Question: Last month after a bank foreclosure our investor group purchased a home in Apache Junction. The home has solar panels on the roof. We recently received a letter from the attorney for the solar panel company that leased the solar panels to the former owner of the home. The attorney requested a time to come to the home to remove the solar panels. The attorney enclosed with the letter a UCC-1 financing statement that was recorded before the bank’s foreclosure deed to us. Who owns the solar panels now? If the solar panel company still owns the solar panels, who pays for the cost of repairing our roof after our solar panels are removed?
Answer: You should own the solar panels. When solar panels are attached to a home the solar panels become fixtures, i.e., part of the home. At that time the homeowner has to make lease or mortgage payments to the solar panel company that records a document such as a UCC-1 financing statement. The recording of this document is usually after the recording of the bank’s mortgage to the homeowner to buy the home. Therefore, after the foreclosure of the bank’s mortgage the solar panel company should no longer have any lease or financing interest in the solar panels. Therefore, the solar panel company would have no right to remove the solar panels which would require roof repairs.