Increased rental and housing prices have created a crisis in California, so the “Affordable Housing Fee” (Senate Bill 2) was passed last year, and is in effect as of January 1, 2018. This bill creates a funding source for affordable housing, collected through additional recording fees. Each document that gets recorded through the real estate transaction gets increased by $75 (per document), for a maximum of $225 per loan. Per the San Jose Mercury, an additional $2MM-$3MM would be collected annually

My Old Republic Title escrow officer provided this example of a refinance transaction where the individual(s) will be going out then back into Trust (some lenders don’t allow for closing in Trust): “Recording fees would be Deed $31 + $75, Deed of Trust  $110 + $75 and Deed $31 + $75 for a total of $397.00.” OUCH.

There are supposed to be some exemptions to this added fee, such as for a real estate purchase, or commercial loan transaction; however, counties are not in full agreement, so it may be up for interpretation, and we may have to see how it plays out in the coming months. Once the title company receives confirmation of cost from the county at close, any excess over-collected will be refunded back to the homeowner.

Do you have any comments or thoughts on this increased fee?