There’s hope, but not a lot, that Congress will extend the home buyers tax credit before the Wednesday midnight deadline for closings.

Senators have been discussing tacking on a proposed extension to the Small Business Lending Fund Act, which would establish a Treasury fund to loan money for businesses’ capital programs. The bill is up for a vote late today and comes after two versions of the jobs and economic stimulus bill, which contained the extension, was voted down this month.
 
The House approved its small business measure earlier this month, and if the Senate bill passes, lawmakers from both chambers would negotiate differences. The negotiated compromise would need to pass the House and Senate before it goes to President Barack Obama for his signature.
 
That’s a lot of ifs to overcome before the deadline, the July 4th holiday and other Congressional work. But there is a possibility also that lawmakers can extend the deadline retroactively.
 
The National Association of Realtors estimated that up to 180,000 people would bust the deadline – including almost 9,200 in New York state – leaving behind up to $8,000 in tax credits each.
 
Pastor Juan Martinez of Hicksville might be one of the unlucky on the tax break. It was late April when he saw homes in the federal program to buy and rehab foreclosures as affordable homes, but his contract on a Hempstead Village house was signed by all in the nick of time, April 30, the deadline for contracts.
 
Everything is done, he said, except for affordable grant money to help buy the home. He’s been told that it probably won’t come in by the deadline.
 
“We have been moving on it,” Martinez said. “We have not been lazy.”
 
The minister of the Holy Spirit Christian Church in Hicksville now lives in the parsonage with his wife and toddler daughter, and the tax credit would have gone to buying furniture.
 
But he said he’ll make do without the money and won’t ditch the house.
 
After all, his home-to-be is on Parsons Drive and he has a bud of a dream that things could work out by the deadline.
 
“I have faith,” he said. “Anything can happen.”

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