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The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act Set to Expire on December 31, 2012

by: Jeff Quintin, on November 2, 2012 - Uncategorized

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As we are on the cusp of a changing market, many homeowners continue to struggle with underwater mortgages as a result of the housing market crash back in 2007. In fact, the impact was so great that the government instituted a program called the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act in 2009 to help offset some of the hardships faced by millions of Americans. Today, that program is set to expire just two short months from now. That’s why it is critical to list your home and successfully short sale it prior to the Act’s deadline so you can save from being taxed on the forgiven or discharged debt.
If you are considering a short sale – it is important to keep this in mind. A short sale entails the bank receiving less money for the property than what is owed on it due to property devaluation and the discharged (or forgiven) debt is considered “income” by the IRS. With the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act, homeowners are able to write off this discharged debt and avoid paying taxes altogether on this amount. In some cases, this can amount to a very significant number, forcing the homeowner into an even deeper situation of hardship.
It is important to keep in mind that the tax relief only applies to your primary residence and as long as the short sale is completed prior to the Act’s expiration date, you will not receive a 1099 from the government, nor you will not be required to pay taxes on the amount of forgiven debt.
Since this act is set to expire on December 31st unless the government extends this yet again, you only have two months within which you need to list the home, find a buyer, receive an offer, have the bank accept the offer and make it to the closing table – all before December 31, 2012. The National Association of Realtorsis working hard to extend the deadline for the Act but until there is some concrete action, the December 31st date stands.
That means you need to start the process now.
For more information about the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act, to learn more about short sales or anything else real estate related, I invite you to contact us today! We look forward to helping.