Senate clears bill allowing access to fraud investigation information

On a 38-0 vote, the Senate passed SB 1087 by Senator Richard Roth (D-Riverside) to the Assembly, advancing CNPA’s effort to cure anti-transparency legislation passed on the last day of session last year that blocked access to underlying materials used by loan fraud investigators.

The bill amends current law to require the Department of Business Oversight to release information to a public records requester about misconduct by solicitors and agents who lend through the Property Assessed Clean Energy program (PACE). CNPA insisted on the amendments, which overturn a secrecy provision added to law last year.

PACE loans are the subject of much public scrutiny. In April, consumer advocates filed a lawsuit against loan providers and the County of Los Angeles alleging that the PACE program which funds solar panels and other energy-efficient home improvements through local governments is “a ‘plague’ that’s ruined the finances of many borrowers by saddling them with loans they cannot afford,” wrote the Los Angeles Times.

The bill will be heard in the Assembly Banking and Finance Committee in June.