Homebuilder ordered to pay restitution
CAMBRIDGE — A Wicomico County homebuilder was ordered by the Maryland Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division to pay back more than $500,000 after not honoring homebuilding contracts with six families in Dorchester and Wicomico counties.
Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh announced Monday, Aug. 22, that his Consumer Protection Division issued a final order finding that a homebuilder Bryan Edward Adkins, of Atlantic Bay Homes, violated the Consumer Protection Act and other laws protecting new home purchasers in Maryland. The builder is required to pay restitution, economic damages, penalties and costs, amounting to $524,185.35.
The division found that Adkins entered into contracts with six families to build homes in Wicomico and Dorchester counties. However, after taking substantial deposits and payments from the consumers, Adkins failed to begin or complete construction of the homes, pay subcontractors or return the money paid, according to the attorney general’s office.
In two instances, he took more than $170,000 from the consumers and then failed to provide anything of value, according to the attorney general’s office.
The division also determined that Mr. Adkins failed to provide proper protection for consumers’ deposits and payments by either placing them in an escrow account or maintaining a surety bond or letter of credit for their protection. The attorney general’s office also said he failed to disclose to the division’s Home Builder Registration Unit the filing of lawsuits and the entry of judgments, including a criminal conviction for failing to return the advance payments of one of the consumers.
The division’s final order bars Adkins from acting as a homebuilder in Maryland unless he meets requirements set by the division in order to be registered as a homebuilder under Maryland’s Home Builder Registration Act.
The division also authorized these consumers to obtain recovery from the Home Builder Guaranty Fund for their actual losses resulting from the builder’s failure to complete their homes. Under Maryland law, consumers may seek recovery from the Guaranty Fund for actual losses of up to $50,000.00 resulting from the failure of a registered builder to complete their home.
“Before any money changes hands for a new home, you need to protect the biggest investment of your lifetime,” Frosh said in the statement released Monday. “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.”
The attorney general encourages new home buyers to check whether their builder is registered by contacting the Division’s Home Builder Registration Unit at 410-576-6573.