Extension of Tax Credit Closing Deadline Appears Slim

June 29, 2010

On Thursday, a bill that would have extended unemployment benefits, as well as extend the closing date for the first-time homebuyer tax credit to Sept. 30, failed to garner enough votes to defeat a filibuster in the Senate.

The amendment to extend the closing date for the tax credit was approved by the Senate more than a week ago, but the larger bill it is attached to seems increasingly unlikely to pass. Hopefully, the extension can be passed as a stand-alone measure or attached to a less controversial bill.

So, as of this time, the closing date for the first-time homebuyer tax credit remains June 30.

Lawrence Yun, the chief economist for the National Association of Realtors predicted that 25 to 30 percent of the buyers who made the deadline for signing a contract won't be able to close by June 30. That means about 180,000 home purchases could fall through. Most of the deals that will take longer than 60 days to close are those involving short sales or foreclosures, but with such a backlog of mortgage applications even others could be impacted.

Last week, a bipartisan group of 74 representatives wrote a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH).

“We are encouraged that there appears to be little opposition to the extension itself, but obviously, we are really coming down to the wire to get something passed,” said Kurt Pfotenhauer, chief executive officer of ALTA.

Through its grassroots action network, ALTA has asked all ALTA members to contact their member of congress to urge them to extend the closing deadline. Click here to take action.

Contact ALTA at 202-296-3671 or communications@alta.org.