Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why did I receive a Notice?

    A Court authorized the Notice you received because you have a right to know about a proposed Settlement of a class action lawsuit and about all of your options before the Court decides whether to give “Final Approval” to the Settlement. The Notice explains the lawsuit, the Settlement, and your legal rights.

    Judge Sunshine Sykes of the Superior Court of California, County of Riverside is overseeing this class action. The case is known as In re Renovate America Finance Cases, Case No. RICJCCP4940.

    A court hearing to consider whether to finally approve the Settlement will be held on February 11, 2021 at 8:30 a.m. Pacific, in Department 6 of the Superior Court of California for the County of Riverside, located at 4050 Main Street, Riverside, California 92501 (“Final Approval Hearing”).

    To view a copy of the Notice, click here.

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  2. What is this lawsuit about?

    In the Action, Plaintiffs allege that Renovate violated California’s Unfair Competition Law (“UCL”), California Business & Professions Code section 17200 et seq., based on certain written disclosures used in connection with PACE tax assessments under the HERO programs offered through Los Angeles County, the Western Riverside Council of Governments, and the San Bernardino Associated Governments (the “Government PACE Providers”). Under the UCL, a party may not conduct business or otherwise engage in conduct that is unfair, unlawful, or fraudulent. Plaintiffs allege the disclosures relating to certain interest and fees were inadequate, and that it was unfair for consumers to have to pay inadequately disclosed interest and fees. Plaintiffs initially sued the Government PACE Providers and alleged other claims, but those defendants and claims have been dismissed by a court.

    Renovate disputes all the Plaintiffs’ claims and does not believe that the HERO programs violated any laws. Renovate also denies that class certification is required or appropriate.

    Class Counsel has conducted an investigation into the relevant facts and law. Class Counsel has concluded that the outcome of the Action is uncertain and that a settlement is in the best interests of Plaintiffs and the Settlement Class.

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  3. What is a class action and who is involved?

    In a class action lawsuit, one or more people called “Plaintiffs” or “Class Representatives” (in this case George Loya, Judith Loya, Richard Ramos, Michael Richardson and Shirley Petetan) sue on behalf of other people who have similar claims. The people together are a “Class” or "Class Members." The company they sued (in this case Renovate) is called the Defendant

    The Riverside County Superior Court (the “Court”) has preliminarily approved a settlement class (the “Settlement Class”), consisting of the following persons:

    (i) all persons or entities who received residential PACE tax assessment financing from WRCOG through the HERO program where the underlying assessment contract was executed by the person or entity between January 1, 2012, and July 7, 2016; (ii) all persons or entities who received residential PACE tax assessment financing from LAC through the HERO program where the underlying assessment contract was executed by the person or entity between January 1, 2012, and June 15, 2017; and (iii) all persons or entities who received residential PACE tax assessment financing from SANBAG through the HERO program where the underlying assessment contract was executed by the person or entity between January 1, 2012, and June 15, 2017.

    If you received a Notice, then according to Renovate’s records, you are a member of this Settlement Class. Further, if you have received more than one copy of the Notice in the mail, that may be because you are a member of this Settlement Class with respect to more than one PACE assessment. Moreover, if you joined with another person (such as a spouse or family member) on an account, then you and each person who joined you as to that account collectively have the rights outlined in the proposed Settlement.

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  4. Has the Court decided who is right?

    The Court never resolved the claims or defenses in the Action. The Court also never resolved whether Renovate did anything wrong. The Court has determined only that there is sufficient evidence to suggest that the proposed Settlement might be fair, adequate, and reasonable, and that any final determination of those issues will be made at the Final Approval Hearing.

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  5. What are the Plaintiffs asking for?

    The Plaintiffs are asking for money to compensate them and The Settlement Class for Renovate’s alleged violation of the UCL.

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  6. What does the Settlement provide?

    Under the terms of the proposed Settlement, if the Court approves it, Renovate has agreed to provide $2,550,000.00 in benefits to the Settlement Class. Out of this $2,550,000.00 in total class benefits, Class Counsel (see FAQ 12) has agreed to seek no more than a maximum of $841,500.00 for attorneys’ fees (33% of the settlement fund), plus expenses not to exceed $80,000.00, and $20,000 in total service awards for the Class Representatives, all to be paid out of the settlement fund. The remainder of the cash settlement fund, estimated to be approximately $ 1,608,500.00, will be used to pay the settlement administration costs of a third party (the “Settlement Administrator”) and will be used to pay the Settlement Class pro rata based on the total number of Class Members who do not opt-out of the settlement. The Settlement Administrator estimates that settlement administration costs will be approximately $196,000.

    Based upon information provided by Defendant, which included the number of PACE assessments in the Settlement Class as well as to total principal amount of PACE assessments in the Settlement Class, and if the Court approves the requested attorneys’ fees, expenses and awards, Plaintiffs estimate that, pursuant to the allocation formula described in the Second Amended Settlement Agreement, the average Class Member will receive a check for approximately $18.80; however, that amount could be more or less depending on a variety of factors including the size of the Class Member’s financing contract. Plaintiffs estimate that the lowest net recovery will be approximately $4.07 and the largest net recovery will be approximately $226.88.

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  7. How do I know if I am part of this Class?

    A Notice is being issued only to consumers that Renovate has identified as Class Members. The preliminary approved Settlement Class is described further in detail in FAQ 3.

    If you did not receive a Notice and believe you are part of the Settlement Class, please contact the Settlement Administrator by calling 1-833-935-1365 (toll-free) or in writing to: Renovate America Settlement Administrator, P.O. Box 4234, Portland, OR 97208-4234.

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  8. What happens if I do nothing at all?

    You don't have to do anything now if you want to keep the possibility of getting money or benefits from this proposed settlement. If this settlement is approved by the Court, you will automatically receive a check in the mail. You will be releasing the claims you may have related to the allegations in this lawsuit as described below and that means you will not be able to participate in any lawsuit against Renovate for those same claims. You will also be legally bound by all of the Orders the Court issues and judgments the Court makes in this class action The Release in the Final Order and Judgement specifically provides:

    Based upon information provided by Defendant, which included the number of PACE assessments in the Settlement Class as well as to total principal amount of PACE assessments in the Settlement Class, and if the Court approves the requested attorneys’ fees, expenses and awards, Plaintiffs estimate that, pursuant to the allocation formula described in the Second Amended Settlement Agreement, the average Class Member will receive a check for approximately $18.80; however, that amount could be more or less depending on a variety of factors including the size of the Class Member’s financing contract. Plaintiffs estimate that the lowest net recovery will be approximately $4.07 and the largest net recovery will be approximately $226.88.

    This Release does not release or discharge any causes of action brought against any of the Released Parties in the unrelated matter Barbara Morgan, et al. v. Renew Financial Group, LLC, et al., San Diego County Superior Court Case No. 37-2019-00052045-CU-OR-CTL, which alleges certain causes of action relating to California Civil Code sections 1804.1(j) and 1804.2 of the California Retail Installments Sales Act. This Release also does not release or discharge any causes of action brought against any of the Released Parties in the unrelated matter Reginald Nemore, et al. v. Renovate America, et al., Los Angeles County Superior Court Case No. BC701810. This Release shall be included as part of any judgment, so that all released claims For the avoidance of doubt, the claims in these two cases would not have been released even without their express exclusion herein and are excluded in this manner because counsel for the plaintiffs in these two matters requested it. For the further avoidance of doubt, the reference to “agents” in the definition of Released Claims is not intended to and does not release any claims that Class Members may have against contractors who performed work on their properties pursuant to any HERO program.

    This Release shall be included as part of any judgment, so that all released claims and rights shall be barred by principles of res judicata, collateral estoppel, and claim and issue preclusion.

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  9. Why would I ask to be excluded?

    If you already have your own lawsuit against Renovate for the kind of violations alleged by the Plaintiffs and want to continue with it, or if you want to preserve your right to file such a lawsuit, you need to ask to be excluded from the Class. If you exclude yourself from the Class—which also means to remove yourself from the Class, which is sometimes called "opting out" of the Class—you won't get any money or benefits from this lawsuit or Settlement. If you exclude yourself, you will not be legally bound by the Court's judgments in this class action.

    If you start your own lawsuit against Renovate after you exclude yourself, you'll have to hire and pay your own lawyer for that lawsuit, and you'll have to prove your claims. Renovate can defend itself, and you may lose and recover nothing.

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  10. How do I ask the Court to exclude me from the Class?

    To ask to be excluded, you must submit an "Exclusion Request". Exclusion Request Forms can be downloaded here. Be sure to fill out the form completely with your name, address telephone number and date, then sign the form and clearly state, “I want to be excluded” or something similar. You must either email your completed Exclusion Request Form by January 6,2021 or mail your completed Exclusion Request From postmarked by January 6,2021 to:

    Renovate America Settlement Administrator
    P.O. Box 4234
    Portland, OR 97208-4234
    Forms@HeroFinancingSettlement.com

    If you previously excluded yourself by sending an Exclusion Request, you do not need to send it again to be excluded. You will be automatically excluded unless you contact Class Counsel to change your exclusion request. See FAQ 12 for Class Counsel’s contact information.

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  11. How do I object to the Settlement?

    If you wish to object to the Settlement or any matters as described in this website or the Class Notice, you may do so using the Objection Form, downloadable here. Be sure to include your name and identify each objection, the basis for the objection, and sign the form. You should also include any papers that support each objection. You must either email your completed Objection Form by January 6, 2021, or mail your completed Objection Form postmarked by January 6, 2021, to:

    Renovate America Settlement Administrator
    P.O. Box 4234
    Portland, OR 97208-4234
    Forms@HeroFinancingSettlement.com

    If you wish to appear at the Final Approval Hearing, whether by yourself or through counsel, you are requested, but not required, to file a notice of appearance in the Action no later than January 6, 2021, and to serve the notice and other pleadings upon Class Counsel and Counsel for the Defendant.

    If the Settlement is approved by the Court, despite your objection, you will still receive a payment mailed to you.

    If you previously objected to the Settlement by sending the Objection Form, you do not need to send it again. Your objection will be considered by the Court.

    Class Counsel Defense Counsel
    Mark C. Rifkin
    Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP
    270 Madison Avenue
    New York, NY 10016
    Matthew S. Sheldon
    GoodWin Procter LLP
    1900 N Street NW
    Washington, D.C. 20036

    DO NOT CALL THE COURT. DO NOT CALL OR SEND CORRESPONDENCE TO THE JUDGE OR HER CLERKS.

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  12. Do I have a lawyer in this case?

    Yes. The Court has approved the following attorneys as “Class Counsel” (the attorneys representing you and other members of the Class):

    Class Counsel
    Mark C. Rifkin
    Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP
    270 Madison Avenue
    New York, NY 10016
    phoneIcon 1-212-545-4600
    Betsy C. Manifold
    Rachele R. Byrd
    Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP
    750 B Street
    Suite 1820
    San Diego, CA 92101
    phoneIcon 1-619-239-4599
    Janine L. Pollack
    Calcaterra Pollack LLP
    1140 Avenue of the Americas
    9th Floor
    New York, NY 10036-5803
    emailIcon jpollack@calcaterrapollack.com
    phoneIcon 1-212-899-1765
    Lee Shalov
    McLaughlin & Stern LLP
    260 Madison Avenue
    10th Floor
    New York, NY 10016
    phoneIcon 1-646-278-4298
    C. Mario Jaramillo
    C. Mario Jaramillo, PLC (dba Access Lawyers Group)
    527 South Lake Avenue
    Suite 200
    Pasadena, CA 91101
    phoneIcon 1-866-643-9099
     

    They are experienced in handling similar consumer cases against other companies.

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  13. Should I get my own lawyer?

    You do not need to hire your own lawyer because Class Counsel is working on your behalf. But, if you want your own lawyer, you will have to pay that lawyer. For example, you can ask him or her to appear in Court for you if you want someone other than Class Counsel to speak for you.

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  14. How will the lawyers be paid?

    If Class Counsel obtain money or benefits for the Class, they will ask the Court for fees and expenses. You won't have to pay these fees and expenses; they will be deducted from the Settlement Fund. The amount Class Counsel may seek for fees and costs is described in FAQ 6. You may review Class Counsel’s petition for fees and costs, which will be filed with the Clerk of the Court within 45 days of the mailing of the Notice.

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  15. When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement?

    The Court will hold a Final Approval Hearing to consider whether to finally approve the Settlement. It will be held on February 11, 2021, at 8:30 a.m. Pacific, at Department 6, Superior Court for the County of Riverside, 4050 Main Street, Riverside, California 92501. It may be conducted entirely by telephone depending on circumstances at the time. Class Counsel recommend that if you are planning on attending the Final Approval Hearing, you consult the Court’s website at www.riverside.courts.ca.gov for any information, including changes to the Final Approval Hearing.

    At the Final Approval Hearing, the Court will consider whether the Settlement, including Class Counsel’s request for attorneys’ fees and costs, is fair, reasonable, and adequate and should be granted Final Approval. If there are objections, the Court will consider them. The Final Approval Hearing may be moved to a different date, extended, or moved to a different courtroom without additional notice. The Court may issue a “Tentative Ruling” the day before the Final Approval Hearing. If so, it will be posted on the Court’s website at www.riverside.courts.ca.gov/OnlineServices/TentativeRulings/tentative-rulings.php. Class Counsel recommend that if you are planning on attending the Final Approval Hearing, you consult the website at that time to see the Tentative Ruling and for any information, including changes to the Final Approval Hearing.

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  16. Do I have to come to the Hearing?

    No. Class Counsel will answer any questions the Court may have. However, you are welcome to attend the Hearing at your own expense. If you send in a written objection, you do not have to come to the Final Approval Hearing to talk about it. As long as you mailed your written objection on time, the Court will consider it. See FAQ 11 for details on what to do if you or your attorney wish to attend the Hearing.

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  17. Are more details available?

    This website and the Notice summarize the proposed Settlement. For more details, please review the Settlement Agreement and other documents on the Documents page of this website.

    You may also access additional details and all papers regarding the Settlement online via the electronic document filing system maintained by the Clerk of the Court for the Superior Court for the County of Riverside at www.riverside.courts.ca.gov. You may also get case documents from the Superior Court for the County of Riverside at 4050 Main Street, Riverside, California 92501.

    If you have additional questions, you may contact Class Counsel (see FAQ 12) or the Settlement Administrator at 1-833-935-1365 (toll-free) for more details and documents, including the Settlement Agreement.

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