These questions and answers are meant to apply to general situations and should not be construed as definitive answers to any questions you may have. For further information, contact the program office at the address listed on the Interstate Land Sales Home Page.
QUESTION 1 - If I have a complaint concerning my lot purchase, what should I do?
ANSWER - Try to resolve your situation first by contacting the developer. If that fails, you can file a complaint with the Office of RESPA and Interstate Land Sales, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW, Room 9154, Washington, DC 20410, that clearly states your problem. Your complaint also needs to include the name and address of the developer, the name of the salesperson, the date of your purchase, the name of the subdivision, and the lot number. You should also indicate whether or not you received a Property Report at the time of sale and submit copies of any sales documents or other pertinent information. HUD will then advise you whether we can provide assistance to you since some matters may not fall under our jurisdiction.
QUESTION 2 - Under what circumstances can I get my money back?
ANSWER - If you purchased a registered lot and received a Property Report prior to signing your contract or purchased a lot sold under either the intrastate, multiple site or substantial compliance exemption, you can cancel your contract and receive a refund within seven days of the date of your purchase. If you are entitled to and did not receive a Property Report prior to the time of sale, you are entitled to cancel your contract and receive a refund within two years from the date of your purchase. This two year cancellation period also applies to some purchasers of registered lots who received a Property Report prior to the time of purchase. If you believe that you are entitled to cancel your contract and receive a refund, you should inform the developer, not HUD, in writing of your decision. If the developer refuses, you should file a complaint with HUD.
QUESTION 3 - If I am thinking about buying a lot, what information can you provide to me concerning the subdivision and the developer?
ANSWER - HUD can tell you whether or not the developer is registered, whether we have any complaints and whether any previous actions have been taken against a particular developer. However, HUD does not express opinions on whether or not you should buy the lot, the character of the developer or provide legal advice. Additional information on buying lots can be found in our consumer brochure, "Buying Lots from Developers."
QUESTION 4 - If a developer has not completed promised facilities and amenities as indicated in the Property Report, what can HUD do?
ANSWER - The Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act does not give HUD the authority to force any developer to complete promised facilities and amenities. If a developer fails to complete facilities as promised in the Property Report or in any way misstates or omits necessary disclosure, the individual purchasers can sue under the Act for damages, subject to the Act's statute of limitations. If the developer needs to amend its Property Report, we will ask developer to amend it to protect future purchasers. The failure of the developer to do so can result in the suspension of its registration. HUD can also pursue civil and/or criminal action in those situations where fraudulent sales practices may have occurred.
QUESTION 5 - Can HUD take action against a developer who is not enforcing the restrictive covenants?
ANSWER - HUD has no authority to force a developer to enforce restrictive covenants. An attorney can advise you of your rights in this matter.
QUESTION 6 - How can lot purchasers gain control of the property owners' association which is now being controlled by the developer?
ANSWER - While the developer is required to disclose whether or not it exercises any control over an association, we have no authority to regulate the actions of a property owners' association or enforce its by-laws. Normally, the covenants or by- laws will govern the actions of the association. An attorney can advise you of your rights in this matter.
QUESTION 7 - How do I obtain copies of the Property Report and any other materials you have regarding a particular offering?
ANSWER - Hard copies of the Property Report are available at $2.50 each and single pages of other materials are available at $.10 per page. True copies can be obtained for an additional $2 per document and certifications are available at $12.00 each. Certified checks, personal checks and money orders, made payable to the Department of the Treasury, are accepted for payment.
QUESTION 8 - Should I continue making my payments if I am dissatisfied with my purchase?
ANSWER - Since we cannot provide legal advice, we suggest that you seek the advice of an attorney who can advise you of your rights in this matter.
QUESTION 9 - If the developer has filed for bankruptcy, how will that affect my purchase?
ANSWER - Although the circumstances of each case will vary, the odds are very good that the bankruptcy will affect your rights. If you have not received information from the developer, you should contact the bankruptcy court to find out the procedure for filing a claim. You should then consult an attorney who can determine your rights in this matter.
QUESTION 10 - If I purchased my lot from an individual rather than from the developer, am I entitled to any rights provided to purchasers under the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act?
ANSWER - No. Sales made among individuals are not covered by the Act. Therefore, purchasers buying lots from individuals are not entitled to receive a Property Report nor are they entitled to any rights provided to purchasers under the Act.