B-161527, JUL. 21, 1967

B-161527: Jul 21, 1967

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MAY BE ALLOWED IN VIEW OF EVIDENCE THAT IN AREA SELLER FURNISHES TITLE INSURANCE BUT CLAIM FOR ADVERTISING EXPENSES PRIOR TO TIME SALE WAS TURNED OVER TO A BROKER MAY NOT BE ALLOWED. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 10. THE VOUCHER IS FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE COST OF TITLE INSURANCE PURCHASED BY THE EMPLOYEE AS SELLER OF HIS RESIDENCE IN SACRAMENTO AND FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE COST OF NEWSPAPER ADVERTISING INCURRED BY HIM PRIOR TO THE TIME HE TURNED THE SALE OF THAT RESIDENCE OVER TO A BROKER. THE CLAIM IS PREDICATED UPON SECTION 23 (4) OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES ACT OF 1946. THE COST OF THE TITLE INSURANCE ON SELLING THE RESIDENCE IN SACRAMENTO WAS $184.

B-161527, JUL. 21, 1967

EMPLOYEES - TRANSFERS - PUBLIC LAW 89-516 - HOME SALE AND PURCHASE EXPENSES DECISION TO DOT CERTIFYING OFFICER THAT COST OF TITLE INSURANCE PURCHASED BY EMPLOYEE TRANSFERRED FROM SACRAMENTO TO PIERRE, S.D; MAY BE ALLOWED IN VIEW OF EVIDENCE THAT IN AREA SELLER FURNISHES TITLE INSURANCE BUT CLAIM FOR ADVERTISING EXPENSES PRIOR TO TIME SALE WAS TURNED OVER TO A BROKER MAY NOT BE ALLOWED.

TO MRS. A. V. WRIGHT, AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, FEDERAL HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 10, 1967, YOUR FILE 54- 27, BY WHICH YOU FORWARDED FOR OUR ADVANCE DECISION THE RECLAIM VOUCHER OF MR. DANNY ELLIS, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE FEDERAL HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF CERTAIN EXPENSES HE INCURRED IN SELLING HIS RESIDENCE AT HIS OLD DUTY STATION INCIDENT TO HIS TRANSFER FROM SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA, TO PIERRE, SOUTH DAKOTA, IN AUGUST 1966.

THE VOUCHER IS FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE COST OF TITLE INSURANCE PURCHASED BY THE EMPLOYEE AS SELLER OF HIS RESIDENCE IN SACRAMENTO AND FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE COST OF NEWSPAPER ADVERTISING INCURRED BY HIM PRIOR TO THE TIME HE TURNED THE SALE OF THAT RESIDENCE OVER TO A BROKER. THE CLAIM IS PREDICATED UPON SECTION 23 (4) OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES ACT OF 1946, AS ADDED BY THE ACT OF JULY 21, 1966, PUB. L. 89-516, 80 STAT. 324, AND SECTION 4 OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56, OCTOBER 12, 1966.

THE COST OF THE TITLE INSURANCE ON SELLING THE RESIDENCE IN SACRAMENTO WAS $184. YOU HAVE FURNISHED US A REPORT FROM THE SACRAMENTO OFFICE OF THE FEDERAL HOUSING ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT, IN WHICH IT IS STATED THAT IN THE SACRAMENTO AREA THE SELLER OF REAL PROPERTY "PAYS FOR THE USUAL OWNER LENDER POLICY" OF TITLE INSURANCE AND THE BUYER PAYS THE COST OF ADDITIONAL TITLE COVERAGE IF IT IS REQUIRED IN CONNECTION WITH THE MAKING OF A NEW LOAN. THE FEDERAL HOUSING ADMINISTRATION ALSO REPORTS THAT THE $184 CLAIMED WAS THE STANDARD RATE CHARGED FOR THE REGULAR OWNER-LENDER POLICY IN THAT AREA.

IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE DECISION OF JUNE 27, 1967, B-161459, 46 COMP. GEN. - , COPY ENCLOSED, A GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE WHO IS OTHERWISE ELIGIBLE FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE COSTS HE INCURS IN THE SALE OF HIS RESIDENCE AT HIS OLD DUTY STATION MAY BE REIMBURSED THE AMOUNT HE IS REQUIRED TO PAY FOR TITLE INSURANCE IF THE CUSTOM IN THE AREA IN QUESTION IS THAT THE SELLER FURNISH TITLE INSURANCE AND IF THE COVERAGE OF THE POLICY FOR WHICH REIMBURSEMENT IS CLAIMED IS THE COVERAGE CUSTOMARILY FURNISHED BY THE SELLER IN THAT AREA.

SINCE IT APPEARS THAT THE AMOUNT CHARGED MR. ELLIS FOR TITLE INSURANCE WAS THE NORMAL CHARGE FOR COVERAGE OF THE TYPE INVOLVED HE MAY BE REIMBURSED THE COST THEREOF.

REGARDING MR. ELLIS' CLAIM FOR THE AMOUNT HE SPENT ON ADVERTISING THE SALE OF HIS RESIDENCE AT HIS OLD DUTY STATION BEFORE HE TURNED THE SALE OF THE PROPERTY OVER TO A BROKER, WE ENCLOSE A COPY OF OUR DECISION OF MAY 19, 1967, B-161320, 46 COMP. GEN. - . FOR THE REASON STATED IN THAT DECISION AN EMPLOYEE IS NOT ENTITLED TO BE REIMBURSED ADVERTISING COSTS IF HE IS REIMBURSED A BROKER'S FEE WHICH COVERS THE COST OF ADVERTISING IN CONNECTION WITH THE SALE OF THE SAME RESIDENCE. THEREFORE, THE RECLAIM OF $10.56 FOR ADVERTISING MAY NOT BE ALLOWED.

IN LINE WITH THE FOREGOING, THE VOUCHER WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT IN THE AMOUNT OF $184, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.