Court help is sought for builder's victims

Maryland Watch

June 12, 1998

The Consumer Protection Division of the Maryland attorney general's office has gone to Baltimore County Circuit Court in an effort to help consumers caught in the demise of Manor Builders Inc. regain their escrow deposits.

The division issued a cease and desist order yesterday against Manor, Phoenix Land Inc. and its principal, Palmer C. Williams Jr. The division claims that a $20,000 escrow account at the Sparks State Bank, which has been placed with the court, rightfully belongs to at least 15 consumers identified by the division and should be turned over for disbursement.

Manor Builders Inc. ceased operation in February when Williams fled the state, leaving two developments -- Summerwoods in Owings Mills and the Village of Gracecroft in Harford County -- in disarray. His whereabouts remain unknown.

The division concluded that Williams and his companies violated the Consumer Protection Act and the new home deposit laws. The order requires Williams to return $29,420 taken from consumers, pay $2,955 in investigative costs and pay a $15,000 civil penalty.

Pub Date: 6/12/98

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