registered home builder and that any deposits they make are protected by an escrow account, bond, or letter of credit,” said Attorney General Gansler.

Home builders are required to give consumers a pamphlet prepared by the Office of Attorney General that discusses consumers’ rights under the law and steps consumers can take to protect themselves. New home buyers are encouraged to check whether their builder is registered by contacting the Division’s Home Builder Registration Unit at (410) 576-6573 or toll-free at (877) 259-4525, or by visiting the Attorney General’s website at www.oag.state.md.us/homebuilder.

   

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