State and Local Taxes

The transfer tax debacle continues as we all struggle to stay competitive and in compliance with block 8 of the new GFE. With potentially thousands of dollars at risk, many lenders have chosen a very conservative route and require disclosure of all state and local taxes in block 8, regardless of whether state law dictates the seller must pay the fee. There is certainly room in the RESPA language to keep a property transfer tax out of block 8 when state law clearly states the seller is responsible for the tax and sellers are typically paying the tax. In several states it is the later part of that criteria that can be a problem when REO sales are the norm. But this situation again is more of a concern about omitting the fee when indeed the borrower may end up paying the tax. It is NOT automatically a changed circumstance because the lender ‘just discovered’ or ‘just learned’ the seller of the property is a bank that will not pay the transfer tax and the buyer must. Also keep in mind that any state or local fee with the word ‘tax’ is typically falling into this block. This includes tax stamps, document tax and intangible tax.