OF JUDGMENT: 09/16/2015
COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, HON. WILLIAM A. GOWAN JR., TRIAL JUDGE
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: PAUL E. ROGERS
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE: JOHN L. MAXEY II WILLIAM HOLCOMB
HUSSEY ELLIOTT VAUN HALLER
Alan David Ryan appeals from an order of the Hinds County
Circuit Court, First Judicial District, affirming an order of
the Mississippi Real Estate Commission (MREC) revoking his
real estate broker's license. We affirm.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Ryan became a licensed real estate broker in Mississippi in
1987. In 2003, he purchased a home in Woodville and executed
a deed of trust on the home in favor of Concordia Bank &
Trust Company. Shortly thereafter, Ryan began renting the
home to Nathaniel Myers for $275 per month.
On or about January 1, 2004, Ryan entered into a handwritten
"lease to own" agreement with Myers. The agreement
provided that Myers would rent the home for $325 per month
and that title to the property would be transferred to Myers
by warranty deed once he had made 120 monthly rent payments.
The agreement stated that Myers's rent would cover taxes,
interest, and insurance on the home. Myers's cousin,
Eliza Broadway, signed the agreement on Myers's behalf
and as a witness. Broadway signed for Myers because Myers is
mentally challenged and cannot read or write. Broadway
testified that Ryan told her that she could sign the
agreement for Myers and encouraged her to do so because the
agreement would enable Myers to purchase the property for
only $50 per month more than he was paying in ordinary rent.
Myers made payments as required by the contract for 120
consecutive months. His payments are documented by copies of
receipts in the record. However, at the end of the ten-year
lease period, Ryan refused to transfer the property by
warranty deed. Broadway testified that Ryan told her that
Myers needed to make four more payments before he could
obtain title. Broadway made those four additional payments in
January, February, March, and April 2014. She testified that
she did so because she was concerned that Myers would lose
his home. But Ryan still refused to transfer the property to
According to Broadway, Ryan then claimed that he still owed
$16, 000 on his mortgage and refused to transfer the property
to Myers unless she first paid him $16, 000 and reimbursed
him for another $10, 000 in taxes and expenses. Broadway
refused to pay Ryan any additional money. In April 2014, Ryan
persuaded Broadway to sign a handwritten
"amendment" to the January 1, 2004 lease-to-own
agreement. This document stated that the original agreement
was "void, " "no longer in force, "
"cancelled, " and "not . . . binding."
The document further stated, "Ryan is no longer bound to
[the 2004] agreement[;] he is free and clear of all
obligation to that contract." In place of the original
lease-to-own agreement, Ryan had Broadway sign a new
agreement that entitled Myers to live in the home rent-free
for ten years but did not provide for any transfer of title
to him. The new agreement stated that Myers would be
responsible for utilities (as he always had been), while Ryan
would continue to make payments to Concordia and pay taxes
and insurance on the home.
¶6. Ryan maintains that he told Broadway from the outset
of their discussions in 2003 that Myers's payments would
not be sufficient to pay off the mortgage and that a balloon
payment would be due in 2014, which Myers would have to pay
in order to obtain title to the property. However, at the
hearing before the MREC, Ryan admitted that his claim was
inconsistent with the terms of the parties' lease-to-own
agreement, which did not mention a mortgage or any additional
payment by Myers. Moreover, Broadway denied that Ryan ever
mentioned a mortgage or any additional payment until the end
of the ten-year lease term.
On April 30, 2014, Broadway filed a complaint against Ryan
with the MREC. After investigating Broadway's
allegations, the MREC filed a formal complaint against Ryan.
The complaint alleged that Ryan violated Mississippi Code
Annotated section 73-35-21(1), paragraphs (a) and (m) (Rev.
2012),  which authorize the MREC to suspend or
revoke a broker's license if it finds that the broker
made "any substantial misrepresentation in connection
with a real estate transaction" or engaged in any other
conduct that "constitutes or demonstrates bad faith,
incompetency, untrustworthiness, or dishonest, fraudulent or
improper dealing." The complaint also alleged that ...