After the housing crisis that began five years ago, the federal government put safeguards in place to prevent fraudulent mortgages.
Mortgage lenders are required to verify mortgage applications with the federal government; mainly the Social Security Administration and the Internal Revenue Service.
Since many of the non-essential personnel in those agencies were furloughed, it means brokers can't verify applications as they have been for the past few years.
The federal money for the loans is still there and lenders are still allowed to approve loans, but it’s going to take longer for them to go through as long as the government is shut down.
“I'm sure every mortgage lender is trying to figure out workarounds to provide the verification that we have to have in order to make the loan because we haven't been told specifically that we can't do certain things, but we still have to perform our due diligence,” mortgage broker Susan Wilkinson said.
In essence, both homebuyers and mortgage companies need to be extra vigilant because the typical means of verification are non-existent right now in Washington DC.