Shutdown sowing 'confusion and fear' among homebuyers

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The government shutdown is sowing “confusion and fear among borrowers” about their ability to close loans, David H. Stevens, president and CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), said in a statement.

Some furloughed workers already may be grappling with the shutdown’s effects on the mortgage market, he said.

“The furloughs can disrupt time-sensitive mortgage transaction deals by interfering with borrower lock agreements and causing interest rate disparities from the time of closing to the time the loan is securitized,” he said.

If the crisis drags on, he added, it will impact a wider range of borrowers as well as the broader housing market and economy.

“Lenders processing loans that need tax transcripts, Social Security number verification, or FHA home loans face longer delays and reduced functionality from HUD, IRS and the Social Security Administration,” he said. “Different loan programs have different requirements, and these disruptions impact lenders in different ways, leading to confusion and fear among borrowers about whether they will be able to close on a home purchase or refinance.”