The U.S. Senate today approved a measure extending the closing deadline to Sept. 30 for home-buyers attempting to take advantage of the federal tax credit.

The National Association of Realtors estimates that 180,000 buyers who met the contract deadline of April 30 would not be able to close their transaction by the June 30 deadline.

Association members have reported as many as one-third of qualified applicants - who could get a credit of as much as $8,000 - have been notified by lenders that their mortgages will not close because of the sheer volume of applications in the pipeline.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid tacked the extension to a bill extending jobless benefits through the end of November.

The measure now has to go to the House.    - Alan J. Heavens