B-164991, AUG. 28, 1968

B-164991: Aug 28, 1968

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WHICH WAS DISALLOWED BY SETTLEMENT OF THE CLAIMS DIVISION OF OUR OFFICE DATED APRIL 23. THE ITEMS IN QUESTION ARE THE FEE OF $165 WHICH YOU PAID TO THE LAW FIRM OF STRIPP AND ROBERTS. THE SALE WAS FORMALIZED BY THE FIRM OF STRIPP AND ROBERTS FOR THE TOTAL SUM OF $165. THERE IS NO AUTHORITY IN SECTION 4 OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. ARE REIMBURSABLE UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 4.2C OF THOSE REGULATIONS. WE HAVE TODAY INSTRUCTED THE CLAIMS DIVISION TO ISSUE SETTLEMENT TO YOU IN THE AMOUNT OF $165. THE $200 LEGAL FEE YOU WERE CHARGED IN CONNECTION WITH YOUR PURCHASE OF A RESIDENCE IN NEW YORK APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN FOR ADVISORY SERVICES AND NOT FOR PREPARATION OF DEEDS AND CONTRACTS AND TITLE WORK.

B-164991, AUG. 28, 1968

TO MR. JACK F. BYRD:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 19, 1968, YOUR REFERENCE 526 (136), BY WHICH YOU REQUEST RECONSIDERATION OF YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF CERTAIN LEGAL EXPENSES YOU INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH THE SALE AND PURCHASE OF RESIDENCES INCIDENT TO YOUR TRANSFER FROM ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN, TO BRONX, NEW YORK, AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION EFFECTIVE ON OR ABOUT JANUARY 1, 1967, WHICH WAS DISALLOWED BY SETTLEMENT OF THE CLAIMS DIVISION OF OUR OFFICE DATED APRIL 23, 1968.

THE ITEMS IN QUESTION ARE THE FEE OF $165 WHICH YOU PAID TO THE LAW FIRM OF STRIPP AND ROBERTS, YPSILANTI, MICHIGAN, FOR "PURCHASE AGREEMENT, DEED, TITLE WORK, CLOSING" IN CONNECTION WITH THE SALE OF YOUR RESIDENCE IN ANN ARBOR AND THE $200 YOU PAID TO STEPHEN R. J. ROACH, JR., ATTORNEY AT LAW, YORKTOWN HEIGHTS, NEW YORK, FOR "ATTENDANCE AT CONTRACT AND TITLE CLOSING AND MORTGAGE TRANSACTION ON PURCHASE OF PROPERTY" IN CONNECTION WITH YOUR PURCHASE OF A RESIDENCE IN THE VICINITY OF YOUR NEW DUTY STATION AT BRONX, NEW YORK.

APPARENTLY YOU DID NOT MAKE USE OF THE SERVICES OF A REAL ESTATE AGENT OR BROKER IN CONNECTION WITH THE SALE OF YOUR RESIDENCE IN ANN ARBOR. THE SALE WAS FORMALIZED BY THE FIRM OF STRIPP AND ROBERTS FOR THE TOTAL SUM OF $165. THERE IS NO AUTHORITY IN SECTION 4 OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56 TO REIMBURSE YOU THAT EXPENSE IN LIEU OF A REAL ESTATE AGENT'S FEE WHICH YOU DID NOT INCUR. HOWEVER, THE CHARGES INVOLVED -- PURCHASE AGREEMENT, DEED, TITLE WORK AND HANDLING CLOSING -- ARE REIMBURSABLE UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 4.2C OF THOSE REGULATIONS. THEREFORE, WE HAVE TODAY INSTRUCTED THE CLAIMS DIVISION TO ISSUE SETTLEMENT TO YOU IN THE AMOUNT OF $165.

THE $200 LEGAL FEE YOU WERE CHARGED IN CONNECTION WITH YOUR PURCHASE OF A RESIDENCE IN NEW YORK APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN FOR ADVISORY SERVICES AND NOT FOR PREPARATION OF DEEDS AND CONTRACTS AND TITLE WORK. EVEN THOUGH IT MAY BE MORE USUAL IN THE NEW YORK AREA FOR PURCHASERS AND SELLERS OF RESIDENCES TO HAVE LEGAL REPRESENTATION THAN IT IS IN SOME OTHER AREAS IN THE UNITED STATES, WE DO NOT BELIEVE THAT REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE COSTS OF SUCH REPRESENTATION IS ALLOWABLE IN VIEW OF THE DECISIONS B-161891, AUGUST 21, 1967, AND B-163203, MARCH 1, 1968, COPIES OF WHICH ARE ENCLOSED. FURTHER, IF A PART OF THE FEE IN QUESTION WAS CHARGED FOR SERVICES RENDERED WHICH ARE COVERED BY SECTION 4.2C, THOSE EXPENSES WOULD NOT BE REIMBURSABLE TO THE EXTENT THAT SIMILAR COSTS HAVE BEEN AUTHORIZED FOR REIMBURSEMENT IN CONNECTION WITH YOUR SALE OF THE ANN ARBOR RESIDENCE.

TO SUMMARIZE, REIMBURSEMENT IS AUTHORIZED ON THE BASIS OF THE EVIDENCE PRESENTED IN THE AMOUNT OF $165 AND YOU WILL RECEIVE PAYMENT OF THAT AMOUNT IN DUE COURSE. HOWEVER, YOUR CLAIM FOR AN ADDITIONAL $200 REIMBURSEMENT MUST BE DISALLOWED.