BALTIMORE - They had one of the oldest contracting licenses in the state, number 49 out of more than 23,000. But as of this moment, Welsh Construction Remodeling can no longer do business in Maryland. A state agency says they may be on the verge of bankruptcy, indicating they've heard from customers, suppliers and subcontractors concerned about the decades old company going under.
The parking lot of the east Baltimore business that dates back to the 1950s was packed Friday afternoon. We saw people sitting inside the office on Monument Street, but it appears they can do little else. Michael Vorgetts, Acting Commission for Occupational and Professional Licensing in Maryland's Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, says, "The company can no longer work in Maryland at this time."
Welsh and its employees are stuck in limbo because the license holder for the company, Alexander Barabash, handed in his license yesterday to the Maryland Home Improvement Commission, effectively shutting them down. Since then Vorgetts says they've fielded calls from consumers who claim they paid for work they didn't get, "We are telling them to be mindful of this company, that they may be on the verge of insolvency and that we are here to help."
Consumers who have experienced a problem with Welsh can file a complaint with the agency, making them eligible for payments from the state's Guaranty Fund. Consumers can get as much as $20,000 in restitution for real losses, although the state caps damages against a single contractor at $100,000.
Vorgetts says MHIC is prepared to deal with consumers who may come forward as the Welsh situation unfolds. He tells ABC2, "We will react as quickly as we can and process any complaints emanating from this company's potential demise as quickly as possible."
According to Vorgetts, Welsh can honor any contracts signed while they were unlicensed but the company cannot offer new work until a license is obtained. He says it's possible a licensed contractor within the company can come forward on its behalf to get them back in business.
ABC2 contacted Alexander Barabash, who is also the licensed contractor listed with another company, Master Builder Incorporated. He did not respond to our requests for comment. Welsh Construction Remodeling is owned by Joseph Meyerhoff, II. We contacted him for comment as well but did not hear back.
Consumers looking to file a complaint regarding Welsh Construction Remodeling can call MHIC at 410-230-6309.