B-235616, Aug 29, 1989

B-235616: Aug 29, 1989

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

CIVILIAN PERSONNEL - Relocation - Residence transaction expenses - Loan origination fees - Reimbursement - Amount determination PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE Joseph Paul Dooley: The issue in this decision is whether Mr. He seeks reimbursement for an additional 2 percent in charges that were separately identified on his settlement statement as part of a "loan discount" fee. It is not clear that the additional charges reflected costs of loan origination. Limit an employee to a 1 percent loan origination fee unless he can demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that a higher fee is customary in the locality. We have held that a Federal Home Loan Bank survey. Is not sufficient to demonstrate that a particular fee is customary in the locality because the surveyed fees include not only loan origination fees but also nonreimbursable expenses such as discounts and points.

B-235616, Aug 29, 1989

CIVILIAN PERSONNEL - Relocation - Residence transaction expenses - Loan origination fees - Reimbursement - Amount determination PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE

Joseph Paul Dooley:

The issue in this decision is whether Mr. Dooley, an employee of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), may be reimbursed for a total of 3 percent in loan origination fees in connection with his purchase of a residence following a permanent change of station in 1988. The FBI reimbursed Mr. Dooley for a 1 percent loan origination fee, but he seeks reimbursement for an additional 2 percent in charges that were separately identified on his settlement statement as part of a "loan discount" fee.

We conclude that the FBI correctly limited Mr. Dooley's reimbursement to the 1 percent loan origination fee. It is not clear that the additional charges reflected costs of loan origination. However, even assuming that they did, the Federal Travel Regulations (FTR), as recently amended, limit an employee to a 1 percent loan origination fee unless he can demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that a higher fee is customary in the locality. FTR, para. 2 6.2d(1)(b) (Supp. 26, Dec. 21, 1987). In several decisions, we have held that a Federal Home Loan Bank survey, of the type submitted by Mr. Dooley to support his claim for a 3 percent fee, is not sufficient to demonstrate that a particular fee is customary in the locality because the surveyed fees include not only loan origination fees but also nonreimbursable expenses such as discounts and points. See e.g., Michael J. Murphy, B-232679, Nov. 14, 1988; Constant B. Chevalier, 66 Comp.Gen. 627 (1987).

Accordingly, we sustain the FBI's determination on Mr. Dooley's claim.