B-163946, JUN. 21, 1968

B-163946: Jun 21, 1968

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TO THE EXTENT SUCH COSTS HAVE NOT BEEN INCLUDED IN BROKERS' OR SIMILAR SERVICES FOR WHICH REIMBURSEMENT IS CLAIMED UNDER OTHER CATEGORIES. FINANCING COSTS. * * * THE COST OF A MORTGAGE TITLE POLICY ON THE DWELLING PURCHASED BY THE EMPLOYEE IS ALSO REIMBURSABLE. INSURANCE AGAINST DAMAGE OR LOSS OF PROPERTY ARE NOT REIMBURSABLE. * * *" OUR SETTLEMENT OF FEBRUARY 28 ADVISED YOU THAT THE SUM ALLOWED ($1. 834.30) INCLUDED $130 FOR YOUR COST OF SEARCH OF TITLE TO THE DWELLING YOU PURCHASED IN MARYLAND AND THAT THE AMOUNT OF $118 WAS NOT ALLOWABLE AS THAT AMOUNT WAS "FOR TITLE SEARCH AT OLD STATION.'. SUCH AS THAT FOR WHICH YOU AS SELLER WERE CHARGED THE $118 - IS ALWAYS A SELLER'S EXPENSE. DISCUSSED THE POINT THAT INSURANCE OF "MARKETABLE TITLE" BY THE SELLER GENERALLY IS IN LIEU OF A TITLE SEARCH.

B-163946, JUN. 21, 1968

TO MR. CHARLES E. FREEMAN:

YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 22, 1968, WITH ENCLOSURE, REQUESTS OUR RECONSIDERATION OF THAT PART OF OUR OFFICE SETTLEMENT DATED FEBRUARY 28, 1968, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR $118 REPRESENTING PART OF THE EXPENSES WHICH YOU INCURRED INCIDENT TO THE TRANSFER OF YOUR OFFICIAL STATION FROM KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI, TO WASHINGTON, D.C.

THE MATTER CONCERNS SECTION 4 OF THE BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A- 56 WHICH GOVERNS ALLOWANCES FOR EXPENSES IN CONNECTION WITH REAL ESTATE TRANSACTIONS, IN PERTINENT PART, AS OLLOWS:

"4.2 REIMBURSABLE AND NON-REIMBURSABLE EXPENSES.

"C. LEGAL AND RELATED COSTS. TO THE EXTENT SUCH COSTS HAVE NOT BEEN INCLUDED IN BROKERS' OR SIMILAR SERVICES FOR WHICH REIMBURSEMENT IS CLAIMED UNDER OTHER CATEGORIES, CUSTOMARY COSTS OF SEARCHING TITLE * * * AND SIMILAR EXPENSES, MAY BE REIMBURSED EITHER WITH RESPECT TO THE SALE OF THE RESIDENCE AT THE OLD OFFICIAL STATION OR PURCHASE OF A DWELLING AT THE NEW OFFICIAL STATION, BUT THE SAME TYPES OF COSTS SHALL NOT BE PAID AT BOTH LOCATIONS. * * *

"D. FINANCING COSTS. * * * THE COST OF A MORTGAGE TITLE POLICY ON THE DWELLING PURCHASED BY THE EMPLOYEE IS ALSO REIMBURSABLE. COSTS OF OTHER TYPES OF INSURANCE, INCLUDING -RECORD TITLE- POLICIES, OWNERS' TITLE POLICIES, MORTGAGE INSURANCE, AND INSURANCE AGAINST DAMAGE OR LOSS OF PROPERTY ARE NOT REIMBURSABLE. * * *"

OUR SETTLEMENT OF FEBRUARY 28 ADVISED YOU THAT THE SUM ALLOWED ($1,834.30) INCLUDED $130 FOR YOUR COST OF SEARCH OF TITLE TO THE DWELLING YOU PURCHASED IN MARYLAND AND THAT THE AMOUNT OF $118 WAS NOT ALLOWABLE AS THAT AMOUNT WAS "FOR TITLE SEARCH AT OLD STATION.'

WITH YOUR CLAIM YOU SUBMITTED A COPY OF THE CLOSING STATEMENT OF SALE OF YOUR FORMER RESIDENCE AT OVERLAND PARK, A SUBURB OF KANSAS CITY, KANSAS, ON JUNE 7, 1967, AND WITH YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 22 YOU FURNISH A LETTER DATED MARCH 19, 1968, FROM THE REALTY FIRM WHICH PREPARED THAT CLOSING STATEMENT. THE REALTORS EXPLAIN THAT A TITLE INSURANCE POLICY -- SUCH AS THAT FOR WHICH YOU AS SELLER WERE CHARGED THE $118 - IS ALWAYS A SELLER'S EXPENSE. THAT EXPLANATION BY THE REALTORS PRESUMABLY REFERS TO THE AREA OF JOHNSON COUNTY INCLUDING OVERLAND PARK. HOWEVER, THE CLOSING STATEMENT OF JUNE 7 INDICATES THAT YOU FURNISHED THE TITLE INSURANCE FOR BENEFIT OF THE PURCHASER OF THE TITLE YOU HELD IN LIEU OF AN ABSTRACT OF TITLE FOR THE PROPERTY AT OVERLAND PARK. EITHER OF SUCH TENDERS BY YOU AS SELLER WOULD NORMALLY BE CONSIDERED IN THE NATURE OF A GUARANTEE OF GOOD TITLE.

IN THE SETTLEMENT OF FEBRUARY 28 WE ASSUMED THAT YOU WOULD PREFER TO BE REIMBURSED THE LARGER AMOUNT OF $130 SINCE THE QUOTED PROVISIONS OF CIRCULAR NO. A-56 PRECLUDE PAYMENT OF THE SAME TYPES OF EXPENSES AT BOTH THE OLD AND THE NEW STATIONS.

OUR DECISION B-161459 DATED JUNE 27, 1967, 46 COMP. GEN. 884, 885, TO WHICH YOU REFER, DISCUSSED THE POINT THAT INSURANCE OF "MARKETABLE TITLE" BY THE SELLER GENERALLY IS IN LIEU OF A TITLE SEARCH, AN ATTORNEY'S OPINION, OR AN ABSTRACT OF TITLE. HOWEVER, THE STATEMENT OF FACTS IN THAT CASE -- IN THE FIRST TWO PARAGRAPHS OF THAT DECISION - CONCERNED ONLY A SALE OF RESIDENCE AT THE OLD STATION. THAT DECISION DID NOT SAY, OR IMPLY, THAT THE SAME TYPE OF EXPENSE WOULD BE PAYABLE AT BOTH THE OLD AND THE NEW STATIONS AS YOUR LETTER SUGGESTS TO US.

ACCORDINGLY, THE DISALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM FOR THE SAID $118 IS SUSTAINED.