H.272 is a proposed Vermont Legislature Private Roads Bill discussed by the House Committee on Commerce & Economic Development.
Many Vermonters are used to handshake agreements on road maintenance which in many cases have worked brilliantly over the years, in others leading to differences and financial inequality while some year round and second residents paid for their share or more than their share while others refused to or were otherwise unable to contribute, and in some contentious cases, legal disputes.
Four years ago on January 31st, 2008, Fannie Mae, the Federal National Mortgage Association and a major purchaser of residential mortgage loans on the secondary market setting loan underwriting and legal requirements for loans sold on the secondary market, announced they would permit mortgage loan delivery for properties without road maintenance agreements or covenants provided these properties were properties located in states with statutory provisions on private road repair and maintenance.
Since the mortgage crisis, lenders, including Fannie Mae, have become stricter in underwriting standards enforcement leading to closing delays and uncertainty for Vermont homeowners. In 2011 H.272 was to go into effect by July 1st but the committee determined additional research was called for to ensure the legislation meets Fannie Mae requirements, remaining a top Vermont Association of Realtors agenda item for the 2012 legislative session, now in full swing.
Commerce & Economic Development Committee member and South Burlington Representative Michele Kupersmith, in an email excerpt to State Representative Adam Greshin:
“The bill was pulled back into committee for several reasons, including: class 4 roads may require inclusion; VLCT concerns may not have been fully vetted; and affects on adjoining landowners may not have been fully vetted. In addition, I would like to consider the possibility of providing a forum for dispute resolution, prior to having to file an action in Superior Court. Chair Botzow is very intent on moving forward with this. We will schedule testimony in committee as soon as we can…”
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