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For Immediate Release

Media Contact:
David Paulson, 410-576-6357
dpaulson@oag.state.md.us

Maryland AG's Consumer Protection Division orders Baltimore Co. home builder to pay more than $124,000
56 others agree to settle for various violations

BALTIMORE, MD ( Aug. 17, 2011) - Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler's Consumer Protection Division today issued a final order requiring a home builder and its principal to refund payments of $111,637.74 collected from multiple consumers to construct a home in Baltimore County. The builder must also pay penalties of $9,000 and investigation costs of $4,026.69.

The Division found that Steven Hessler and his company, Charm City Builders, Inc. , violated Maryland's Custom Home Protection Act by failing to place money paid by the consumers in an escrow account or having a surety bond to cover the deposits and payments made. The Division also determined that they violated the Home Builder Registration Act and the Consumer Protection Act by failing to build a home as promised or return the money already paid. The order bars Hessler and Charm City Builders, Inc. from acting as a home builder in the State of Maryland unless they meet requirements set by the Division in order to be registered as a home builder under Maryland's Home Builder Registration Act.

“Before any money changes hands, you need to protect the biggest investment of your lifetime,” said Attorney General Gansler. “Make sure that your home is built by a registered home builder and that any deposits are protected by an escrow account, bond or letter of credit. ”
          
Home builders are required to give buyers a publication prepared by the Consumer Protection Division that discusses consumers' rights and outlines steps consumers can take to protect themselves.     
       
The Division's Home Builder Registration Unit also entered into settlement agreements during the past six months with 56 other home builders who agreed to pay penalties totaling $37,800 to settle allegations that they violated Maryland's building laws, including operating an unregistered business or failing to disclose required information to the Unit in their registration applications.

The settlements were with the following builders:          

    • 2413 Eastern Ave. (Baltimore County)
    • 4201 Coastal, LLC (Harford County)
    • A.J. Godlewski (Baltimore County)
    • Alex Michael Ilczuk t/a Mike's Construction & Contracting (Worcester County)
    • Bon Ton Builders, Inc. (Pennsylvania)
    • Brockton Homes, Inc. (Baltimore County)
    • Burrows Contracting, LLC (Caroline County)
    • C.E.C. , LLC (Cecil County)
    • Cameron Construction, Inc. (St. Mary's County)
    • Cawley Enterprises, LLC (Talbot County)
    • Charles Lewis Vassell t/a C.L. Vassell Construction (Prince George's County)
    • Clear Choice Construction and Modular Homes, LLC (New Jersey)
    • Creekside Plaza, LLC (Frederick County)
    • DDI, A Cut Above, LLC (Calvert County)
    • Della Ratta, Inc. (Montgomery County)
    • Dixon's Contracting, Inc. (Allegany County)
    • Donald K. Kaspar t/a Kaspar Siding and Construction (St. Mary's County)
    • Dreamcraft Homes, Inc. (Anne Arundel County)
    • Drool's D&D Homes, Inc. (Allegany County)
    • Duane B. Dillard, Jr. t/a Highland Homes (Washington County)
    • Ewing Construction, Inc. (Talbot County)
    • Ewing Plumbing & Heating, LLC (Caroline County)
    • Gardner Homes, LLC (Anne Arundel County)
    • Gast Construction Co. , Inc. (Baltimore County)
    • Gateway Enterprises, Inc. (Frederick County)
    • Hamilton Reed, LLC (Howard County)
    • Harper & Sons, Inc. (Talbot County)
    • Hegarty & Associates, Inc. (Calvert County)
    • Jack G. Bannister t/a Brothers Construction Partnership (Prince George's County)
    • Kettler Brothers Homes, L.L.C. (Montgomery County)
    • Knightco Carousel Corporation (Howard County)
    • Limited Homes, Inc. (Harford County)
    • Martin Groff Construction Company, LLC (Worcester County)
    • Maryland Custom Builders, Inc. (Howard County)
    • Mason Construction Company, LLC (Calvert County)
    • McKee Construction Company, Inc. (Montgomery County)
    • Metroscape Development, Inc. (Baltimore City)
    • Modular On-Site Development, LLC t/a ModSquad (Queen Anne's County)
    • Morrison Homes, LLC (Anne Arundel County)
    • NCI-Nirro's Construction, Inc. (Montgomery County)
    • NZI Construction Corporation (Prince George's County)
    • Orchard Ridge Homeownership I, Inc. (Baltimore City)
    • Palmer Design and Construction, Inc. (Anne Arundel County)
    • Ralph M. Construction, Inc. (Pennsylvania)
    • Sandbower Builders, Inc. (Frederick County)
    • Schaff's Home Center, Inc. (Pennsylvania)
    • SKM Homes, LLC (Caroline County)
    • Smart Development/Premier Homes LC (Montgomery County)
    • Spectrum Internet Construction (Mississippi)
    • Stephen C. Doyle Construction, Inc. (Delaware)
    • Steven Michael Sherwood Sr. t/a S.M. Sherwood Construction (Harford County)
    • Trionfo Builders, Inc. (Baltimore County)
    • Turn-Key Enterprises, Inc. (Prince George's County)
    • Warren Brothers Construction, LLC (Prince George's County)
    • Wayne McCusker (Allegany County)
    • William Morris Homes, LLC (Anne Arundel County)

The settlements prohibit the companies from acting as home builders in Maryland until they register with the Home Builder Registration Unit and they comply with other Maryland laws governing home builders.

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

   

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