The Maryland attorney general’s office has entered into a settlement with affiliated companies that allegedly misled consumers to entice them into buying property near Deep Creek Lake in Western Maryland, reports The Baltimore Sun, which added:
“Deep Creek Mountain Land Co. LLC, NLP of Maryland and Harry Patten faced allegations that they placed ads offering new log cabins and plots of land near Deep Creek Lake for as little as $119,000 but didn’t disclose that the price only included partially completed cabins or a kit with materials to build a cabin, and that it would cost more than $200,000 to complete a home.
“The attorney general’s office also alleged that another advertising campaign offered buyers “lake access” with a free boat and boat slip, but in fact offered property miles from the lake and a dry slip in a marina parking lot costing more than $1,900 to access.
“The office also alleged that the companies never registered with the Home Builder Registration Unit in the attorney general’s office and that the companies displayed a home builder registration number of another home builder.
“The companies are affiliates of Massachusetts-based National Land Partners LLC, according to websites for the company, which was founded and is owned by Harry Patten and his family. Calls and emails to the company were not returned.
“The settlement requires the companies to change their advertising practices, arbitrate any consumer complaints through the office’s free arbitration program and pay $19,000 each to consumers who signed on to the free boat and boat slip offer. The companies must also pay $200,000 in civil penalties and $10,000 for the costs of the office’s investigation.”