[FHA Request for Decision Concerning Employee's Entitlement to Reimbursement of Expenses Associated With Sale of Residence]

B-216835: Feb 22, 1985

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An authorized certifying officer of the Federal Highway Administration requested a decision concerning the entitlement of an employee to reimbursement of expenses associated with the sale of his residence resulting from an official transfer. GAO noted that, prior to selling his residence, the employee had obtained a divorce leaving him with only 50-percent interest in the residence. GAO has held that, when an employee holds title to a residence with an individual who is not a member of his immediate family, he may be reimbursed only to the extent of his interest in the residence. The employee argued that the date to be used to determine eligibility for reimbursement should be the date of his official transfer, rather than the settlement date. GAO disagreed with this argument, noting that settlement expenses are only incurred at the time of settlement and, therefore, that is the proper date from which to determine the employee's eligibility. Accordingly, the employee was entitled to reimbursement of 50 percent of the expenses.