The federal tax credit program that benefits home buyers has created a slew of busy days at the Erie County Clerk's office.
Just how busy?
This past Friday, the office handled paperwork for 190 real estate transactions - the highest number for a single day since 2003, said Erie County Clerk Kathleen Hochul. And on Monday, the closing list was at 160.
June 25 was a "perfect storm" day. Typically, the last Friday in June is one of the busiest days annually for closing real estate deals, especially residential transactions. That's the day when many families want to close on their new homes in order to be eligible for enrolling in new school districts.
But, add to the equation, June 30 is the hard deadline for home buyers to receive their federal tax credits. First time buyers can receive tax credits up to $8,000 while move-up buyers are eligible for a $6,500 in federal tax breaks. The contracts had to be written and signed by April 30 and closed by June 30.
On a typical Friday, the clerk's handles between 60 and 80 real estate closings, Hochul said.
That number balloons to 110 on the last Friday in June during most years, Hochul added.
"This year's big number is clearly because of the tax credits," Hochul said.
The meet the crunch, Hochul had all 13 payment office clerks working on Friday and had authorized overtime, if needed.
Despite the crunch, Hochul said all the transactions were processed and handled by 5:30 p.m.
On a typical Tuesday, the clerk's office may handle 60 closings.
Based on early morning interviews, Hochul said her office may handle as many as 200 closings today and the same number on Wednesday.
"I've got law firms sending over their runners to secure tables and places in line and it's not even lunch time," Hochul said.
Overtime has been authorized to handle last-minute transactions leading up to the final day of June.
"No one is going to lose their tax credits because of the Erie County Clerk's office," Hochul said. "We will do whatever it takes to make sure anyone who needs to close by Wednesday does."