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Other Cali homeowners say they were also scammed

More than 180 complaints have been filed against the lending company, Solar Mosaic, since 2019, according to data from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

In April, a group of nearly 100 people drove from Los Angeles to protest outside Solar Mosaic’s headquarters in Oakland, alleging the lender colluded with contractors to issue fraudulent loans for home improvement work that was never completed. They claim they've collectively been scammed out of around $3 million.

Geraldin Alvara says she hired Viridi Construction in 2021 to convert a garage into an accessory dwelling unit at her Los Angeles family home. The company reportedly told her the project would cost $150,000 and that she’d been approved for loans by Solar Mosaic the same day — but the payment details would only be released to Viridi after the work was completed.

Alvara says the company didn’t do any work for six months and, a year later, she discovered Solar Mosaic had already released three payments totaling $54,000 to Viridi.

Alvara and her family don’t have the funds (since they had planned to use the rental income from the ADU to pay off the loan), which means debt collectors are coming to their door regularly and Alvara is getting rejected from credit cards.

“My fear is we’re going to end up homeless,” she told the Oaklandside. “This house is our livelihood.”

In the meantime, Solar Mosaic has issued a statement stating that the company “takes homeowner safeguards seriously” and sued Viridi for a breach in contract.

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Still pursuing justice

Freedom Forever told CBS13 there were “some significant factual errors” in Bokreta’s claim to the news division, providing documentation of her digital signature through DocuSign.

Audits from both Freedom Forever and Solar Mosaic show Bokreta viewed the contract and loan documents and signed or left her initials in various spots — although Bokreta insists she didn’t sign anything.

CBS13 reports that the California Contractors State License Board has fined Freedom Forever more than a dozen times since 2017 for breaking multiple regulations and now the state is going after the company's license.

Two Attorneys General are also suing Solar Mosaic for concerns over its lending practices.

Freedom Forever says it worked with Bokreta's lender to cancel the loan — and Mosaic has since sent Bokreta the confirmation. Still, many other homeowners have yet to see their accounts settled and some say they’ve lost their entire savings.

Bokreta says the stress of the situation spiked her blood pressure and wants to see both companies held accountable.

"Somebody needs to stop them," she says.

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Serah Louis is a reporter with Moneywise.com. She enjoys tackling topical personal finance issues for young people and women and covering the latest in financial news.

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