B-173229, OCT 21, 1971

B-173229: Oct 21, 1971

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SINCE IT IS NOT SHOWN THAT ANY LITIGATION WAS INVOLVED OR THAT CLAIMANT SIGNED A CONTRACT FOR THE SALE OF HER PROPERTY DURING THE INITIAL ONE-YEAR PERIOD. THE MERE LISTING OF PROPERTY WITH A REALTOR IS INSUFFICIENT TO SUPPORT AN EXTENSION. YOUR MEMORANDUM WAS FORWARDED TO THIS OFFICE BY DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY LETTER OF MAY 4. YOU WERE TRANSFERRED FROM FORT HUACHUCA. THAT THE SALE OF YOUR RESIDENCE IN SIERRA VISTA WAS NOT CONSUMMATED UNTIL MARCH 9. THAT FHA INSURED FINANCING FOR PURCHASE OF RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY MAY BE SECURED BY EMPLOYEES OF FORT HUACHUCA ONLY UPON ENDORSEMENT BY THE POST HOUSING OFFICER THAT THE RESIDENCE WILL BE RESOLD TO AN EMPLOYEE OF THE FORT IF AT ALL POSSIBLE. THE EMPLOYMENT LEVEL AT FORT HUACHUCA WAS FAIRLY STABLE WITH THE RESULT THAT YOUR HOUSE WAS NOT SOLD UNTIL THE LATTER DATE ALTHOUGH IT WAS LISTED WITH A LOCAL REALTOR DURING THE ENTIRE PERIOD.

B-173229, OCT 21, 1971

CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE - EXPENSES OF SALE OF RESIDENCE - REQUEST FOR ONE-YEAR EXTENSION DECISION DISALLOWING REQUEST OF MRS. ELIZABETH ANN MOORE, EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY, FOR AN EXTENSION OF THE TIME BEYOND THE NORMAL ONE -YEAR REQUIREMENT TO SUPPORT A CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF REAL ESTATE EXPENSE INCURRED IN THE SALE OF HER RESIDENCE INCIDENT TO AN OFFICIAL CHANGE OF STATIONS. SINCE IT IS NOT SHOWN THAT ANY LITIGATION WAS INVOLVED OR THAT CLAIMANT SIGNED A CONTRACT FOR THE SALE OF HER PROPERTY DURING THE INITIAL ONE-YEAR PERIOD, NO BASIS EXISTS FOR AN EXTENSION OF THE PERIOD. THE MERE LISTING OF PROPERTY WITH A REALTOR IS INSUFFICIENT TO SUPPORT AN EXTENSION.

TO MRS. ELIZABETH ANN MOORE:

WE AGAIN REFER TO YOUR MEMORANDUM OF JANUARY 7, 1971, REQUESTING REVIEW OF THE SETTLEMENT OF OCTOBER 30, 1970, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF REAL ESTATE EXPENSES INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH THE SALE OF YOUR RESIDENCE IN SIERRA VISTA, ARIZONA, INCIDENT TO A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION. YOUR MEMORANDUM WAS FORWARDED TO THIS OFFICE BY DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY LETTER OF MAY 4, 1971.

YOU WERE TRANSFERRED FROM FORT HUACHUCA, SIERRA VISTA, ARIZONA, TO WASHINGTON, D.C., BY TRAVEL ORDER NO. T-749-69, DATED JULY 7, 1968. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT YOU REPORTED FOR DUTY AT YOUR NEW STATION ON JULY 22, 1968, AND THAT THE SALE OF YOUR RESIDENCE IN SIERRA VISTA WAS NOT CONSUMMATED UNTIL MARCH 9, 1970, OR MORE THAN ONE YEAR SUBSEQUENT TO YOUR REPORTING DATE.

BY LETTER OF APRIL 10, 1970, YOU REQUESTED AN EXTENSION OF TIME BEYOND THE NORMAL ONE-YEAR REQUIREMENT TO SUPPORT A CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF REAL ESTATE EXPENSES. YOU EXPLAINED THAT SIERRA VISTA EXISTS ONLY BY VIRTUE OF THE MILITARY AND CIVILIAN PERSONNEL STATIONED AT FORT HUACHUCA; THAT FHA INSURED FINANCING FOR PURCHASE OF RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY MAY BE SECURED BY EMPLOYEES OF FORT HUACHUCA ONLY UPON ENDORSEMENT BY THE POST HOUSING OFFICER THAT THE RESIDENCE WILL BE RESOLD TO AN EMPLOYEE OF THE FORT IF AT ALL POSSIBLE. YOU STATED THAT DURING THE PERIOD JULY 1, 1969, TO MARCH 9, 1970, THE EMPLOYMENT LEVEL AT FORT HUACHUCA WAS FAIRLY STABLE WITH THE RESULT THAT YOUR HOUSE WAS NOT SOLD UNTIL THE LATTER DATE ALTHOUGH IT WAS LISTED WITH A LOCAL REALTOR DURING THE ENTIRE PERIOD.

IN OUR SETTLEMENT OF OCTOBER 30, 1970, WE MADE REFERENCE TO PARAGRAPH 4.1E, OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56, WHICH PROVIDES THAT EXPENSES REQUIRED TO BE PAID IN CONNECTION WITH THE SALE OF A DWELLING WILL BE REIMBURSED BY THE GOVERNMENT IF THE SETTLEMENT DATE IS NOT LATER THAN ONE YEAR AFTER THE DATE ON WHICH THE EMPLOYEE REPORTED FOR DUTY AT THE NEW DUTY STATION.

WE SAID THAT THE CIRCULAR FURTHER PROVIDES THAT AN EXTENSION OF TIME MAY BE AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED BY THE HEAD OF THE AGENCY OR HIS DESIGNEE WHEN SETTLEMENT IS DELAYED BY LITIGATION; ALSO, THAT AN ADDITIONAL PERIOD OF TIME NOT IN EXCESS OF ONE YEAR MAY BE AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED BY THE HEAD OF THE AGENCY OR HIS DESIGNEE WHEN HE DETERMINES THAT CIRCUMSTANCES JUSTIFYING THE EXCEPTION EXIST WHICH PRECLUDES SETTLEMENT WITHIN THE INITIAL ONE-YEAR PERIOD OF THE SALE CONTRACT ENTERED INTO IN GOOD FAITH BY THE EMPLOYEE "WITHIN THE INITIAL ONE-YEAR PERIOD."

YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED FOR THE REASON THAT THE RECORD DOES NOT REVEAL ANY LITIGATION INVOLVING YOUR FORMER PROPERTY OR INDICATE AN ADMINISTRATIVE EXTENSION OF THE ONE-YEAR LIMIT.

YOUR PRESENT REQUEST WAS ACCOMPANIED BY A LETTER DATED MAY 4, 1971, FROM A DESIGNEE OF THE COMMANDER, NAVAL ELECTRONICS SYSTEMS COMMAND, IN EFFECT APPROVING AN EXTENSION TO MARCH 10, 1970, FOR THE REASONS STATED IN YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 10, 1970. SINCE, HOWEVER, IT IS NOT SHOWN THAT ANY LITIGATION WAS INVOLVED OR THAT YOU SIGNED A CONTRACT FOR THE SALE OF YOUR PROPERTY DURING THE INITIAL ONE-YEAR PERIOD, THIS MAY NOT BE ACCEPTED AS A VALID ADMINISTRATIVE EXTENSION OF THE ONE-YEAR PERIOD. THE MERE LISTING OF PROPERTY WITH A REALTOR DOES NOT CONSTITUTE A CONTRACT FOR ITS SALE.

UNDER THE PERTINENT REGULATIONS IT CONSISTENTLY HAS BEEN HELD THAT A DELAY NOT CAUSED BY LITIGATION OR COVERED BY A VALID ADMINISTRATIVE EXTENSION OF THE ONE-YEAR PERIOD DOES NOT AFFORD A BASIS FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF REAL ESTATE EXPENSES INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH THE SALE OF A RESIDENCE. 47 COMP. GEN. 753 (1968) AND 48 COMP. GEN. 71 (1968). SEE ALSO DECISIONS B-168392, DECEMBER 16, 1969, AND B-172160, APRIL 6, 1971, COPIES ENCLOSED.

ACCORDINGLY, THE SETTLEMENT DISALLOWING YOUR CLAIM WAS CORRECT AND IS SUSTAINED.