California AG and FTC Settle Allegations of PACE Program Misconduct

  • California AG Rob Bonta and the FTC settled with Ygrene Energy Fund, Inc., a clean energy financing company, resolving allegations of misconduct relating to its administration of the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program, which provides loans to homeowners to pay for certain types of home-improvement projects, in violation of the FTC Act, the Mortgage Acts and Practices – Advertising Rule, California’s False Advertising Law, and California’s Unfair Competition Law.
  • In a complaint filed in federal court for the Central District of California, AG Bonta and the FTC alleged that Ygrene and its contractors failed to obtain homeowners’ express, informed consent before enrolling them in the PACE program; misrepresented the impact that PACE financing could have on a homeowner’s ability to sell or refinance their home; and electronically signed the financing agreement on behalf of the homeowners without their authorization.
  • The settlement provided for extensive injunctive relief, including prohibiting Ygrene from misrepresenting the implications of PACE financing on the ability to sell a home and from using homes as collateral for a loan without the homeowners’ express, informed consent. It also required Ygrene to implement employee training, provide notices to consumers to obtain their informed consent for PACE financing, and provide regular compliance reports to AG Bonta and FTC, among other things.