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NEARLY 15,000 HOME BUYERS IN FLORIDA MAY LOSE TAX BREAK

About 14,830 home buyers in Florida are at risk of losing their tax credit barring a last-minute extension of the home sales stimulus plan by Congress.

Only California and Texas have more pending home sales at risk of forfeiting the tax credit, according to an analysis released Monday by the National Association of Realtors.

Under the federal program, the government offered buyers who hadn't owned a home for three years a tax credit of 10 percent of the purchase price, up to $8,000. There also was a credit of up to $6,500 for buyers who already owned a home and decided to move.

In order to qualify for a tax credit, buyers had to have a contract in hand by April 30, and the sale had to be finalized by June 30.Despite that two-month lag, many buyers have been caught in delays out of their control, from new home construction and lapses in coverage under the National Flood Insurance Program to weekslong delays waiting for lenders to schedule a closing. Congress is considering an extension of the credit.

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