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