Hillsborough County Launches PACE Loan Program; Commissioner Says “Unethical” Practices Cannot Be Cured
TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The controversial PACE program is being rolled out in Hillsborough County after years of complaints from homeowners about loans they can’t afford tied to their property taxes.
The Hillsborough County commission was supposed to discuss ways to protect consumers at the commission’s meeting last week. But President Les Miller says he’s had enough and has decided to sever ties with PACE altogether. Other committees, which have also filed complaints, have accepted.
Miller says the last straw was a letter he received about a poor woman in his district who he says has been misled into a financial nightmare.
“The air conditioner turned off, they stuck something on her door, came to see her, told her they could fix her air conditioner, install it without any permit, and charged her $ 16,000 to air condition her house. just over 800 square feet. , then added something to his tax bill that amounted to an additional $ 13,000, ”Miller said. “Then she couldn’t pay the tax bill. It was just totally, totally wrong.
The PACE program sounds great. Homeowners can get energy efficient upgrades like windows, roofs, air conditioners or solar power. There is no down payment and payments are spread over years of property tax bills.
For years, however, county governments have filed complaints from homeowners who accuse contractors of inflating prices and using PACE to line their pockets. PACE Lenders claim the program is useful for homeowners who need repairs they cannot otherwise afford and that PACE has a bad reputation because of a few bad contractors.
8 From Your Side and Better Call Behnken told you about homeowners who have been left with bad PACE business for years. Some complain about simple projects costing them four times what they would have cost if they had hired another contractor and paid in cash.
Some homeowners end up with liens on their homes. Some complain that the work was of poor quality, carried out without a permit or not completed.
Contractors can still sell PACE jobs in other counties in the Tampa Bay area, and it is recommended that you clearly understand your contract before signing it and get multiple quotes so you know you’re getting a fair price.