by Lisa Sorg
We were out of the office yesterday when D.R. Horton began returning mineral rights to homeowners in the Triangle.
A quick update in case you missed it: The deed corrections are being issued—47 and counting in Durham County alone. The one attached here includes the language that the rights "were inadvertently saved, excepted and reserved" by D.R. Horton. (Our emphasis.) unfracking.deed.pdf
It's incredulous that D.R. Horton, one of the nation's largest homebuilders, "inadvertently" granted mineral rights to 426 Triangle properties to its subsidiary, DRH Energy, but that's how the deed correction reads.
Another deed correction, however, does not include that clause. fracking.redacted.pdf
We have not seen deeds in which DRH Energy has returned mineral rights to homeowners.
The Indy reported on April 4 that D.R. Horton had stripped homeowners of their mineral rights—in some cases without the homeowners full understanding or knowledge of the ramifications of the deal. Many lenders and financial institutions won't back mortgages if the property doesn't include the mineral rights.
Last week the N.C. Attorney General's office asked D.R. Horton for additional information about its disclosure policy. Additional information is expected to be included in the consumer protection portion of a fracking report due to the Legislature next month.