Friday, September 17, 2010

D.C. Homestead Application update

The District of Columbia Office of Tax and Revenue has agreed to the following:

1)� OTR announces that it will discontinue its ill-conceived Homestead Application system.� Not only will it revert to the old system (without requiring supplemental documentation), but the homestead application form itself will be simplified.� OTR asks for the industry's continued support in assisting homeowners in submitting the application form at the same time as the deed.� We hope that the new form will be unveiled at the next DCLTA general meeting.
2)� OTR will train its front line staff that a buyer shall "not be held responsible for the sins of the seller" provided that the deed is recorded within 30 days.� While we all knew that this was the law, a huge percentage of our problems have involved the incorrect assessment of a pre-settlement charge.�� We have discussed with the Deputy Chief Counsel the dangers of any assessment that pre-dates a date of a title insurance policy. He has indicated to us that he understands this issue.� This is a major recognition by OTR that they needed to correct a systemic problem.
3)� On situations where homeowners inadvertently forget to cancel their homestead on one property when they purchase a new one, OTR has agreed to implement a cross-check upon recordation to eliminate the existing homestead exemption.� This has not been as major an issue for our industry, but it does correct an inequity that has been experienced by homeowners.

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