Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 32.1. Health
Chapter 6. Environmental Health Services

§ 32.1-164.1:2. Eligibility for betterment loans to repair or replace failing onsite sewage systems.

A. The Board shall establish a betterment loan eligibility program to assist owners with the repair, replacement, or upgrade of failing or noncompliant onsite sewage systems, and the Board may identify sources for betterment loans to be provided by private lenders, directly or through conduit lenders. In addition, owners may also apply to the Department for betterment loan eligibility to upgrade an onsite or alternative discharging sewage system that is not failing, provided such upgrade is for the purposes of reducing threats to public health, and ground and surface waters, including the reduction of nitrogen discharges.

B. Upon determination by the Department that the owner has one or more onsite sewage systems that are out of compliance with those regulations promulgated pursuant to this chapter, or in need of repair or replacement, the owner shall follow the requirements in the Board's regulations to initiate the repair or replacement of such systems. If the owner desires to be qualified by the Department to receive a betterment loan, at any time before the repair or replacement is completed, he shall provide the Department with an estimate of the approximate cost of such remedial work, which the Department shall accept. The issuance of a permit by the Department to repair or replace an onsite sewage system, combined with an estimate provided by the owner to the Department, shall demonstrate eligibility for a betterment loan. Upon a determination of eligibility, the Department shall notify the owner in writing. If the Department refuses the request for an eligibility letter, the owner may appeal the refusal to the State Health Department Sewage Handling and Disposal Appeal Review Board. It shall be the sole responsibility of the owner to secure the betterment loan from or through a private lender. Local health departments may provide a list of lenders available for this purpose. Nothing in this section shall be construed as allowing construction or modification of an onsite or alternative discharging sewage system without a permit issued by the Department.

C. Betterment loans made pursuant to this section shall be recorded in the deed book of the circuit court clerk's office for the locality in which the land is located and an abstract of the loan and betterment loan eligibility letter issued by the Department shall be indexed in the name of the owner. Betterment loans made pursuant to this section may be recorded in increments by the private lender as the repair or replacement of the onsite sewage system is completed, provided that in no event shall the total amount recorded exceed the estimate provided to the Department, without the Department approving an amendment to the repair permit, and issuing a revised betterment loan eligibility letter. The Department may, subject to appropriate waivers for economic hardship, charge the owner a fee not to exceed $50 for each betterment loan eligibility letter request made by an owner. The Department may require that the owner or private lender provide the Department with proof that any betterment loan has been recorded in the deed book of the circuit court clerk's office for the locality in which the land is located.

The incurrence of a betterment loan pursuant to this section shall not be considered a breach of limitation or prohibition contained in a note, mortgage or contract on the transfer of an interest in the owner's property.

D. Where agreeable to the private lender and the conduit lender, if any, a locality may act as the collection agent for the payments made by the owner on a betterment loan. Any such payments collected by the locality shall be deemed to be held in trust by the locality for benefit of the private lender and conduit issuer, if any. The locality may receive a fee payable by the private lender or conduit loan provider, if any, for such service not to exceed one-eighth of one percent of the payments collected.

2009, c. 829.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.