Stop Predatory Solar Companies from Taking Advantage of American Families!
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We need your help to stop fraudulent companies from taking advantage of hard-working American families. This petition is on behalf of an American (and Military) family that has been victimized by a fraudulent solar company that knowingly entered into unconsionable contracts with them, promising savings that never materialized and threatening financial harm in response to reasonable requests to terminate their contract. These companies need to understand that treating American families unfairly, especially those in the military, is not something that will be tolerated. They need to be held accountable for their predatory practices and those that have invested in these companies need to be investigated to see how many of them knew about these predatory business dealings prior to investing in these companies.
The companies that need to be investigated are: Omnidian, Lease Dimensions, Sungevity, Horizon Solar Power, Solar Spectrum, Catania Solar
The investors in these companies are: Northern Pacific Group, Genpact
It was also presented to this family at the time that they signed-up that they were also affiliated with Lowe's Home Improvement corporation so we are also asking the leadership at Lowe's to end all ties, if there are any, with these companies.
HERE IS WHAT WE WANT TO ACHIEVE:
-Our government, either at the state or federal level, needs to investigate these companies, and their investors, as soon as possible to determine the extent of their unlawful activity. PLEASE WRITE YOUR CONGRESSIONAL REPRESENTATIVES. YOU CAN CUT AND PASTE THIS INTO A LETTER!
-The companies mentioned above need to respond immediately to the family mentioned below and assist, in a reasonable manner, in the termination of their contract.
-The investors and partners of these companies need to be made aware of the unconscionable behavior of the companies in which they are affiliated with.
-We ask that every person that signs this position NOT enter into a contract with any of the companies mentioned above until proper remedial action is taken.
Here is the story from the family directly, written to their Congressional Representative, Mr. Tom MacArthur:
"My family has fallen victim to predatory lending practices that violate not only federal statutes but also New Jersey statutes. Every day I see more solar panels on homes in my neighborhood and I’m worried my neighbors will also be victimized. I’m asking you to take immediate action to initiate investigation into the lending practices of solar panel leasing organizations.
Though I am not a lawyer, I have begun to investigate these practices on behalf of myself and other citizens. Based upon my initial investigation, our solar leasing company, Sungevity, violated US Code Title 15, Chapter 41, Statute 1667a - Consumer Lease Disclosure; The New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act; and the Federal Trade Commission Act, 15 USC 45.
To make it personal - my husband, a United States Marine,
is being transferred by his employer in December. As part of that transfer, we are required to sell our home. The relocation company will not move forward with our relocation purchase until the solar panels on our home are either removed or we are given a contract that will allow us to own them outright (continuation of the existing lease is not an option).
We leased these solar panels in 2011. We were told we were protecting ourselves against 6% rising energy rates, that we would save about $10,000 over the life of the lease, and that if we ever had to move it would be no problem. We were told the lease would be easily assumable by a buyer or we could pay off the contract and have them removed. We were told the company was trustworthy because it was a partner of Lowe’s. With these things in mind, we decided to do what we thought was best for the environment and go solar.
Six years into the lease, the savings promised have not materialized. Our solar company, Sungevity, went bankrupt and its successor companies, Omnidian and Lease Dimensions, have failed to live up to their end of the bargain with clients, failing to monitor our systems and being unreachable for weeks at a time. Finding out the payoff amount for our system involved a great deal of research, as all the contact information on my bill is inaccurate. When I was informed of the amount needed to get out of our lease, it was $18,000. When I asked them to explain their numbers because that seemed off (Max over 15 years was $22,000), they DOUBLED the amount in retaliation! Now they say we have to give them $36,000 whether we remove the panels from our house or keep them there. Thats $14,000 more than the maximum amount I was supposed to pay over the life of the entire lease!
This company knows we must resolve this before we move and they are being intentionally inflexible, though they themselves urged me to “make an offer” and made it clear they didn’t have the wherewithal to remove the panels from my roof at this time. I’ve consulted with an attorney who believes it is in my best interests to negotiate with the company since I don’t have time to waste. However, he does believe their violation of 15 USC 41 to be very clear.
I’m hoping that our State and Federal Legislators will look further into this situation and put legislation in force to protect all future victims of these practices as well as to look for a way to help past victims, like ourselves, who are already in leases whose terms violate the laws created to protect consumers. Please don’t let these corporations with their promises of environmental impact and monetary savings be the ones who benefit from Americans going solar at the expense of American consumers.
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