Sunday, May 09, 2010

New Rules Making Tax-Credit Closing Deadlines Tough to Meet

From The

For thousands of home buyers who scrambled to meet the April 30 federal tax-credit deadline for completed contracts, a new challenge is looming: Can they nail down their mortgage financing and get to closing before the program terminates?

As a result of toughened underwriting standards, confusing new federal disclosure rules, appraisal regulations and a long list of other potential obstacles, meeting that deadline could be harder than expected. In fact, mortgage industry leaders say some buyers who are seeking the tax credits won't get a cent because the clock will run out on them.

Under the extended first-time purchaser and repeat buyer credits -- the former carries an $8,000 maximum amount, the latter $6,500 -- all deals must close by June 30. This shouldn't be a problem for buyers who have already submitted their applications or who apply and are approved in the coming week or two, lenders say.

But credit-seekers who assume that closings can be done in less than 45 days -- as was often the case in recent years -- might be in for an unpleasant jolt. And if a borrower's needed turnaround time from application to settlement is 30 days or less, even the most resourceful lenders might not be able to deliver.

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