Government shutdown has created backlogs in home loan applications

ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) - The government shutdown has ended but backlogs in the systems are continuing to cause problems in several areas, such as the home buying process.

Josh Dix has been selling homes for a few years now.
He's seen it all when it comes to the housing market. but was left feeling the effects of the nation's longest government shutdown.

"When you have one less tool to use and the sellers have one less option as a buyer to come to them," he said, "it can make it more difficult."

Dix is taking about loans, specifically a rural, single family home loan from the USDA. It's popular among first time home buyers.

Mortgage Banker Shane Whisnant with Atlantic Bay Mortgage told us last week the shutdown was effectively shuttering loan processing.

"Anybody purchasing a home with a USDA mortgage, since the government shutdown has not been able to close their loan and purchase the home," he's said.

Whisnant told us that when he could, he began switching buyers to other types of loans. But that's not always possible.

"If I have clients come to me and would like to utilize that program and is not available and we can't maybe fit them with another similar home type," Dix said, "its going to delay their home search."

Though government is now open, problems remain. According to Whisnant, a USDA update he received stated the department is reviewing files received prior to December 21st. He's been told USDA is reassigning staff to help work through the backlog. But he suspects it'll take one to two months to work through it all.

The local USDA office in Lynchburg declined to comment. Information from the statewide office was not able to be delivered by the time this story was published.