Call 4 Action: Disabled Veteran’s $53K Solar Loan Wiped Away

BOSTON (CBS) – On Tuesday morning, James Savage made the trek from his Worcester home to federal bankruptcy court in downtown Manchester, N.H.

The retired, disabled Vietnam veteran was there to attend a creditors’ meeting and learn more about Bill Woods and his now defunct solar business, Twin State Sun.

As the I-Team has reported, a long list of customers say they paid the company money, but never received completed solar systems at their homes. Many also said they were unable to get their deposits refunded.

Woods is now accused of fraudulently transferring hundreds of thousands of dollars to his wife prior to filing for bankruptcy. A court-appointed trustee has moved to gain control of an investment property alleged to have been purchased with the fraudulent cash, so the proceeds can be distributed to creditors.

jim savage Call 4 Action: Disabled Veteran’s $53K Solar Loan Wiped Away

Jim Savage and WBZ-TV’s Ryan Kath (WBZ-TV)

An FBI agent has also been interviewing customers about their failed projects.

On Tuesday, the trustee asked those in the crowd if they had any questions for Woods.

Savage raised his hand and asked why he was receiving bills for a $53,000 loan. He had signed up for a solar project with Twin State Sun last summer, but the business had never installed any panels at his house.

However, that did not stop the business from collecting $52,839 in charges.

woods Call 4 Action: Disabled Veteran’s $53K Solar Loan Wiped Away

Bill Woods (WBZ-TV)

After the meeting, Savage told the I-Team about the frustrating experience. The veteran said he’d received phone calls from a collection agency and his credit score had suffered.

“I think he ought to be put in jail for fraud and let them throw away the key, so he can figure out where he put all our money,” Savage said.

The I-Team contacted the financing company, GreenSky, to explain the situation. It was not the first time employees there had heard similar tales from Twin State Sun customers.

Within a day, the company confirmed to the I-Team that Savage’s loan would be written off in its entirety.

Vice chairman Gerry Benjamin said GreenSky has also had to provide chargebacks on a number of other Twin State Sun customer loans because they had never received the solar panels.

“You hear the phrase ‘bad apple.’ He’s obviously a very bad apple,” Benjamin said of Woods.

Benjamin also confirmed his company has received inquiries from federal and state investigators and is cooperating fully.

“It feels good to be forgiven,” Savage said on Thursday. “I just want to say a big ‘thank you’ to WBZ.”

Ryan Kath can be reached at rkath@cbs.com. You can follow him on Twitter or connect on Facebook.

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