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Pennsylvania Governor Signs Bill Banning Private Transfer Fees

June 28, 2011

Pennsylvania Gov. Thomas Corbett signed into law House Bill 442, which ban the practice of Private Transfer Fees (PTFs) throughout the Commonwealth. With this signing, Pennsylvania becomes the 36th state to have banned or restricted PTFs.

The Pennsylvania Land Title Association (PLTA) worked for many months to prohibit PTFs. PLTA’s Board formed a special committee in early 2010 to investigate the impact of PTF Covenants on the transfer of real estate in Pennsylvania.

Sen. Wayne Fontana (D-Allegheny) and Rep. Sue Helm (R-Dauphin) introduced legislation supported by PLTA to prohibit PTFs in the Commonwealth. The legislation also creates reporting and disclosure requirements on the administrators of PTFs that already exist. If those requirements aren’t met, the PTF becomes null and void. The legislation garnered a large number of co-sponsors and was passed with close to a unanimous vote in both houses.

“This is a win for Pennsylvania consumers,” said Diana Sabol, PLTA’s immediate past president. “These private transfer fee covenants could have cost home buyers thousands of dollars in additional closing fees and made it impossible for many to purchase a home. PLTA is grateful to both Sen. Fontana and Rep. Helm for their dedication to protecting the consumer and home ownership in Pennsylvania.”

Other states restricting the use of private transfer fees include: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Washington.

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.



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