The Senate has approved an amendment to extend the closing deadline for homebuyers who qualified for the First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit.

The amendment, sponsored by Senate majority leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., would extend the transaction closing date from June 30 to Sept. 30, 2010. Buyers must still have signed a sales contract by April 30 in order to qualify for the credit.

“The First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit was an extremely popular and successful program that has helped Americans purchase homes and given a boost to our economy,” said Reid in a statement. “Because of this program’s popularity and the time it takes to complete transactions such as short sales, I led the effort today to extend the closing deadline for this tax credit through September of this year — allowing lenders more time to clear a backlog of 180,000 potential homebuyers nationwide.”

The amendment passed by a 60-37 vote. It was co-sponsored by Sen. Johnny Isaakson, R-Ga., and Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd, D-Conn. The amendment was added to the American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act.

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