If you have bought a home from Portland businessman Fred Rich, or his affiliated entities, we have some news for you tonight.
There’s been a settlement in the case between Rich and the Texas Department of Savings and Mortgage Lending.
It’s a story the Troubleshooters have been covering since November 2017.
According to the department, the settlement agreement will quote, ‘benefit certain homeowners in San Patricio and Nueces Counties.’
It’s anticipated that approximately 60 people who bought homes from Rich will receive reductions in balances due or credits for items including late fees, totalling a minimum of $200,000.00 cumulatively.
We reached out to department Commissioner Caroline Jones for an explanation of exactly which homeowners will realize these benefits.
“So the list is for people who are currently making payments to him on loans he originated. And it doesn’t matter how far back that is.”
The commissioner adds the list will be subject to third party and department verification.
But first, Rich has to pay the department a $100,000.00 administrative penalty immediately.
And if Rich doesn’t provide the credits, he will be assessed an additional $350,000.00 penalty.
And if he continues engaging in any more unlicensed residential loan activity on seller-financed homes over the next 3 years, he’ll face an additional penalty of more than half-a -million-dollars from the department.
Following a 2015 investigation into Rich’s unlicensed residential mortgage loan activity, the Department of Savings and Mortgage Lending fined him and ordered him to stop.
Then in November 2017, the department claimed Rich violated the order again, and was facing millions in fines.
But now both sides have agreed to the settlement.
The Troubleshooters have reached out to Rich’s attorney for a response to this agreement, but he has not returned our call.