The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill Tuesday that would give homebuyers who are eligible for a federal tax credit three extra months to close on their loans.[IMAGE]
As the program stands now, qualifying homebuyers who were under contract by April 30 have until Wednesday, June 30 to complete the transaction. The House bill would extend that deadline to September 30.
The measure was overwhelmingly approved by House lawmakers in a 409 to 5 vote. But before anxious homebuyers can breathe a sigh of relief, it must also pass the Senate.[COLUMN_BREAK]
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) has been pushing for an extension of the tax credit closing deadline in his own chamber. He introduced an amendment to a jobs and tax bill earlier this month that would have similarly pushed the cut-off date for the housing tax break out by three months.
Although senators seemed to widely support such an extension, the ""larger bill fell flat"":http://www.dsnews.com/articles/bill-extending-tax-credit-closing-deadline-falls-through-in-senate-2010-06-25 on the Senate floor last week Ã¢â‚¬" and the extra time for the tax credit fell with it.
Because of the sheer volume of applications lenders still have to process, some 180,000 buyers who have successfully met all other parameters of the tax credit, including being under contract by April 30, will miss out on the tax break, according to estimates from the ""National Association of Realtors"":http://www.realtor.org (NAR). Approximately 75,000 of the transactions at-risk are distressed short sales.
Lenders have already begun notifying qualified applicants that their mortgages will not close by the June 30 deadline.
Speaking on the House floor just prior to the landslide approval, Rep. Sander Levin (D-Michigan), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“We owe this to the people who have essentially followed the rule who are caught by a closing date.Ã¢â‚¬Â