Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has sued the Colony Ridge development in Liberty County for deceptive trade practices, fraud in real estate transactions, and other violations of Texas and federal law.

Colony Ridge is a sprawling real estate development northeast of Houston that has expanded quickly in recent years. In an October 2023 letter to Members of the United States Congress and fellow Texas leadership, Attorney General Paxton noted that the development’s rapid growth has presented major problems. He wrote, “The development appears to be attracting and enabling illegal alien settlement in the state of Texas and distressing neighboring cities and school districts.”

A monthslong investigation by the Office of the Attorney General found that the developer has made numerous false, misleading, and deceptive sales, marketing, and lending practices that enabled their business model.

“Colony Ridge’s business model is predicated on churning land purchasers through a foreclosure mill,” the lawsuit explains. “Namely, Colony Ridge targets foreign born and Hispanic consumers with limited or no access to credit with promises of cheap, ready to build land and financing without proof of income.” Additionally, Colony Ridge misrepresents the conditions of the land and community which often does not have the promised infrastructure such as sewer, water, or electricity. Once discovered, these conditions preclude the buyer from making practical use of the land.

Colony Ridge then forecloses on the buyer and re-possesses the land before selling the same plots to others who are deceived with the same set of misrepresentations. Among other things, former employees of Colony Ridge have represented that the company instructed them to avoid selling to customers who could speak English or who did not appear to be of Latino or Hispanic heritage. The predatory practices of Colony Ridge have led to a foreclosure rate 50 times greater than the 2023 national average.

“Colony Ridge has been flagrantly violating Texas law. The development profited from targeting consumers with fraudulent claims and predatory lending practices” said Attorney General Paxton. “Their deceptive practices have created unjust and outsized harms. Nearby communities have borne a tremendous cost for the scheme that made Colony Ridge’s developers a fortune.”

To read the filing, click here.