Partial government shutdown has homebuyers, sellers stuck in limbo
Posted October 8, 2013
Raleigh, N.C. — For travel agent Susan Claypoole, trips are both business and pleasure.
"I like to travel, so every time I plan a trip, it's to somewhere I'd like to go," she said.
Although Claypoole looks forward to each new adventure, she also loves having a place to call home. Right now, though, that's a problem.
"I'm actually staying with my grown son," she said.
She has her heart set on a house of her own, but the purchase is in limbo because of the partial government shutdown.
"My loan has been sent to the USDA, and now it's stuck there," Claypoole said.
Every year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture doles out more than $100,000 in rural home loans. Right now, that business has stopped.
Charles Puryear, of National Fidelity Mortgage, says the Internal Revenue Service has also become a problem for new mortgages during the government shutdown.
"We have to order tax transcripts. We have to verify the buyers' wages through the IRS," Puryear said. "With the inability to do that, we actually can't move their loan along either."
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are now allowing lenders to issue loans even without IRS confirmation.
Another issue that's come up is the verification of federal workers. Mortgage lenders are having a difficult time verifying employment for those workers simply because many of their places of employment are closed.
But there may be one bright spot in all the shutdown fallout.
"Rates, from what we've seen, have gone down just a little bit," Puryear said. "I would say it's not been anything major."
As the shutdown enters its second week, Claypoole is sure she'll miss her expected closing date of Oct. 20 by at least a month.
"I'd like to move on and start my life in my new home," she said.