Session cancelled: Private transfer fees bill dead

By Kim Shindle | Nov. 5, 2010 | 2 min. read

The PA House of Representatives will not consider Senate Bill 1481, which would prohibit private transfer fees (PTFs), because the legislature cancelled all votes through the end of the year.

The House was expected to return to session Monday, following this week’s general election. With the cancellation of voting days, Senate Bill 1481 is dead.

“We’ll have to regroup and prepare for another battle next year,” said Derenda Updegrave, PA Association of REALTOR®’s director of government affairs. “REALTORS® sent a strong message that private transfer fees are harmful to consumers. We had an incredible response from our members throughout the state. Legislators received more than 6,000 e-mails and phone calls during PAR’s calls-to-action. REALTORS® told legislators how important this legislation is and the negative impact private transfer fees will have on real estate consumers.”

The PA Association of REALTORS® (PAR) has been working to prohibit private transfer fees in the commonwealth. States across the country have been fighting private transfer fees, which will cost unsuspecting homeowners thousands of dollars in additional closing costs.

These private transfer fees are part of a covenant attached to the property deed that forces the seller to pay 1 percent of the purchase price to a private third-party entity every time the property sells over the next 99 years.

“We still believe that private transfer fees are detrimental to the consumer,” said PAR President Don Roth. “These fees add another unreasonable hurdle for the homeowner to the already overwhelming process and cost of selling property. Consumers may lose further equity in their homes when private transfer fee covenants are attached to the properties.”

Nineteen states have already passed legislation opposing private transfer fees.

These fees are being fought by a national coalition of 20 organizations called the Coalition to Stop Wall Street Home Resale Fees. The organization includes the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) and the American Land Title Association and recently the Consumers Union and the Consumer Federation of America have announced they have joined the coalition.

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