Home­builder or­dered to pay resti­tu­tion

Dorchester Star - - News -

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.

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