TAMPA — A farm is suing AgSouth Farm Credit ACA, citing alleged fraud and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

James N. Hough, Gena G. Hough and Whitfield Farms LLC have filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida against AgSouth Farm Credit alleging that the credit union breached its duty of good faith and fair dealing.

According to the complaint, the plaintiffs allege that on June 7, 2006, James N. Hough, Gena G. Hough and Whitfield Farms took out a fixed rate note in the amount of $1,268,636 with the defendant to create a timber farm, with final payment to be paid on June 1, 2026. The loan was satisfied on March 20, 2010; however, in February 2014, the plaintiffs received a demand letter to apply for refinancing for the remainder of the loan at $400,000 or face foreclosure. Upon examination of the incomplete documents provided by the defendant, including a fixed rate note, the plaintiffs noticed that it affixed their forged signature and was signed from a branch they have never been to. Furthermore, some important documents pertaining to the Houghs' farm plan were noticeably missing.

The plaintiffs hold AgSouth Farm Credit responsible because the defendant allegedly issued a false instrument with an intent to defraud plaintiffs and create legal liability and induced plaintiffs to liquidate assets to pay off the debt that did not exist.

The plaintiffs request a trial by jury and seek judgment against defendant, actual, compensatory and treble damages, and other relief that the court deems just. They are represented by John R. Philips of John R. Philips PA in Tampa.

U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida Case number 16-cv-03066

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U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida
401 West Central Boulevard
Orlando, FL - 32801

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