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Homebuyers tax credit extension OKd by House
WASHINGTON (11/6/09)--The House on Thursday passed by a 403-12 vote legislation that would extend access to the $8,000 first-time homebuyer tax credits that were set to expire at the end of the month. The homebuyer tax credit, which also creates a new $6,500 tax credit for current homeowners that purchase a new home between Dec. 1, 2009 and April 30, 2010, was attached to H.R. 3548, the Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009. The bill will extend unemployment insurance benefits for a 14-week period. The tax credit will be made available to single homebuyers with up to $125,000 in income and joint income tax filers with up to $225,000 in total income. It will not be available for home purchases totaling more than $800,000. The homebuyer will need to close by 60 days to be eligible for the credit. The bill also extends the tax credit to individuals who are in the market for a new home but have owned their current home for five years or longer. H.R. 3548 passed the Senate on Wednesday by a 98-0 vote. To become law, it must be signed by the president. Elsewhere in the Senate, it is widely reported that Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) could introduce his own comprehensive regulatory restructuring legislation as a draft bill as early as Monday. The Wall Street Journal on Thursday reported that Dodd's legislation would remove the supervisory authority of the Federal Reserve and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and create a new single agency for bank and holding company supervision. The committee has also announced a Nov. 10 hearing, entitled Protecting Consumers from Abusive Overdraft Fees: The Fairness and Accountability in Receiving Overdraft Coverage Act, and Pentagon FCU President/CEO Frank Pollack will be among those testifying. Other witnesses scheduled to testify during the hearing on S. 1799, The FAIR Overdraft Coverage Act, include the Consumer Federation of America's Travis Plunkett and the Center for Responsible Lending's Eric Halperin. The Senate may announce further witnesses at a later date, according to a release. The legislation, introduced by Dodd, would limit the fees that financial institutions can charge on overdraft protection services. Potential changes to overdraft legislation were discussed in a House Financial Services Committee hearing held in late October, and witness President/CEO Rodney Staatz, of SECU of Maryland, speaking on behalf of the Credit Union National Association, advised members of the panel to conduct an "independent, unbiased" survey of consumer opinions on overdraft before they act on any legislation. He also stated that responsible overdraft protection plans are an important service to members, and oversight should remain in the regulatory arena. National Credit Union Administration Chairman Debbie Matz has also recently spoken out on overdraft issues, saying that she supports overdraft protection plans that are carefully done with minimal impact on members.
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