Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007 has been Extended
The mortgage debt relief act has officially been extended for another year. This is a law that exempts those who are in a foreclosure or short sale situation [primary residences only] from having to pay federal income taxes on the deficiency balance of their mortgage after the transaction is complete.
This law was passed back in 2007 right when the Florida real estate market crashed. The main purpose of the law was to allow people to complete the short sale on their home and not be taxed on the deficiency as if it were income. This is a huge incentive for homeowners that are upside down to short sale their home.
I know many people have been holding their breath as the ending of the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007 would have signaled a harmful blow to the real estate industry. Well now they can breath a sigh of relief, the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act is now set to expire on January 1, 2014 and only applies to only a primary residence. Most homeowners that were on the fence about doing a short sale on their home would have probably chosen to file for bankruptcy as opposed to working something out with the lender.
Here’s an example of exactly what this means; Let’s say that a struggling homeowner sells their home for $100,000 and they owe $175,000, they are not taxed on the $75,000 that the bank had to write off. This is great news for homeowners that are struggling. Prior to the Act, homeowners were taxed on the forgiven debt, known as debt discharge income. If this act wasn’t in place, even people that have lost their homes to foreclosure would be taxed on the deficiency balance between what the house owed and what it sold for.Unlike any other liens or judgments, I.R.S. liens will follow you for the rest of your life and if you try to avoid paying them off, the I.R.S. will garnish your wages.
Orlando Realtors are Thrilled that “the Act” was extended
For realtors like myself that specialize in doing Orlando short sales, this great news. It means that short sales are still going to be the best way to go for struggling homeowners who can no longer afford to pay their mortgage. I would imagine that BK attorneys were hoping that the act wouldn’t be extended so that more homeowners would have opted for filing bankruptcy as opposed to short sale. at the end of the day, it’s a win win for all parties involved in the transaction.