Acquiring Real Estate property with Leased Solar Panels through Trustees Sale
Hi Jeff- earlier this year I acquired a home in Arizona with solar panels that were under a lease agreement with previous owners. The solar company filed a UCC-1 with the county claiming their interest in the equipment, so this shows up as a lien against the property. In AZ foreclosure statues wipe out all subordinate liens or encumbrances to the trust deed. Getting no cooperation from Solar company to remove equipment and remove UCC-1 by filing termination. Any recommendations on how to get UCC-1 removed in this case?
Thank you in advance
It sounds like you might need to talk to the attorney who worked on your acquisition of the property. What I gather from what you said is that you purchased the property out of a foreclosure situation. I’m very surprised that the lien still exists after that closing process. I’m guessing it doesn’t, but the solar company had no motivation to spend the time or money it takes to remove the UCC claim.
If your attorney can’t help, or the solar company won’t submit the UCC-3 to remove the lien, then you can always go down to your state’s secretary of state office and swear an oath that the lien no longer exists. Due to the legal situation with this particular case I would verify with an attorney that the lien in fact has been taken care before swearing it gone.
I agree with Jeff’s statement above, but I believe that an important fact is whether or not the solar panels are still on your property and are being used to generate electricity for your home. From what I gather, they are and I do not recommend removing them yourself nor I think you would have to pay to have them removed. It could help you build a stronger case if the panels were not there since it is highly likely the previous owners did not own the panels, but were leasing them from the solar provider. This means that the panels (aka modules) are still the property of the solar provider and could be argued that is grounds to have the lien until they are removed and returned.
Good luck, not a good situation to be in.