PACE Program Causing Some Homeowners to Lose Homes

We’re sharing this recent article from the San Joaquin Valley Sun newspaper, Special Financing for Solar Projects Proves Sticky for Valley Residents

The Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing program gives homeowners an opportunity to finance solar panels, as well as other energy-efficient improvements, for their homes with little to no up-front costs. Instead, the costs of these new construction/improvements are added to the home’s property tax. But because this will increase a home’s mortgage payments or annual property taxes, it may cause the owner to be unable to pay for their mortgage. Read more about its benefits and how some cities are opting out of the program.

Because these PACE loans are tied to the property and not the borrower’s credit, more consumers will qualify. But it doesn’t mean these borrowers can afford the increased mortgages. To help protect some, California now requires evaluations of the property owner/borrower’s ability to pay. This is critical, as some homeowners who could not afford the increased property tax with the PACE loan have lost their homes. The loan is a “super lien,” in front of the mortgage.  

Remember to always verify that a PACE lender is licensed with the Department of Business Oversight (DBO) before you sign any PACE contract. You may also check on a contractor’s license by calling the Contractors State License Board at 1-800-321-2752.

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