B-147347, OCT. 11, 1961

B-147347: Oct 11, 1961

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OUR AUTHORITY TO RELEASE LIENS IN FAVOR OF THE UNITED STATES IS CONTAINED IN SECTION 2410 (D) OF TITLE 28. DULY RECORDED IN THE JURISDICTION IN WHICH THE PROPERTY IS LOCATED. TO HAVE THE SAME EXTINGUISHED. WE HAVE NO AUTHORITY. ASIDE FROM THE FACT THAT THE PROCEDURAL REQUIREMENTS OF THE STATUTE HAVE NOT BEEN MET IN THAT THE OFFICER CHARGED WITH ADMINISTRATION OF THE LAWS UNDER WHICH THE ALLEGED GOVERNMENT LIEN AROSE HAS NOT FURNISHED THE REPORT TO THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL REQUIRED BY THE STATUTE. IT WILL BE OBSERVED THAT A NECESSARY CONDITION STIPULATED THEREIN IS THAT THE APPLICANT "HAS A LIEN" UPON THE PROPERTY. PARAGRAPH 2 OF THE COPY OF THE COMPLAINT FOR FORECLOSURE TRANSMITTED WITH YOUR LETTER STATES THAT YOUR CLIENTS "HAVE BEEN AT ALL TIMES MATERIAL TO THIS SUIT AND ARE NOW THE OWNERS" OF THE PROPERTY HERE INVOLVED.

B-147347, OCT. 11, 1961

TO DUKE AND LAUFER:

YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 2, 1961, WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTS A RELEASE OF LIENS IN FAVOR OF THE UNITED STATES ON PROPERTY INVOLVED IN THE CAPTIONED MATTER.

OUR AUTHORITY TO RELEASE LIENS IN FAVOR OF THE UNITED STATES IS CONTAINED IN SECTION 2410 (D) OF TITLE 28, U.S.C. WHICH PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

"WHENEVER ANY PERSON HAS A LIEN UPON ANY REAL OR PERSONAL PROPERTY, DULY RECORDED IN THE JURISDICTION IN WHICH THE PROPERTY IS LOCATED, AND A JUNIOR LIEN, OTHER THAN A TAX LIEN, IN FAVOR OF THE UNITED STATES ATTACHES TO SUCH PROPERTY, SUCH PERSON MAY MAKE A WRITTEN REQUEST TO THE OFFICER CHARGED WITH THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE LAWS IN RESPECT OF WHICH THE LIEN OF THE UNITED STATES ARISES, TO HAVE THE SAME EXTINGUISHED. IF AFTER APPROPRIATE INVESTIGATION, IT APPEARS TO SUCH OFFICER THAT THE PROCEEDS FROM THE SALE OF THE PROPERTY WOULD BE INSUFFICIENT TO WHOLLY OR PARTLY SATISFY THE LIEN OF THE UNITED STATES, OR THAT THE CLAIM OF THE UNITED STATES HAS BEEN SATISFIED OR BY LAPSE OF TIME OR OTHERWISE HAS BECOME UNENFORCEABLE, SUCH OFFICER SHALL SO REPORT TO THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL WHO MAY ISSUE A CERTIFICATE RELEASING THE PROPERTY FROM SUCH LIEN.'

WE HAVE NO AUTHORITY, OF COURSE, TO ISSUE A CERTIFICATE OF RELEASE OF A LIEN IN FAVOR OF THE UNITED STATES EXCEPT UPON THE CONDITIONS EXPRESSLY STIPULATED IN THE ABOVE STATUTE. ASIDE FROM THE FACT THAT THE PROCEDURAL REQUIREMENTS OF THE STATUTE HAVE NOT BEEN MET IN THAT THE OFFICER CHARGED WITH ADMINISTRATION OF THE LAWS UNDER WHICH THE ALLEGED GOVERNMENT LIEN AROSE HAS NOT FURNISHED THE REPORT TO THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL REQUIRED BY THE STATUTE, IT WILL BE OBSERVED THAT A NECESSARY CONDITION STIPULATED THEREIN IS THAT THE APPLICANT "HAS A LIEN" UPON THE PROPERTY, DULY FILED OF RECORD. PARAGRAPH 2 OF THE COPY OF THE COMPLAINT FOR FORECLOSURE TRANSMITTED WITH YOUR LETTER STATES THAT YOUR CLIENTS "HAVE BEEN AT ALL TIMES MATERIAL TO THIS SUIT AND ARE NOW THE OWNERS" OF THE PROPERTY HERE INVOLVED. SINCE THE CONDITIONS STIPULATED IN THE STATUTE DO NOT EXIST AND THE PROCEDURAL REQUIREMENTS SET OUT THEREIN HAVE NOT BEEN MET, WE ARE WITHOUT AUTHORITY TO ISSUE A CERTIFICATE OF RELEASE. SEE 17 COMP. GEN. 180.

A COPY OF THIS LETTER IS BEING SENT TO THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF FLORIDA.