Lenders and homebuyers might need to prepare for potential roadblocks in the homebuying process if the government does shutdown after April 28. And according to an article in CNBC by John Schoen, government shutdowns have already created hiccups in the mortgage process in the past, with the last shutdown in October 2013 delaying about 17% of closings.
Yes, lenders handle the main decision of if a borrower gets a loan, but there are key parts of the mortgage process that rely on government workers.
Here are the areas of the mortgage process that could be impacted. From the article:
Borrowers who are applying for an FHA or VA mortgage could run into delay if workers from those departments are sent home, and there's no one available to process the loan.
A loan could also be delayed if a lender tries to verify a Social Security number. That's often required if something in an application doesn't match the information associated with a Social Security number in a credit report or other database, even if it's just a typo. If the lender tries to verify the number with the Social Security Administration, and no one at the agency answers the phone, that borrower could be out of luck.
Since the government shutdown back in 2013, lenders do have a frame of reference of what they could possibly expect.
The article cited a survey from the National Association of Realtors back in 2013 that stated few sellers reported that they lost bids because of the shutdown.
Last time the government shutdown, housing stocks did take a dive leading up to shutdown due to concerns over the uncertainty of the future of the economy.