09/25/2018

The Controversy Surrounding a Fast-Growing Clean Energy Loan Program

By the numbers, the home loan program PACE
— or property assessed clean energy — is one of
the most successful tools for helping property
owners pay for otherwise expensive clean energy
and environmental upgrades. PACE loans
have shot up by more than one-third over the
past year alone, to more than $4.6 billion.
Despite that, two governments in California
abruptly shut down their PACE programs last
summer, citing concerns from mortgage lenders
and realtors. Lenders have issues with the fact
that PACE loans get repayment priority — before
the mortgage — and real estate agents say
it’s harder to sell a property with a PACE loan
attached.

Kern County and the county’s seat, Bakersfield,
decided to stop issuing PACE loans even as the
state was in the process of passing legislation
that imposes stricter loan standards and requires
new regulations to protect borrowers from deceptive
financial practices.

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