April 13, 2024

Homeowner’s loan paid off after News 6 investigation exposes issues

ORLANDO, Fla. – A proposed law designed to protect consumers from getting into a home improvement loan they cannot afford is awaiting the governor’s signature.

HB 927 and SB 770 won approval last legislative session.

They are duplicate bills in the Florida House and Senate designed to establish safeguards for consumers applying for a Property Assessed Clean Energy loan – or PACE loan.

PACE loans are often the loan of last resort for homeowners who may not earn enough to qualify for a second mortgage or home equity loan.

They are also taken out by some homeowners who have poor credit.

But the legislation is too late for two Central Florida homeowners who found themselves fighting their lenders.

Angela Wiley took out a loan for more than $15,000 from the Florida PACE Funding Agency.

WATCH: Tax Collectors issue warning about PACE Loans

She had insulation installed in her attic, and she purchased a new high-efficiency air conditioner.

She did not know she was past due until News 6 showed up at her front door informing her she was about to lose the home she was able to purchase 34 years ago with the help of Habitat for Humanity.

“I could have lost it in the blink of an eye,” she said.

After News 6 investigated, an anonymous viewer contacted her and paid off her entire loan amount.

“I was shocked,” Wiley told News 6. “I was crying crocodile tears like, this is not happening. This can’t be, and I even asked her, ‘Are you sure? You sure it’s not a scam?’ She says, ‘No.’”

News 6 also got results for a couple in Brevard County.

Rick and Cathy Yerkes secured a PACE loan from Ygrene Energy to replace their roof and install a new air conditioner.

WATCH: Clean energy lender runs out of money after Melbourne couple installed new air conditioner

They said after the air conditioning was installed, Ygrene pulled out of Florida, and the company did not pay the installer.

That resulted in the contractor putting a lien on their home.

After News 6 investigated, Ygrene contacted the Yerkes to remedy the situation.

“I don’t think this ever would have gotten resolved without you guys helping me,” Rick Yerkes told News 6.

As part of the settlement with the Yerkes, Ygrene wrote the couple needed to tell News 6 the matter was settled and the contractor was paid.

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