Colony Ridge Appears To Maintain Marketing Strategy After DOJ Lawsuit For Predatory Lending

 Colony Ridge, the sprawling land development northeast of Houston, Texas that’s become a magnet for illegal immigrants, appears to have made no change to its marketing strategy that targets the Spanish-speaking population with no proof of credit with land offers, even after the Department of Justice sued the developers for “predatory” practices.

The embattled land development, which covers about 60 square miles and is estimated to be home to anywhere from 50,000 to 75,000 people, came under fire from the DOJ and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) when the two entities came together to announce a joint lawsuit against Colony Ridge.

But despite the lawsuit from the two federal entities, which specifically alleges that the development “churns through borrowers in a cycle of foreclosure,” Colony Ridge has continued marketing to potential buyers in Spanish, telling them that they can buy without credit checks to fulfill their dream of owning property in the United States.

Colony Ridge is so insistent on informing potential buyers that their creditworthiness will not be checked that it states “no necesita crédito,” translated to “no credit needed,” in its Instagram account bio.

“Land without credit,” one Instagram ad, posted less than a month after the DOJ and CFPB reads. The caption comes alongside a video of one of Colony Ridge’s employees dancing while a sentence in Spanish says, “When the client realizes it is not a lie that we do not ask for credit so that they can buy land with us.” The post is hashtagged “EstadosUnidos.

Paired with exclusively Spanish advertisements that encourage buyers to “own land in the United States,” Colony Ridge has been blasted by public officials for “enabling illegal alien settlement” in America and “enticingdesperate foreign populations to the United States with the promise of low-cost no-question property.”

The advertisements mirror ones highlighted in The Daily Wire’s initial investigation of Colony Ridge, which found that the development’s loan operations largely rely on Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers, a form of identification that pro-illegal immigrant groups have heralded as a “powerful tool” for illegal immigrants who lack Social Security numbers.

The lawsuit from the DOJ and the CFPB specifically alleges that Colony Ridge developers William “Trey” Harris and his brother John Harris are “operating an illegal land sales scheme and targeting tens of thousands of Hispanic borrowers with false statements and predatory loans,” even selling plots of land that lack electrical, water, or sewer infrastructure and that are prone to flooding.

The DOJ also explained in a press conference that it would be warning potential customers against buying land at Colony Ridge. But the marketing campaign has carried on unchanged.

“Your dream of being an owner starts with us,” boasts another recent Instagram ad from Colony Ridge, which also goes by the name “Terrenos Houston,” before noting that potential buyers can qualify “sin crédito,” or “without credit.” The ad came after the federal lawsuit.

“Why not have your own home? In Terrenos Houston, it’s very easy and no credit needed,” another advertisement, translated from Spanish, reads, while yet another states, “credit-free lands.”

Other social media advertisements emphasize that buyers can “achieve your dream of being an owner in the United States,” along with the hashtag “EstadosUnidos.”

While Colony Ridge frequently advertises that it does not check people’s credit, the development has received heavy criticism for its foreclosure rate, with the Houston Landing reporting that nearly half of the 35,000 properties it has sold have ended up back in the development’s hands as buyers are charged a 12.9% interest rate.

The revelations come as illegal immigration hits record highs, with Customs and Border Patrol apprehending over 5.8 million illegal immigrants since the start of Joe Biden’s presidency, with another 1.7 million estimated gotaways who made it into the United States without apprehension.

The development was the subject of two Texas special legislative session calls by Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who previously received a combined $1.5 million from developer Trey Harris and his wife. The special sessions ultimately resulted in $40 million being allocated to the Texas Department of Public Safety to patrol the development,

But now Colony Ridge is also facing increased federal scrutiny. The Daily Wire confirmed that Colony Ridge is being investigated by the Environmental Protection Agency while the New York Post reported that the development is also facing investigations from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Army Corps of Engineers, and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

While the nature of the investigations is not known, The Daily Wire published an investigation in December revealing that a government board associated with Colony Ridge awarded over $16 million in taxpayer funds to a paving company with ties to the developer.

Representatives for Colony Ridge did not respond to requests for comment.

Colony Ridge Appears To Maintain Marketing Strategy After DOJ Lawsuit For Predatory Lending Colony Ridge Appears To Maintain Marketing Strategy After DOJ Lawsuit For Predatory Lending Reviewed by Your Destination on January 11, 2024 Rating: 5

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