Why Do I Have To Sign A UFFI Certification?

January 12, 2013
Jack O'Donohue
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Imagine if you had to sign a document in front of a notary public every time you had a drink at a bar or purchased a bottle of wine from a liquor store. The form would explain how alcohol was illegal during prohibition, but isn’t anymore. Would that frustrate you after a while?

Well that’s how most real estate professionals feel about urea formaldehyde foam insulation (UFFI) in Massachusetts.

Massachusetts General Laws c. 255, § 12(I) required that residential sellers disclose the presence of UFFI. UFFI was an insulation retrofit common in the 1970’s. The “UFFI Certification” is a miscellaneous document included in almost every closing package.

The outgassing formaldehyde from UFFI declines steadily over months and years. Medical professionals and legislators agreed on this, therefore since 2002, sellers have no longer been statutorily required to disclose the existence or nonexistence of any UFFI. (see 2002 Mass. Acts c. 248).

Despite that the statute was repealed, almost all mortgage lenders still require a UFFI certification to be signed at closing.