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Rubio, Cotton, Boozman Introduce Legislation to Ensure Fair Treatment for American Homeowners

Apr 5, 2017 | Press Releases

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Tom Cotton (R-AR), and John Boozman (R-AR) will today introduce the Protecting Americans from Credit Exploitation (PACE) Act, legislation that would require disclosure for Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) loans that target low-income and elderly Americans with predatory home loans. Specifically, this bill would require Truth in Lending Act (TILA) disclosure for anyone attempting to peddle PACE loans.

“Residential PACE loans should have to play by the same rules as other forms of home financing,” said Rubio. “Americans deserve clear, straightforward policies from their government, not hidden political favors. Our legislation would address this and help provide the transparency necessary to create real consumer choice.”

“Residential PACE loans are a scam,” said Cotton. “Predatory green-energy lenders are changing state and local laws to trick seniors into taking out high-interest rate loans for 20 years, along with liens on their homes, for technology that could be obsolete in a few years. Today, these loans are exempt from the same disclosure forms required for other home loans. Our bill will fix this. Requiring disclosure will reduce the advantage that PACE loan sharks have over hard-working Americans.  It’s just the accountability we need.”

“We must provide homeowners with the information they need to protect themselves so they don’t risk financial ruin because of their participation in the PACE loan program,” said Boozman. “I’m proud to support this legislation to prevent borrowers from being taken advantage of.”

PACE loans are a financing program that allows homeowners to pay for solar panels or other housing improvements through a lien paid back through property tax payments. The loans require no underwriting, have high fees, and rates of eight to 12 percent for 20 years for solar panels or other housing improvements that may be obsolete in a few years. PACE lenders receive first priority of repayment, in conjunction with property taxes, before mortgage brokers. Currently, there is no standardized rate or fee disclosure required for PACE loans and the CFPB has never clarified whether these loans fall outside TILA.