The Renovate America bankruptcy is a separate proceeding from this class action; however, what happens in the bankruptcy proceeding does affect the class action. Because of the Automatic Stay of the Bankruptcy Code (11 U.S.C. § 362), the class action is stayed until the class representatives obtain relief from the automatic stay to permit the class settlement to be concluded before the Riverside Superior Court. This has not yet occurred; in the meantime, the bankruptcy rules require that all people affected by the bankruptcy be notified that they can file a Proof of Claim form in the bankruptcy proceedings. Bankruptcy counsel in the class action has filed a Class Proof of Claim which would cover all members of the class in this class action upon the bankruptcy court’s entry of an order recognizing the Class Proof of Claim as a “Class Claim” in bankruptcy.
In case the bankruptcy court denies the Class Proof of Claim, you may wish to still file an individual Proof of Claim in the bankruptcy court, but you must do so prior to the May 5, 2021 deadline. The Proof of Claim form and the place where you file it can be found here: https://cases.stretto.com/renovateamerica.
Please note that if you excluded yourself from this class action and have submitted an Opt-Out form, the Class Proof of Claim filed in the bankruptcy proceedings will not apply to you. So, if you excluded yourself from the class action, you should file your own Proof of Claim form in the bankruptcy proceedings by the May 5, 2021 deadline by going to the following website: https://cases.stretto.com/renovateamerica.Back To Top
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.
To view a copy of the Notice, click here.Back To Top
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.Back To Top
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.Back To Top
Final Approval was granted on March 4, 2022.Back To Top
The Plaintiffs are asking for money to compensate them and The Settlement Class for Renovate’s alleged violation of the UCL.Back To Top
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 13) 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.Back To Top
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 4.
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.Back To Top
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.Back To Top
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.Back To Top
The deadline to exclude yourself from the Settlement was January 6, 2021, and has passed.Back To Top
The deadline to object to the Settlement was January 6, 2021, and has passed.Back To Top
Yes. The Court has approved the following attorneys as “Class Counsel” (the attorneys representing you and other members of the Class):
Mark C. Rifkin
Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP
270 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10016
Betsy C. Manifold
Rachele R. Byrd
Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP
750 B Street
San Diego, CA 92101
Janine L. Pollack
Calcaterra Pollack LLP
1140 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10036-5803
McLaughlin & Stern LLP
260 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10016
C. Mario Jaramillo
C. Mario Jaramillo, PLC (dba Access Lawyers Group)
527 South Lake Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91101
They are experienced in handling similar consumer cases against other companies.Back To Top
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.Back To Top
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 7. 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.Back To Top
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 13) or the Settlement Administrator at 1-833-935-1365 (toll-free) for more details and documents, including the Settlement Agreement.Back To Top
Deceased Class Member:
If the record needs to be updated due to the original class member being deceased, you must write to:
Renovate America Settlement Administrator
P.O. Box 4234
Portland, OR 97208-4234
Please also include, if available, a copy of documentation such as : Class Member’s Death Certificate, Trust or Estate Document, and/or Power of Attorney. If one of these documents is not available, please submit a brief explanation with your requestBack To Top