A Howard County home builder has been charged with taking thousands of dollars from customers and not building their homes, announced Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh today.
The Attorney General is filing charges against the company Finish Werks and its principal, William Karl Woodward of Laurel. The office has also settled with eight other home builders over the past six months, who have agreed to pay more than $11,500 to settle claims that they violated Maryland home building laws.
Those eight other builders are from Queen Anne’s County, Anne Arundel County, Frederick County, Baltimore City, California, Florida, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Virginia, said Frosh's office. The charges against them include acting as a home builder without being registered, failing to include required disclosures in their contracts with Maryland consumers, and making false or misleading statements to Maryland consumers in their contracts, among other building laws.
Regarding Finish Werks, Frosh said in a statement:
When making the biggest investment of their lives, consumers should make sure their home is built by a registered builder, their deposit is protected, and – for custom-built homes – their builder is actually using the buyer’s money to pay the subcontractors, suppliers, and materialmen. The Home Builder Registration Act gives my office tools to prevent builders with a bad track record from continuing to build in Maryland.
The company allegedly failed to comply with the Consumer Protection Act, New Homes Deposits Act, and the Custom Home Protection Act by taking "thousands of dollars from consumers who contracted with the companies for the construction of custom homes in Maryland but [failing] to complete construction of their homes," according to Frosh's press release.
For the complete statement of charges, click here.
A hearing on the charges is set for 9:30 a.m. Aug. 29.
Consumers who have had problems with homes built by these or other builders should contact the Home Builder Registration Unit at 410-576-6573 in Baltimore or call toll-free 877-259-4525. The Attorney General’s Office encourages home buyers to check whether their builder is registered by calling or visiting www.marylandattorneygeneral.gov/pages/cpd/homebuilder.