Washington Becomes 25th State to Restrict Private Transfer Fees

April 21, 2011

Washinton Gov. Christine Gregoire took swift action to protect Washington homeowners by signing SB 5115 to restrict private transfer fees. The new law, sponsored by Sen. Nick Harper, places a ban on these fees, a dangerous new financial scheme that steals home equity, lowers home resale values and adds another layer of difficulty to selling a home.

The bill was supported by the Washington Land Title Association (WLTA), the Real Property Section of the Washington State Bar Association and by the Washington Association of Realtors. Representative Roger Goodman sponsored the companion bill in the State’s House of Representatives.

“The governor and legislature stood up for Washington homeowners by protecting consumers from these for profit fees,” said Gary Kissling, president of the WLTA. “This bill is an important step in enhancing consumer protections and safeguarding a fragile real estate market from further abuse. These fees have no place in the Washington real estate market, and we’re glad to see them banned.”

Washington becomes the 25th state to have restricted the use of Wall Street Resale Fees. Washington joins Arizona, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Virginia in restricting the dangerous fees.

On the federal level, the Federal Housing Finance Agency has issued a proposed rule that would prevent government-sponsored entities from investing in mortgages with these fees.

Contact ALTA at 202-296-3671 or communications@alta.org.

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