Maryland builders pay penalties to settle violation claims

More than two dozen Maryland home builders have agreed to pay penalties totaling $26,000 to settle allegations that they violated state building laws, Maryland's Attorney General said Tuesday.

Ryan Homes, NV Homes, Rachuba Home Builders LLC and Pulte Home Corp. were among 27 builders that reached settlements with the state Consumer Protection Division's Home Builder Registration Unit. State officials said violations included companies operating without being registered and failing to disclose information to the registration unit in applications.

The largest penalty — $5,000 — will be paid by NVR Inc. The company agreed to a settlement after the state alleged that NVR's building firms NV Homes and Ryan Homes left out required warranty protections in contracts. NVR has agreed to revise its contracts and review warranty claims and complaints filed in 2009. Any unresolved claims will go through the division's arbitration program, the settlement says.

The consumer division also settled allegations that Rachuba Home Builders LLC and its principals failed to build homes in Carroll County for the agreed-upon price and did not use certain buyer payments to build homes and pay subcontractors or suppliers.

The state also found that the builder excluded warranties in contracts and failed to provide information to the registration unit. The builder, which is paying a $2,500 penalty, has agreed to arbitrate any unresolved consumer complaints and to secure a performance bond before building in Maryland.

Most of the remaining builders will pay penalties of either $500 or $1,000.

The Attorney General's office recommends that, before entering into a contract with a builder, consumers check to see whether the builder is registered with the Home Builder Registration Unit or online at