Government shutdown affecting home buying process

Columbia, S.C. (WACH) - If you happen to be buying or selling a home right now, the government shutdown may affect you in ways you don't realize.

Mortgage lenders need certain government paperwork to carry out the home buying process.

The lending industry requires lenders to check out things like your social security number and tax returns if you are applying for a loan, and many mortgage loan officers can't get those documents due to government offices being closed.

The amount you will be inconvenienced by the shutdown also largely has to do with where you happen to work.

"If you're self employed, it stops your process. The tax return transcripts are absolutely essential to verify your income. As far as a borrower who is not self-employed, it will just slow the process down." says Bill Ernst, a mortgage loan officer.

Also, things could get even worse if the government defaults on its debt in the next few days.That would cause a short-term spike on interest rates and could cause mortgage rates to go up.