ALTA Commends President Obama for Signing Bill to Extend, Expand Homebuyer Tax Credit

November 6, 2009

The American Land Title Association today applauded President Obama for signing a bill that extends and expands the soon-to-expire $8,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit.

“We congratulate President Obama and the legislators for acting quickly and in a bipartisan fashion to get this needed credit extended and expanded to include a larger group of homebuyers,” said Kurt Pfotenhauer, chief executive officer of the American Land Title Association. “This action will continue to bring consumers back to the market, reduce inventories of unsold homes and stabilize home prices.”

The new law will extend the $8,000 credit for first-time homebuyers who sign a contract before April 30, 2010 and close by June 30, 2010. Buyers who have owned their current home for at least five years out of the past eight would be eligible for tax credits of up to $6,500 for the purchase of a primary residence. The income eligibility limits to claim the full credit amount for both groups of homebuyers have been raised to $125,000 for individuals and $225,000 for married couples. Also, the credit is available for the purchase of principal homes costing $800,000 or less.

The homebuyer tax credit, which was set to expire Dec. 1., is part of legislation that extends unemployment benefits for those without a job for more than a year and offers relief to cash-strapped firms by providing broader tax benefits for businesses with net operating losses (NOLs).

“Last year, Congress provided a salve for the real estate economy with the passage of the credit, but the economy hasn’t fully healed as borrowers continue to find it harder to qualify for loans,” Pfotenhauer said. “This is exacerbated by high unemployment, which is a major drain on the housing industry, but this additional stimulus coupled with other tax breaks and investments will propel the country into new prosperity.”

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North American Title Insurance Company (NATIC) is a seasoned title insurance underwriter, helping title agents to achieve their individual business goals for more than 50 years. Today, the company conducts real estate settlement services in 39 states and the District of Columbia through a network of experienced, independent agents.