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By G. Steven Bray
If you’re in the middle of the homebuying process, you may have some concerns about the government shutdown. Even though it’s only a partial shutdown, the parts of the government that are closed are kind of important to the mortgage world. However, the potential impact on your application depends on the type of loan you’re using.
If you’re using a conventional (Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac) loan, the shutdown probably won’t affect you at all. Fannie and Freddie operate independently of the government budget.
I see mixed impacts on FHA borrowers. Most borrowers will be unaffected as most FHA systems are automated, and those system remain online. However, if your situation requires human intervention, you may experience delayed processing. Additionally, FHA will not insure any reverse mortgages during the shutdown.
The VA is fully funded, and I don’t expect any impact on most VA loans.
The USDA, on the other hand, is shut down. USDA will not issue commitments during the shutdown, which means most lenders will not fund USDA loans.
If your loan requires a new flood insurance policy, expect a delay. Even though the National Flood Insurance Program is funded through May, FEMA is disallowing the issuance of new or renewal flood insurance policies during the shutdown.
Many lenders require verifications from the IRS or Social Security Administration as part of the loan process. Neither agency will process requests during the shutdown. Check with your lender as to whether this will impact your loan. Some lenders are temporarily suspending the verifications unless there’s an issue of data integrity, such as an unconfirmed Social Security number.
Finally, if you’re a government employee, and your agency is shut down, expect a delay as your lender won’t be able to verify your employment during the shutdown.