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Failure to Pay Transfer Taxes

March 2014

Hausfeld represents municipalities in North Carolina, West Virginia, Ohio and Washington who have brought claims against Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and their conservator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency.  These lawsuits allege that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have sold tens of thousands of foreclosed properties in each of those states and have illegally claimed to be exempt from the payment of local transfer taxes in these states.  Local transfer taxes provide municipalities with millions of dollars of revenue each year, and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s refusal to pay taxes on their sales – which have ballooned as a result of the ongoing foreclosure crisis – has, according to the complaints, illegally deprived these municipalities of much needed revenue. 

Transfer taxes are an excise tax levied on the transfer of real property.  Thirty-six states and the District of Columbia require the payment of this excise tax on real property transfers.  Depending on the jurisdiction, transfer taxes can be levied by the state, counties, and/or municipalities within the state.

These cases are presently on appeal in the Fourth, Sixth, and Ninth Circuits.

For more information, please contact James Pizzirusso.

Practice Areas: Deceptive Business Practices and Consumer Protection


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