Home builder to pay $425,000 for vi­o­la­tions

Record Observer - - NEWS -

BAL­TI­MORE — Mary­land At­tor­ney Gen­eral Brian E. Frosh an­nounced Thurs­day, April 13, that his Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion Divi­sion is­sued a fi­nal or­der find­ing that Nexus En­er­gyHomes Inc., a home builder from Queen Anne’s County, vi­o­lated the Home Builder Reg­is­tra­tion Act, the Cus­tom Home Pro­tec­tion Act, the New Home De­posits Act, and the Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion Act. The Or­der re­quires the builder to pay resti­tu­tion of $151,010.13, eco­nomic dam­ages of $235,567.60, penal­ties of $32,000, and costs of $6,446.10.

The Divi­sion found that Nexus En­er­gyHomes, and its prin­ci­pals, Vin­cent Paul Za­necki and Michael W. Mur­phy, en­tered into con­tracts with 12 fam­i­lies to con­struct new homes in Anne Arun­del, Fred­er­ick, Howard, and Queen Anne’s coun­ties but then failed to be­gin or com­plete con­struc­tion of the homes af­ter tak­ing sub­stan­tial de­posits and pay­ments from the con­sumers. The Divi­sion also de­ter­mined that the com­pany and its prin­ci­pals failed to pro­vide proper pro­tec­tion for the con­sumers’ de­posits and pay­ments by ei­ther plac­ing them in an es­crow ac­count or hav­ing a surety bond or let­ter of credit for their pro­tec­tion and failed to pay sub­con­trac­tors for work per­formed. The Divi­sion found nu­mer­ous in­stances in which con­sumers had to pay sub­con­trac­tors to avoid po­ten­tial liens be­ing placed against their homes as a re­sult of the com­pany’s fail­ure to pay its obli­ga­tions. The Divi­sion’s fi­nal or­der fur­ther bars Nexus En­er­gyHomes Inc., and its prin­ci­pals 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.

The Divi­sion also is­sued fi­nal or­ders pro­vid­ing that in­jured con­sumers may 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 Home Builder Guar­anty Fund for ac­tual losses of up to $50,000 re­sult­ing from the fail­ure of a reg­is­tered builder to com­plete their home, up to a to­tal of $300,000 per builder.

“Be­fore any money changes hands for a new home, you need to pro­tect the big­gest in­vest­ment of your life­time,” said At­tor­ney Gen­eral Frosh. “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’s Of­fice en­cour­ages new home buy­ers 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 www.oag.state. md.us/home­builder. New home buy­ers may also ver­ify whether builders have a surety bond or let­ter of credit by con­tact­ing the Home Builder Reg­is­tra­tion Unit.

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