Desperate Times for African-American Land Crimes Victim
It’s getting down to the wire and Sam Mims is getting desperate. Mims says he is the victim of what appears to be a long-standing conspiracy to run him off of his ranch—by any means necessary.
It all began when Sam and his brother, two African-American children borne of share-cropping parents, decided to purchase property from two retiring white land owners and go into the ranching/farm business. After successfully purchasing their properties, the two brothers reportedly became two of the largest black property owners in Delta County, Texas.
Mims says he was discouraged from the project from the very beginning. He was told over and over that no matter what he did, he was never going to be able to hold on to the land. He has accused the local Farm Services Administration agency of a variety of illegal and improper actions, including illegally forcing him to accept a supervised loan (which by definition is available to farmers in financial distress, which was not his situation.)
Farm activists say once he received the supervised loan, that knocked him out of the running for receiving other non-high risk financing. This was one more nail in a coffin, which was slowly taking shape around him, as his choice of financing sources was limited to the local agency, which was fraught with local politics, racism and cronyism.
In his most paranoid moments, he wonders whether his “marriage” was a set up, because the government farm program official told him that he had to be married to his live-in girlfriend in order to get the loan. The roof fell in on the young rancher when his girlfriend-cum-wife obtained a divorce, and in the process, the judge ordered the property sold to satisfy her divorce settlement.
Now, this is where things really become nasty. Prior to the divorce, the situation had deteriorated to the point where it may have been a good idea for the couple to become paranoid, in mere self-defense. Mims says a years’ long campaign of subtle threats to himself, and an ongoing campaign on part of local FSA personnel to get his wife to persuade him to sell went a long way to convince his wife to get out of the marriage and ranching as well.
According to a local real estate broker who is familiar with both the political environment and the real estate market in the area, while Mims is sitting on a real estate gold mine; he is also standing in the middle of a toxic nest of racism, which includes alleged Klan activity.
As one of two blacks, who own a good chunk of valuable real estate in the county, Mims was something the Old Guard didn’t want to tolerate. Social racism and institutional racism combined for an explosive cocktail of incendiary, mostly illegal transactions, which include many government officials in the county, according to Mims and his real estate broker.
There are so many irregularities, that one investor who was contacted by Mims’ real estate broker to invest, bowed out of the deal all together. Those irregularities include the reported advertisement of the property for sale in a September issue of a Texas real estate publication, long before the judge’s November order of a sale.
Vandalism, intimidation and subtle threats soon escalated into the killing of about 30 head of cattle on his property. In a statement to his broker, Mr. Mims believes the cattle killing was a direct result of his failure to “cull cattle” as ordered by an FSA official.
At the center of these atrocities is money, lots of money. His real estate agent says “His property is prime land and set to be potential lake front property when and if (sic) the two proposed water supplies for the Metroplex are built.” In just three years, his property values have skyrocketed from $260,000 to $554,000, and this is before the first pipeline for the water facility has even been laid.
To add insult to his numerous human rights injuries, Mims says the forced sale of his property at below market value to a buyer in the Real Estate industry speaks of possible collusion and massive illegalities from the local courts, farm loan officials all the way down to the real estate professionals who reportedly stand to make a killing in the deal.
According to Mr. Mims and his real estate broker, the following actions on part of local officials need to be investigated:
- Mr. Mims did not receive executed documentation regarding his case in court to know where he stood and depended on his own research at the court house to find out where he stood.
- Mr. Mims’ property was advertised for sale by The Glenn Group in Frisco, Texas in the Texas Real Estate Magazine PRIOR to the judge ordering the property sold without Mr. Mims’ knowledge or Approval. Even more troubling are allegations that his former wife’s attorney also allegedly owns the title company where the escrow is opened and allegedly gave permission to the Glenn Group to advertise the property.
- Mims says the Farm Services agent forced a restructure of his loan without (it) being in delinquent state which put him in a position to keep from getting refinancing.
- Approximately 30 had of cattle have been shot and killed since his loan was restructured, and, according to Mims, this directly corresponds to loan documentation regarding possible failure and a conversation ordering Mims to “cull cattle…”
- “USDA Farm Services conduct may have been a negative influence resulting in a downward spiral [culminating] in the potential loss of property, not to mention any duress and stress Mr. Mims has had to endure.
The real estate agent that Mims is working with fears for the financial stability of other farmers in the region. She says, “I am also concerned about potential Farm Services action towards (sic) other farmers and how those actions may create similar issues for our farmers and growers and clearly see how our US Congress may need to review such cases, beginning with this one.”
The clock is ticking. His land is scheduled to be sold Friday, August 10th.