You have probably heard all about home solar panels- go green to save the earth, with no money down, and pay almost nothing on your electric bill. It sounds like a no-brainer if you are a homeowner to use clean energy to cut back on your electric bill.
With over 11,000 solar panel companies nationwide, the ease and availability of equipping your home with panels are unending. Homeowners can pay cash, take out solar loans, and use solar leasing. We are going to look at one specific funding option known as PACE
PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy)
PACE loans are increasing rapidly throughout Florida. PACE loans are a low-cost, long-term financing option for homeowners. Through the PACE program, homeowners can purchase energy-efficient equipment through a non-ad valorem assessment that is repaid through the homeowner’s annual tax bill. There is no upfront cost for the homeowner, but a lien is then placed on the property equaling the value of the improvements, then assessed and added to the future property taxes. There are some considerations and concerns surrounding the program.
With these PACE programs, the lenders are not thoroughly looking at the owner’s financial ability to repay these loans. They are m looking at your history of re-paying your mortgage and the equity in your home.
PACE Providers have not been upfront in explaining that the lien placed will likely inhibit any additional bank financing while the lien is still on the property. Lenders are rightfully concerned because the lien can potentially impair their rights as the lienholder. Certain banks will not back mortgages that currently have a PACE lien against them.
Sale of Property
If the property is sold, the lien may need to be repaid in full before the home is sold.
The PACE loan providers slickly gloss over the details and critical implications of agreeing to the loan. In their agreement, PACE states that they have a right to foreclose upon their investment if there is a failure to pay. Therefore PACE can take the property away from the homeowner.
The PACE program does not install the solar panels themselves. They hire contractors, which does not guarantee that the contractor is reputable or responsible. There have been several circumstances where the contractor does not complete the project correctly or even walks away from the project, and the homeowner is still liable for the lien on their home.
Let our experienced and dedicated attorneys at the Florida Construction Law Group help you with any questions or issues you may have surrounding the Florida PACE program or its loans.