A housing developer and mortgage lender from Texas has been accused of deliberately targeting the Hispanic community in the Houston area. They allegedly offered loans to individuals who could not afford them, sold them dilapidated land, and exploited language barriers.
The federal lawsuit filed on Wednesday claims that Colony Ridge Development, LLC and its affiliated companies engaged in a predatory lending scheme that included foreclosures as a regular part of their business strategy.
The Justice Department filed a lawsuit against the developers on Wednesday for their involvement in over 40,000 lots spanning 33,000 acres. This is the first time civil rights prosecutors have taken action against predatory mortgage lending in the United States.
According to investigators, Colony Ridge used Spanish-language advertisements on TikTok and other social media sites to attract thousands of potential buyers from the Hispanic community. These ads falsely claimed that the land came with utility connections, but in reality, it did not. Additionally, some of the land sold by Colony Ridge was susceptible to flooding and raw sewage runoff.