B-164638, AUG. 13, 1968

B-164638: Aug 13, 1968

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THE CONSTRUCTION WAS FINANCED IN PART THROUGH A VETERANS ADMINISTRATION LOAN GUARANTY. BECAUSE OF DELAYS ENCOUNTERED BY THE BUILDER THE CONSTRUCTION WAS NOT COMPLETED WITHIN THE TIME LIMITED BY THE CONTRACT AND IN FACT WAS SO DELAYED THAT THE LOAN WAS NOT CLOSED UNTIL MARCH 26. WHICH WAS MORE THAN 1 YEAR AFTER THE DATE OF THE EMPLOYEE'S ENTRANCE ON DUTY. WHICH IS REQUIRED TO BE MADE WITHIN 1 YEAR AFTER THE EMPLOYEE REPORTS FOR DUTY. WHICH EVIDENTLY WAS VESTED IN THE SELLER (THE BUILDER) WITH IMPROVEMENTS THEREON. WAS CONVEYED TO THE PURCHASER BY THE WARRANTY DEED OF DECEMBER 26. THE DWELLING WHICH PRESUMABLY WAS REASONABLY HABITABLE BY THAT DATE WAS OCCUPIED BY THE PURCHASER WITH THE CONSENT OF THE SELLER.

B-164638, AUG. 13, 1968

TO MR. RAYMOND F. HUFFT:

YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 18, 1968, REFERENCE FIS-8-FIN L, ENCLOSES A REIMBURSEMENT VOUCHER FOR $495.25 IN FAVOR OF MR. JOHN LYONS, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE BUREAU OF CUSTOMS, REPRESENTING EXPENSES INCURRED BY HIM ON MARCH 26, 1968, IN THE PURCHASE OF A DWELLING HOUSE AT HIS NEW OFFICIAL STATION, PANAMA CITY, FLORIDA.

MR. LYONS ENTERED ON DUTY AT PANAMA CITY ON MARCH 1, 1967. INCIDENT TO PROCUREMENT OF A RESIDENCE DWELLING AT HIS NEW STATION MR. LYONS ON JUNE 30, 1967, ENTERED INTO A CONTRACT WITH A BUILDER-DEVELOPER FOR THE PURCHASE OF A LOT AND THE CONSTRUCTION OF A HOUSE TO BE COMPLETED WITHIN 4 MONTHS FROM DATE OF CONTRACT. THE CONSTRUCTION WAS FINANCED IN PART THROUGH A VETERANS ADMINISTRATION LOAN GUARANTY.

BECAUSE OF DELAYS ENCOUNTERED BY THE BUILDER THE CONSTRUCTION WAS NOT COMPLETED WITHIN THE TIME LIMITED BY THE CONTRACT AND IN FACT WAS SO DELAYED THAT THE LOAN WAS NOT CLOSED UNTIL MARCH 26, 1968, WHICH WAS MORE THAN 1 YEAR AFTER THE DATE OF THE EMPLOYEE'S ENTRANCE ON DUTY.

IN COPY OF MR. LYONS' LETTER OF APRIL 16, 1968, ATTACHED TO THE ENCLOSURES WITH YOUR LETTER, HE STATES, AMONG OTHER THINGS, AS FOLLOWS:

"7. BY MID-DECEMBER WE BECAME CONCERNED ABOUT QUALIFYING FOR HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION AS YOU MUST BE OCCUPYING THE HOME ON 1 JANUARY TO BE ELIGIBLE. SO ON DECEMBER 28TH WE MOVED INTO THE HOUSE, IT STILL UNFINISHED IN MANY RESPECTS, SUCH AS DRAPES, CARPETS, SOME PAINTING, LANDSCAPING, BRICK WORK, AND GUTTERS. ON DECEMBER 29TH HE GAVE US A QUIT CLAIM (WARRANTY) DEED TO THE PROPERTY AND PROPERLY RECORDED ENTITLED US TO HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION.'

IN BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56, SECTION 4.1D, THE TERM "SETTLEMENT" , WHICH IS REQUIRED TO BE MADE WITHIN 1 YEAR AFTER THE EMPLOYEE REPORTS FOR DUTY, REFERS TO THE CLOSING OF A REAL ESTATE TRANSACTION BY THE PAYMENT OF THE CONTRACT PRICE CONSIDERATION, THE TRANSFER OR CONVEYANCE OF TITLE BY DEED OR OTHERWISE, AND THE EXECUTION OF SUCH DOCUMENTS AS CREATE OR EVIDENCE THE LIENS SECURED BY THE REAL ESTATE CONVEYED. THE CIRCULAR CONTEMPLATES THE USUAL, NORMAL AND CUSTOMARY SETTLEMENT TRANSACTION BY WHICH A PURCHASER ACQUIRES TITLE TO IMPROVED REAL ESTATE TO BE USED AS HIS RESIDENCE.

IN THE INSTANT CASE TITLE TO THE REAL ESTATE, WHICH EVIDENTLY WAS VESTED IN THE SELLER (THE BUILDER) WITH IMPROVEMENTS THEREON, WAS CONVEYED TO THE PURCHASER BY THE WARRANTY DEED OF DECEMBER 26, 1967, AND THE DWELLING WHICH PRESUMABLY WAS REASONABLY HABITABLE BY THAT DATE WAS OCCUPIED BY THE PURCHASER WITH THE CONSENT OF THE SELLER. IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES IT IS OUR VIEW THAT THERE HAS BEEN SUBSTANTIAL COMPLIANCE WITH THE 1-YEAR REQUIREMENT OF SECTION 4.1D OF THE CIRCULAR.

THE VOUCHER, EXCEPT FOR THE ITEM OF "INTANGIBLE TAX" , MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT IF OTHERWISE CORRECT. DISTINGUISH B-160799, MAY 20, 1968, COPY HEREWITH, AND 46 COMP. GEN. 677, CITED THEREIN.

REGARDING THE ITEM OF "INTANGIBLE TAX" SEE OUR DECISION OF FEBRUARY 5, 1968, B-160040, COPY HEREWITH.