Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Tax Credit Extended?

The House has passed a bill to extend a closing deadline for the homebuyer tax credit to Sept. 30, but similar action in the Senate is uncertain. By a 409-5 vote, the House passed a stand-alone bill (H.R. 5623) to ensure homebuyers who are expecting to receive the tax credit are not disqualified because delays have pushed their closing past a June 30 deadline. Under the homebuyer tax credit that expired April 30, first-time buyers had until today (June 30) to close and qualify for the $8,000 tax credit. Repeat buyers are in line for a $6,500 tax credit.

The National Association of Realtors estimates that 75,000 buyers won't meet the closing deadline due to loan processing delays and lapses in the National Flood Insurance Program and Rural Housing Service single-family loan program. "We are strongly urging the Senate to act quickly to pass their legislation and ease the minds and pocketbooks of these homebuyers," said NAR president Vicki Cox.

Senate Democrats' leaders have inserted the homebuyer closing extension in a larger bill that extends benefits for unemployed workers through November. But a Republican filibuster has blocked passage of the $34 billion unemployed benefit package for several weeks. A House-passed bill (H.R. 5569) to re-start the National Flood Insurance Program also is pending in the Senate.