Q: Are brokers in Maine obligated to provide a disclosure for known hazardous materials in a bank owned property?
We purchased a bank owned foreclosure and discovered the attic has visible asbestos containing vermiculite insulation.
A: 33 M.R.S. § 172(3) provides: "[t]he following transfers are exempt from this subchapter: . . . 3. Power of sale. Transfers by a sale under a power of sale or any foreclosure sale under a decree of foreclosure after default in an obligation secured by a mortgage or deed of trust or secured by any other instrument containing a power of sale, or transfers by a mortgagee or a beneficiary under a deed of trust who has acquired the residential real property at a sale conducted pursuant to a power of sale under a mortgage or deed of trust or a sale pursuant to a decree of foreclosure or who has acquired the residential real property by a deed in lieu of foreclosure;"
33 M.R.S. § 173(4)(A) provides: "[u]nless the transaction is exempt under section 172, the seller of residential real property shall provide to the purchaser a property disclosure statement containing the following information: . . . 4. Hazardous materials. The presence or prior removal of hazardous materials or elements on the residential real property, including, but not limited to: A. Asbestos;"
I can't determine a conclusive answer from the way you have worded your question, because additional and clarifying facts are needed, but based on the above statutes, there may be an applicable exemption to the normal disclosure requirement concerning asbestos in this situation.
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