Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Maryland AG: 12 Screwed-Over Customers Of Now-Defunct Homebuilder Now Eligible For At Least Some Recovery For Financial Losses (Up To $50K) Through State Guaranty Fund

In Frederick, Maryland, The Frederick News Post reports:
  • A builder operating in Frederick will pay more than $400,000 for violating laws designed to protect homebuyers, according to a final order from the Maryland Consumer Protection Division.

    The agency found that Nexus EnergyHomes, which worked on the North Pointe project along Bentz and Sixth streets in Frederick, violated the Home Builder Registration, Custom Home Protection, New Home Deposits and Consumer Protection acts when it failed to complete work for buyers who had paid deposits, according to the order.

    Frederick resident David Quinn bought a house from Nexus EnergyHomes and received compensation for incomplete work. The builder installed only eight of the 18 solar panels it was supposed to put on the house.

    “We’re back to a normal status,” he said when reached for comment on Thursday. “We’re just moving on with our lives.”

    He said he believed the order was justified, but he expressed concern for contractors who may not have been able to recover their losses. He noted that eight or nine contractors who worked on his house weren’t paid by Nexus.

    “It’s hard to see how justice will ever be done for those people who worked on Nexus’ homes,” he said.

    The Consumer Protection Division required the builder to pay restitution of around $151,000, economic damages of $235,600, penalties of $32,000 and costs of $6,500, Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh announced Thursday [April 13].(1)

    The order resolves a dispute that began when Nexus agreed to build houses for 12 families in Anne Arundel, Frederick, Howard and Queen Anne’s counties, accepting deposits and payments from them. The company then failed to finish the promised projects.

    The builder also neglected to place the buyers’ deposits and payments in an escrow account or use a surety bond or letter of credit for their protection, according to the Consumer Protection Division. It further failed to pay subcontractors for work they completed.

    The order allows the affected homebuyers to recover their losses through the Home Builder Guaranty Fund up to $50,000.

    Nexus EnergyHomes’ homebuilder registration is suspended until it pays back the Maryland Home Builder Guaranty Fund, which includes 10 percent annual interest. The business has since closed.

    The North Pointe project will be completed by Lancaster Craftsmen Builders, which estimated that the project would be done by the end of 2017.

    The attorney for Nexus EnergyHomes did not immediately return a call and email for comment Thursday.
Source: Consumer Protection Division orders former North Pointe builder to pay over $400,000 for incomplete work, other violations.
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(1) According to the state Attorney General, the Consumer Protection 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.

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