Extending the deadline for closing from June 30 to Sept. 30 would allow lenders more time to clear a backlog of 180,000 homebuyers nationwide, said amendment sponsor Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev.
The amendment to HR 4213, the “American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act of 2010” — which primarily extends unemployment insurance benefits — was approved in a 60-37 vote Wednesday. The vote was mostly along party lines, with only four Republicans in favor and one Democrat opposed.
The National Association of Realtors supports the amendment, saying Realtors have reported that as many as one-third of qualified applicants have been told by lenders that their loans will not close before June 30 because of the sheer volume of loan applications in the pipeline.
The amendment does not extend the deadline for homebuyers to qualify for the tax credit, NAR said in urging lawmakers to approve it, but simply extends the deadline for closing transactions already in contract.
“Since these applications were already in the pipeline and figured into the program’s cost, the extension of the closing deadline should not incur any further government costs,” NAR President Vicki Cox Golder said in a statement.