AUSTIN – On July 7, Attorney General Ken Paxton announced the entry of a $900,000 agreed judgment against Pearland developer Richard J. Burns in connection with his sale of property in an illegal Caldwell County subdivision known as Century Oak Estates.
The state’s lawsuit against Burns included allegations that he engaged in unlawful conduct in the sale of lots in Century Oak.
Burns deceptively represented that lots were fit for residential use when in fact some were in flood plains, others had illegal septic tanks, and purchasers were unable to obtain building permits because Century Oak Estates was an unplatted and unrecorded subdivision, which had never been approved by Caldwell County, according to a press release.
The judgment bars Burns from engaging in similar deceptive sales practices and prohibits him from acting as a residential mortgage loan originator without a license as required by the Texas Finance Code. Burns is also prohibited from engaging in contract for deed financing without complying with the requirements of the Texas Property Code.
The judgment further establishes a refund program to be implemented by an independent third party settlement administrator who will provide notices to eligible consumers with details about the program and its options.
Burns is ordered to fully cooperate with the settlement administrator and his failure to cooperate subjects him to a potential penalty of $450,000.
In resolving this case, Paxton worked with Caldwell County District Attorney Fred Weber and also received the cooperation of the Texas Department of Savings and Mortgage Loans.