The Trouble With PACE Loans
Elementary school students in South Florida do not have to travel very far to appreciate nature in all its splendor. A school field trip to the Everglades costs nothing; you can travel there and back within school hours and still have time to see mangrove trees, anhingas, and more alligators than you can count. Then, when the lessons about the environmental crisis come, it is obvious to fourth graders what they stand to lose if they do not protect the environment. South Florida parents remember seeing Florida’s natural wonders when they were children and wishing for their children to see the same wondrous landscapes one day. Once you are old enough to have children, though, you care less about the majestic wading birds and the sawgrass swaying in the breeze and more about scraping together enough money for the minimum payments the next time the bills come due. Rich people may build energy efficient homes to help conserve the environment, but the 99 percent do it to save money. Of course, upgrading your home appliances to more energy efficient ones is not cheap, and a program designed to help Florida homeowners do just that has attracted plenty of criticism, while worsening the financial situation of the people it claimed to help. If you are suffering from the consequences of taking out a PACE loan, contact a Boca Raton debt lawyer.
What Are PACE Loans?
PACE stands for property assessed clean energy, and it is a program offered in Florida, Missouri, and California. Participating homeowners can upgrade their home appliances to more energy efficient ones or install solar panels and can pay through these upgrades with PACE loans. The installment payments are billed as part of the homeowners’ property tax bills which, once the PACE loan installments are added, quickly become unaffordable. The program is controversial in all of the states where it is available, mostly because PACE loans are exempt from the Truth in Lending Act. Therefore, they do not require credit checks, and there are few federal or state regulations about disclosures that lenders must make to borrowers.
How South Florida Counties Deal With PACE Loans
Florida counties have dealt with the havoc caused by PACE loans in various ways. Collier County has banned them outright, as have Hernando and Hillsborough Counties. Palm Beach County has enacted mandatory disclosures. Broward County has imposed limits on the prices that lenders are allowed to charge for the appliances and home improvements they implement. Miami-Dade County requires information about PACE loans to be available in English, Spanish, and Haitian Creole. These regulations only went into effect after PACE loans had landed numerous Florida homeowners in serious financial trouble.
Work With a Debt Lawyer to Undo the Damage Caused by PACE Loans
A South Florida debt lawyer can help you if you took out a risky loan to make home ownership more affordable, but it only made your financial problems worse. Contact Nowack & Olson, PLLC in Boca Raton, Florida to discuss your case.