While solar power promises a greener and more sustainable future, a shadowy menace has emerged within the industry – solar panel fraud. These deceptive practices not only undermine the growth of renewable energy but also preys on unsuspecting consumers, particularly targeting vulnerable populations such as elderly victims and disabled veterans. One recent case that has sent shockwaves through the industry involves Vision Solar suddenly shutting its doors,and leaving thousands stranded, while one of its lender, Sunlight Financial, filed for bankruptcy on October 30th of this year.
Solar panel fraud often begins with breach of contract issues. Numerous consumers have found themselves at the mercy of unscrupulous companies, like Vision Solar, who fail to deliver on promised services. From subpar installations to unfulfilled contractual obligations, such breaches not only compromise the effectiveness of solar panels but also erode the trust of consumers seeking an environmentally friendly energy solutions.
The Federal Trade Commission’s Holder Rule provides consumers with the right to cancel certain credit transactions without penalty., and implicates complicit lenders that have poured gasoline on these flames of fraud. Shockingly, these lenders continue to pay no heed to these federal violations and brazenly continue their schemes. This blatant disregard for consumer rights not only damages individuals financially but also tarnishes the reputation of the entire solar industry.
Solar panel fraud doesn’t stop with the companies directly involved; lenders also find themselves liable. Sunlight Financial, Vision Solar’s lender, recently declared bankruptcy, leaving consumers in a precarious situation. Lenders may face legal consequences for their role in financing alleged fraudulent solar ventures, adding financial losses to the growing list of victims, and attempting to collect debts from contracts that were under, or never performed.
In their pursuit of profit, fraudulent solar companies often sidestep or neglect essential permitting processes, constituting a breach of contract or rendering it unenforceable. This not only puts consumers at risk of legal and personal consequences, including but not limited to; liens on their homes, negative credit impact, clouding of deeds and titles, unauthorized automatic withdrawls, and threats that essentially strong arm these victims into handing over extremely large sums of money, at high interest rates, over what is commonly a 25 year period, equating these non-funstional panels to a non-benefitting 2nd mortgage. Not to mention they still have to pay their electric bills.
Perhaps the most egregious aspect of solar panel fraud is the deliberate targeting of vulnerable populations. Many of these companies have been accused of aggressive and deceptive sales tactics aimed at elderly victims and disabled veterans. Promising cost savings, rebates, elimination of current utilities, and environmental benefits, these companies allegedly victimized thousands who believed in a brighter, cleaner future, only to be left in financial distress.
The recent shutdown of Vision Solar and the subsequent lawsuits by various Attorney Generals and The Joshua S. Horton Law Firm, PA, have brought the issue to the forefront, with the help of some investigative journalists, such as Danielle Daros at CBS12 in South Florida, a sunny place for shady people. These legal actions highlight the severity of the allegations against Vision Solar and others, and serve as a warning to other fraudulent entities within the industry.
Solar panel fraud is a grave threat to the credibility and growth of the renewable energy sector. By exposing breach of contract issues, FTC Holder Rule violations, lender liability, and the exploitation of vulnerable populations, we can work towards a cleaner, more transparent solar industry. The collapse of Vision Solar and the bankruptcy of Sunlight Financial underscore the need for rigorous regulation and consumer protection measures to ensure that the promise of renewable energy remains untarnished and accessible to all.
If you or someone you know has been a victim, go to www.solarpanelfraud.com