B-176225, AUG 7, 1972

B-176225: Aug 7, 1972

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IS REIMBURSABLE. THIS CLAIM MAY NOT BE PAID UNTIL IT IS SHOWN THAT IT WAS CUSTOMARY FOR THE SELLER TO PAY THESE FEES IN THE AREA WHERE THE HOME WAS LOCATED. THE SELLER WILL FURNISH AND DELIVER TO THE BUYER *** TITLE INSURANCE BINDER FOR A MORTGAGE POLICY IN THE AMOUNT OF $17. WE HAVE PREVIOUSLY HELD THAT THE COST OF INSURANCE PURCHASED BY THE SELLER IN LIEU OF SHOWING A MARKETABLE TITLE BY A TITLE SEARCH. OR A LEGAL OPINION IS A REIMBURSABLE EXPENSE. IN THIS CASE WE NOTE THAT THE FILE FAILS TO CONTAIN ANY VERIFICATION OF THE EMPLOYEE'S STATEMENT THAT IT IS CUSTOMARY IN THE AREA WHERE HIS HOME WAS LOCATED FOR THE SELLER TO PAY THE FEE FOR MORTGAGE TITLE INSURANCE. THE RECLAIM VOUCHER IS RETURNED HEREWITH FOR HANDLING IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ABOVE.

B-176225, AUG 7, 1972

CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE - SALE OF RESIDENCE - CUSTOMARY FEES DECISION REGARDING THE PAYMENT OF A CLAIM OF HURLEY N. SEAFORD, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE, IN THE AMOUNT OF $181.25, COVERING AN EXPENSE INCURRED IN THE SALE OF HIS RESIDENCE INCIDENT TO A CHANGE OF STATION. WHILE GAO HAS PREVIOUSLY HELD THAT THE COST OF INSURANCE PURCHASED BY THE SELLER IN LIEU OF SHOWING A MARKETABLE TITLE BY A TITLE SEARCH, AN ABSTRACT OF TITLE, OR A LEGAL OPINION, IS REIMBURSABLE, B-171338, FEBRUARY 10, 1971, THIS CLAIM MAY NOT BE PAID UNTIL IT IS SHOWN THAT IT WAS CUSTOMARY FOR THE SELLER TO PAY THESE FEES IN THE AREA WHERE THE HOME WAS LOCATED.

TO MISS LOUISE MCMILLAN:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTER DATED JUNE 10, 1972, REFERENCE ADFF:1M, ENCLOSING A RECLAIM VOUCHER FOR $256.25 IN FAVOR OF MR. HURLEY N. SEAFORD, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE, IN WHICH YOU ASK FOR OUR ADVANCE DECISION AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF CERTIFYING FOR PAYMENT AN ITEM OF $181.25 COVERING THE EMPLOYEE'S MORTGAGE TITLE POLICY, AN EXPENSE WHICH HE INCURRED IN THE SALE OF HIS RESIDENCE UPON TRANSFER OF HIS OFFICIAL DUTY STATION TO TAMPA, FLORIDA.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT THE PURCHASE AND SALE AGREEMENT, DATED OCTOBER 24, 1971, FOR THE SALE OF THE EMPLOYEE'S RESIDENCE PROVIDED AS FOLLOWS:

"6 TITLE EVIDENCE: WITHIN 15 DAYS *** AFTER DATE OF APPROVAL OF MORTGAGE LOAN, THE SELLER WILL FURNISH AND DELIVER TO THE BUYER *** TITLE INSURANCE BINDER FOR A MORTGAGE POLICY IN THE AMOUNT OF $17,500.00."

IN SIMILAR CASES, WE HAVE PREVIOUSLY HELD THAT THE COST OF INSURANCE PURCHASED BY THE SELLER IN LIEU OF SHOWING A MARKETABLE TITLE BY A TITLE SEARCH, AN ABSTRACT OF TITLE, OR A LEGAL OPINION IS A REIMBURSABLE EXPENSE. SEE B-171338, FEBRUARY 10, 1971 (COPY ENCLOSED). HOWEVER, IN THIS CASE WE NOTE THAT THE FILE FAILS TO CONTAIN ANY VERIFICATION OF THE EMPLOYEE'S STATEMENT THAT IT IS CUSTOMARY IN THE AREA WHERE HIS HOME WAS LOCATED FOR THE SELLER TO PAY THE FEE FOR MORTGAGE TITLE INSURANCE. SUCH VERIFICATION SHOULD BE OBTAINED FROM THE FEDERAL HOUSING ADMINISTRATION OR OTHER RELIABLE SOURCE BEFORE ALLOWING REIMBURSEMENT OF THE TITLE INSURANCE FEE.

ACCORDINGLY, THE RECLAIM VOUCHER IS RETURNED HEREWITH FOR HANDLING IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ABOVE.