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Washington State Restricts Wall Street Home Resale Fees

Washington Governor Christine Gregoire recently signed legislation to restrict Wall Street home resale fees - also known as ""private transfer fees.""

The new law, sponsored by Sen. Nick Harper, places a ban on these fees. Rep. 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 ""Washington Land Title Association"":http://www.wltaonline.org/ (WLTA).

Kissling continued, ""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.""

The WLTA, the Real Property Section of the ""Washington State Bar Association"":http://www.wsba.org/, and the ""Washington Association of Realtors"":http://www.warealtor.org/ supported the bill.

Private transfer fees require that a private third party receive a percentage of the final sale price of a home every time the property is sold, typically for 99 years.

Washington is the 25th state to restrict the use of the fees, joining 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.

The ""Federal Housing Finance Agency"":http://www.fhfa.gov has also issued a proposed rule that would prevent the GSEs from investing in mortgages with these fees.