The Fannie Mae Real Estate Purchase Addendum has a specific parargaph Section 10 (c) wherein they claim an exemption under Title 12 for the payment of transfer taxes.
Prior to February 2010 that particular paragraph was interpreted to mean that if the transfer taxes were collectable (exemption not recognized by the jurisdiction) then the buyer would be responsible for the payment of these fees as part of their closing costs. Many jurisdictions, including some in Maryland, have never recognized this exemption. As a result of that interpretation many consumers have paid over to the Clerks of the Court many thousands of dollars that perhaps should have been paid by Fannie and Freddie.
In January, 2010 Fannie started using a revised Real Estate Purchase Addendum and in February, 2010 they issued an explanatory document relating to that new addednum. A review of that document specifically as it relates to Section 10(c) says that the seller (Fannie Mae) will pay their portion of those fees IF it is usual and customary for a seller to pay and IF the exemption is not recognized. So, beginning in February, 2010 we have been able to "split" those fees in Maryland between seller and buyer.
So, then the question that comes to my mind is this; If it is determined, either jurisdictionally or nationally, that Fannie and Freddie were erroneously claiming an exemption and if, as a result of that error, consumers were made to pay monies on behalf of Fannie and/or Freddie does the consumer have a right to persue repayment of those monies from Fannie or Freddie?
I wonder how many other states are looking at this exact same issue in an effort to get more funds into their budgets? In the Berkshire article it states that the losses to the Southern Essex Registry alone could amount to 4.2 million dollars owed for fees not paid.
One can only wonder how much money was paid over nation wide by consumers on behalf of Fannie and Freddie in those jurisdictions where the exemption was not recognized.
I don't think it would be unreasonable to expect class action suits against Fannie and Freddie by consumers for the reimbursement of these fees.