Bill Text: CA AB2150 | 2017-2018 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: California Financing Law: Property Assessed Clean Energy program: commissioner composite report.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2018-02-13 - From printer. May be heard in committee March 15. [AB2150 Detail]

Download: California-2017-AB2150-Introduced.html


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 2150


Introduced by Assembly Member Chen

February 12, 2018


An act to amend Section 22687 of the Financial Code, relating to financial institutions.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2150, as introduced, Chen. California Financing Law: Property Assessed Clean Energy program: commissioner composite report.
Existing law, the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program, authorizes public agency officials and property owners, as provided, to enter into voluntary contractual assessments, known as a PACE assessments, to finance the installation of distributed generation renewable energy sources or energy or water efficiency improvements that are permanently fixed to real property. Existing law, the California Financing Law, commencing on April 1, 2018, prohibits a program administrator administering a PACE program from approving a PACE assessment for funding and recording by a public agency unless the program administrator makes a reasonable good faith determination that the property owner has a reasonable ability to pay the PACE assessment, subject to specified factors. Under existing law, the program administrator may waive this good faith determination in the case of emergency or immediate necessity, as provided. Existing law requires the program administrator to report annually to the Commissioner of Business Oversight all PACE assessment contracts approved for funding and recording through this emergency or immediate necessity waiver. Existing law requires the commissioner to make and file annually with the Department of Business Oversight, as a public record, a composite of the annual reports, among other things, he or she deems to be in the public interest.
This bill would require the commissioner to include the report from the program administrator, containing all PACE assessment contracts approved for funding and recording through the emergency or immediate necessity waiver, within the composite of the annual reports he or she is required to prepare.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 22687 of the Financial Code is amended to read:

22687.
 (a) A program administrator shall determine, prior to funding, and recordation by a public agency of the assessment contract that the property owner has a reasonable ability to pay the annual payment obligations for the PACE assessment based on the property owner income, assets, and current debt obligations. The determination process shall be based on the following factors:
(1) The property owner shall submit on their application their monthly income and their monthly housing expenses.
(2) Housing expenses shall include all mortgage principal and interest payments, insurance, property taxes, mortgage guaranty insurance, and other preexisting fees and assessments on the property. Household income shall include the income of the mortgagor on the subject property and may include the income of any persons age 18 or older who are on title to the property. For any person whose income is considered, their debt obligations must also be considered pursuant to the provisions of this section. There is no requirement to consider more income than is necessary, nor to verify assets if verified income is sufficient to determine the ability to pay the annual payment obligations.
(3) Debt obligations in accordance with subdivision (c).
(4) In evaluating the income, assets and current debt obligations of the property owner, the equity of the property that will secure the assessment shall not be considered.
(5) Pursuant to Section 5913 of the Streets and Highways Code, the program administrator shall ask the homeowner open-ended questions during the confirm terms call, to confirm the income provided on the application and to identify the sources of their income.
(b) (1) The program administrator shall determine and consider the current or reasonably expected income or assets of the property owner that the program administrator relies on in order to determine a property owner’s ability to pay the PACE assessment annual payment obligations using reasonably reliable third-party records of the property owner’s income or assets. The program administrator may use automated verification provided the source of that verification is specific to the income of the property owner and not based on predictive or estimation methodologies, and has been determined sufficient for such verification purposes by a federal mortgage lending authority or regulator. Examples of records the program administrator may use to verify the property owner’s income or assets include:
(A) A Pay stub showing the most recent 30-day pay period or financial institution records showing regular deposits consistent with reported income for the most recent 60 days.
(B) Copies of most recent tax returns the property owner filed with the Internal Revenue Service or the Franchise Tax Board.
(C) Copies of the most recent Internal Revenue Service Form W-2 (Wage and Tax Statement), or other similar Internal Revenue Service forms that are used for reporting wages or tax withholding.
(D) Payroll statements, including the Department of Defense Leave and Earnings Statement (LES).
(E) Financial institution records, such as bank statements or investment account statements reflecting the value of particular assets.
(F) Records from the property owner’s employer or a third party that obtained income information from the employer.
(G) Records from a federal, state, or local government agency stating the property owner’s income from benefits or entitlements. Income from benefits paid by a government entity shall not include any benefits for which the recipient must satisfy a means test or any cash equivalent non-monetary benefits, such as food stamps.
(2) Income may not be derived from temporary sources of income, illiquid assets, or proceeds derived from the equity from the subject property.
(c) A program administrator shall consider the monthly debt obligations of the property owner to determine a property owner’s ability to pay the annual payment PACE assessment obligations using reasonably reliable third-party records, including one or more consumer credit reports from agencies that meet the requirements of subsection (p) of Section 1681a(p) 1681a of Title 15 of the United States Code. Program administrators shall use at least a two-file Merged Credit Report (MCR) or a Residential Mortgage Credit Report (RMCR). For purposes of this subdivision, monthly debt obligations include, but are not limited to, the following:
(1) All secured and unsecured debt.
(2) Alimony.
(3) Child support.
(4) Monthly housing expenses. If property tax and insurance obligations are not included in a property owner’s escrow, a program administrator shall use reasonably reliable methods to determine these obligations.
(d) In calculating the ability of the property owner to pay the annual payment obligations, the program administrator shall determine that the property owner’s income is sufficient to meet:
(1) The PACE payment, including all interest and fees.
(2) Any mortgage payments, as defined by the higher of the borrowers self-reported housing payment or housing expenses determined in accordance with paragraph (1) and (2) of subdivision (a).
(3) All existing debts and obligations as identified in subdivision (c).
(4) Sufficient residual income to meet basic household living expenses, defined as expected expenses which may be variable based on circumstances and consumption patterns of the household. A program administrator may make reasonable estimation of basic living expenses based on the number of persons in the household. Examples of basic living expenses include, but are not limited to, categories such as food and other necessary household consumables; transportation costs to work or school (fuel, auto insurance and maintenance, public transit, etc.); and utilities expenses for telecommunication, water, sewage, electricity, and gas.
(e) In the case of emergency or immediate necessity, the requirements of paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) may be waived, in accordance with the requirements of Section 5940 of the Streets and Highway Code, for the funding and recordation of a PACE assessment to finance a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system, boiler, or other system whose primary function is temperature regulation in a home if all the following are met:
(1) The program administrator first attempted to use an automated means of verification as described in paragraph (1) of subdivision (b).
(2) If the program administrator was unable to verify the property owner’s income pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (b), pursuant to Section 5913 of the Streets and Highways Code, the program administrator shall ask the property owner open-ended questions during the oral confirmation to identify their income and the sources of their income. The program administrator shall comply with the requirements of subdivision (a), paragraph (2) of subdivision (b), and subdivisions (c) and (d).
(3) The funding is limited to the emergency or immediate necessity improvement and any required improvements directly necessary to the installation and safe operation of the improvement.
(4) Any efficiency improvement funded is eligible for PACE financing.
(5) The property owner executes a waiver of their right to cancel pursuant to subdivision (d) of Section 5940 of the Streets and Highways Code, and confirms, pursuant to Section 5913 of the Streets and Highways Code, the emergency or immediate necessity of the improvement.
(6) The amount of the assessment contract does not exceed fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000) or a monthly equivalent payment on the PACE assessment of one hundred twenty-five dollars ($125), as adjusted by any annual increase in the California Consumer Price Index as determined pursuant to Section 2212 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, whichever is greater.
(f) The program administrator shall report annually all PACE assessments that were funded and recorded pursuant to subdivision (e) in a form acceptable to the commissioner. The commissioner shall include this report within the composite of the annual reports required to be prepared by the commissioner pursuant to Section 22160.
(g) If there is a difference between the determination of the property owner’s ability to pay the annual PACE obligations and the actual amount financed for the property owner, and the property owner is obligated on the underlying home improvement contract, the program administrator shall be responsible for that difference. This subdivision does not apply in a case of intentional misrepresentation by the property owner.
(h) Notwithstanding Section 22696, this section shall become operative on April 1, 2018.

feedback