Rep. Maloney assails shutdown’s effect on nascent housing recovery

Oct 9, 2013
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), after today’s Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on “Examining the IRS’s Role in Implementing and Enforcing ObamaCare” assailed the Committee majority’s obsession with the IRS and the House majority’s obsession with the Affordable Care Act.

“Instead of a hearing on unfounded allegations about the IRS and health care reform, if we must discuss the IRS, we should be discussing the impact of the shutdown on the ability of Americans to buy a home – because of the shutdown, the IRS is unable to verify income for mortgage loans.” Maloney said afterwards.

“Home ownership is at its lowest rate in 18 years, and home sales are finally increasing. That’s good news, but the government shutdown-- of the IRS and a host of other federal agencies critical to the housing market-- is now slowing homes sales,” Maloney continued. “We’re now seeing a decline in mortgage applications this week after experiencing a two-week uptick prior to the government shutdown.”

For many mortgage loans, final approval is subject to the review by the mortgage lender of at least one year’s worth of federal tax returns. However, this process of verifying income requires the assistance of an IRS employee, because a third party mortgage firm cannot verify a borrower’s income via his or her tax returns. Without that verification, the sale cannot be closed.

“With 90% of the IRS staff furloughed, we should be talking about how to reopen the government, not yet another partisan attack on the Affordable Care Act,” Maloney concluded.