Disclosures on the presence and amount of radon in homes may soon become mandatory for all lenders, but if the final version being mulled by the Senate resembles the bill passed by the House, lenders may breathe a collective sigh of relief.

The bill, the Radon Awareness and Disclosure Act, H.R; 2448, was passed by the full House July 28, and calls for complete disclosure of any known radon measurement by lenders prior to the sale of a home, radon warning statements on mortgage contracts and the distribution of a radon hazard warning pamphlet, similar to that on cigarette packages.

The legislation does not require radon testing at the time of a home sales transaction or any other time.

A portion of the bill, however, could have provided heavy penalties for noncompliance. Members of the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on health and the environment had sought a hefty penalty on lenders and lessors of a whopping maximum of $10,000 a day.

That provision, opposed by some trade groups, was removed in favor of a maximum one-time civil money penalty of $2,000. The bill also makes noncomplying lenders liable to the borrower for a more reasonable "equal amount to the reasonable costs of radon mitigation."

The Senate version, S. 656, would require a document be developed containing radon-related information and distributed to home buyers and lessees.

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