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Home Buyers Get Tax Credit Closing and Flood Insurance Extensions Without Lapse in Coverage; Bills Now Headed to President

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RISMEDIA, July 2, 2010—The National Association of Realtors commended Congress for timely passage of two bills to extend the home buyer tax credit closing deadline and reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program. Both bills, strongly supported by NAR, had cleared the House earlier and were passed by the Senate as well. They now head to the president for his signature.

The tax credit closing deadline and the NFIP reauthorization were extended to September 30. NAR worked closely with congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle to enact these important pieces of legislation. Extending the tax credit closing and flood insurance deadlines will help provide additional stability to real estate markets across the nation, NAR said.

“What a great way to begin celebrating our nation’s most patriotic holiday by opening the door to the American dream of homeownership to thousands of home buyers who would have been shut out of the homes of their dreams through no fault of their own,” said NAR President Vicki Cox Golder, owner of Vicki L. Cox Real Estate in Tucson, Ariz.

“We know that up to 180,000 home buyers eligible for the tax credit are rejoicing this morning. And we all thank both houses of Congress for their work to ensure passage of both bills,” Golder said. She singled out Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.), Senator Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), Congresswoman Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.) and Congressman Joe Courtney (D-Conn.) for their efforts to extend the tax credit closing deadline.

The passage of H.R. 5623, the Home Buyer Assistance and Improvement Act, applies the home buyer tax credit closing deadline extension only to home buyers who have ratified contracts in place as of April 30, 2010, but could not close before June 30. The legislation is designed to create a seamless extension of the new closing deadline for eligible transactions to September 30. There will be no gap between June 30 and the date the president signs the bill into law.

For more information on the extension, visit www.realtor.org/government_affairs.

Senate passage of the National Flood Insurance Program Extension Act of 2010 (H.R. 5569), reauthorizes extension the NFIP until September 30, allowing currently stalled transactions to move forward. The bill is retroactive and covers the lapsed period from June 1, 2010, to the date of enactment of the extension. Any new policy applications or renewals that were signed and submitted during the lapsed period will be effective from the date of application. In the case of waiting periods, the waiting period will start from the date of application.

“We know that thousands of property owners seeking flood insurance policies will now be able to close transactions. NAR appreciates the extraordinary efforts in both houses of Congress to end the lapse in flood insurance,” Golder said. She singled out Senate Majority Leader Reid, Senate Minority Leader McConnell, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Dodd, Senator David Vitter (R-La.), House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) for their efforts on NFIP reauthorization.

For more information, visit www.realtor.org.

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