There was a problem rendering your image gallery. Please make sure that the folder you are using in the Simple Image Gallery Pro plugin tags exists and contains valid image files. The plugin could not locate the folder: media/k2/galleries/27129

Distressed Homeowners Now Face Tax Penalty

Written by Posted On Sunday, 12 January 2014 07:05

The 2007 measure that exempted borrowers from federal taxes they normally would owe on assistance received from banks has expired. This hits the tax break on short sales and forgiven home loan debt arrangements, and many experts are concerned about the impact this will have. In short, federal taxes are now due on any mortgage debt relief.

Taxes are not paid on borrowed money because of the obligation to repay it. But money borrowed that is then canceled as a result of a foreclosure or short sale counts as income. If the debt is forgiven, the lender is required to report the amount because there is no obligation to repay the money. An owner with a debt of $200,000 on a home that sells it for $125,000 has a $75,000 difference (gain) that would be considered taxable income is granted a short sale by their lender. Critics argue that it’s time to move on. Allowing the tax break means less revenue for the federal government.

Although the residential property market is in recovery, housing advocates contend that the tax break put in place after the real estate market crashed is still needed. More than 6 million U.S. homeowners still owe more on their mortgages than the underlying properties are worth, they say, and failure to renew the tax break would only increase their financial burden.

A report by the Congressional Research Service calculates that a middle-income homeowner who is granted a $20,000 reduction in mortgage debt could expect to owe $5,600 in federal taxes without the tax break. ”It makes absolutely no sense,” says Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich. “This is not just about fairness for homeowners. This is about keeping the housing recovery alive.”

Other policymakers agree, given the broad bipartisan support for an extension of the law. While Congress went on holiday break without taking action, it could revisit the issue as soon as next week, possibly passing a retroactive extension. Short sales in Atlanta remain active and a loss of this tax break will have a significant impact on what distressed home owners do moving forward. Expectations are that this administration will reinstate this rather quickly…

- See more at: http://hankmillerteam.com/2014/01/08/mortgage-tax-break-expires-for-distressed-owners/#sthash.ZTK33wUd.dpuf

Rate this item
(0 votes)
Hank Miller, SRA

Hank Miller is an Associate Broker & Certified Appraiser in the north metro Atlanta area. Since 1989, real estate has been his full time profession. Hank´s clients benefit from his appraisal and sales experience; they act upon data, not baseless opinions. He is an outspoken critic of the lax standards in the agent community.

Hank remains an active certified appraiser and completes specialty work for FNMA, lenders and attorneys. He is a well-known blogger and continues to guest write for multiple industry publications as well as national outlets like the WSJ, NYT, RE Magazine, USA Today and others. He is a regular on public Q&A sites on Zillow, Trulia and many others.

Hank consistently ranks in the top 1% of all agents in the metro Atlanta area. He runs the Hank Miller Team and is known as much for his ability as he is for his opinions. He is especially outspoken about the lack of professional standards and expectations in the real estate industry.


Agent Resource

Limited time offer - 50% off - click here

Realty Times

From buying and selling advice for consumers to money-making tips for Agents, our content, updated daily, has made Realty Times® a must-read, and see, for anyone involved in Real Estate.