Realtors, home buyers and sellers are rushing to complete sales agreements before the tax credit for home purchases expires this week. Home buyers must have a deal by April 30 and close by June 30 to qualify for the federal tax break, up to $8,000 for first-timers and $6,500 for those merely moving to a different residence. Though the Treasury Department and the real estate industry have termed the program a success, helping 1.8m people buy homes, many tax policy experts say it has been singularly cost-ineffective: most of the $12.6bn in credits through end of February was collected by people who would have bought homes anyway or who in some cases were not even eligible.
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Quicken Loans has become the largest mortgage lender in the country over the last few years due in large part to the growth of Rocket Mortgage, the company’s digital mortgage platform. As it turns out, Rocket Mortgage is becoming so big that it’s now consuming other parts of the Quicken Loans family of companies too, namely the company’s reverse mortgage lender.
For government agencies, the road to a streamlined process is a hard slog through outdated technology, requiring battles with regulators and legislators. But that doesn’t stop them from trying.