B-245027, Aug 29, 1991, Office of General Counsel

B-245027: Aug 29, 1991

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Whose mortgage on his home is insured by Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The claimant is advised that HUD is authorized to make such repairs pursuant to its regulations. Decisions regarding such expenditures or payments are final and conclusive and not subject to judicial review. This Office and the courts have no jurisdiction in this matter. 12 U.S.C. The documents you have presented show that the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) inspected your home for structural defects and that repairs were performed in accordance with the recommendations of an engineering firm employed by HUD. You were not satisfied with the repairs performed by HUD's contractor. HUD has denied your claim on the basis that the initial repairs were adequate and that it did not authorize the additional repairs that you contracted for.

B-245027, Aug 29, 1991, Office of General Counsel

APPROPRIATIONS/FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT - Claims Against Government - Claim settlement - GAO authority DIGEST: Claimant, whose mortgage on his home is insured by Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), has filed a claim with this Office for reimbursement for engineering services for repairs to his home. The claimant is advised that HUD is authorized to make such repairs pursuant to its regulations, and decisions regarding such expenditures or payments are final and conclusive and not subject to judicial review. Thus, this Office and the courts have no jurisdiction in this matter. 12 U.S.C. Sec. 1735b(a), and (c) (1988); Summers v. United States, 510 F.2d 123 (Eighth Cir. 1975), cert. denied, 423 U.S. 851 (1975).

Anthony J. Flippo:

Mr. Flippo:

We refer to your letter of July 29, 1991, in which you make a claim against the government for $3,750 for engineering services for repairs to your home, reference FHA Case # 521-136786.

The documents you have presented show that the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) inspected your home for structural defects and that repairs were performed in accordance with the recommendations of an engineering firm employed by HUD. You were not satisfied with the repairs performed by HUD's contractor, and you contracted with your own engineering firm to repair your home at a cost of $3,750. You filed a claim with HUD for reimbursement on the basis of its alleged negligence. HUD has denied your claim on the basis that the initial repairs were adequate and that it did not authorize the additional repairs that you contracted for.

We note that HUD is authorized under the provisions of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974, as amended, to insure homes and to make expenditures to correct or to reimburse the owner for the correction of structural or other major defects to the home which seriously affect its use and livability. 12 U.S.C. Sec. 1735b(a) (1988). Thus, HUD has acted under that authority and has taken action to correct the structural defects in your home.

The documents you furnished indicate that HUD has treated your claim for relief under its regulations prescribed in Section 518(a) of the HUD manual, and has denied your claim. Therefore, there is another statutory provision that we believe is pertinent here, and that is 12 U.S.C. Sec. 1735b(c) which provides that:

"c) Regulations, finality of decision

"The Secretary shall by regulations prescribe the terms and conditions under which expenditures and payments may be made under the provisions of this section, and his decisions regarding such expenditures or payments, and the terms and conditions under which the same are approved or disapproved, shall be final and conclusive and shall not be subject to judicial review."

Accordingly, as the above indicates, Congress has provided an exclusive remedy for aggrieved parties within the purview of the statutory authority providing for expenditures and payments under the circumstances you have presented. A claim may be presented to the Secretary, HUD, under its implementing regulations, and if a claim is denied, neither this Office nor the courts have the jurisdiction to review such action by the Secretary. See Summers v. United States, 510 F.2d 123 (Eighth Cir. 1975), cert. denied, 423 U.S. 851 (1975).

We are furnishing you with a copy of the above-cited statutory authority and the case cited, and we are closing our files in this matter.