Daily Real Estate News | Tuesday, December 02, 2014
The National Association of REALTORS® is calling on its members to help urge Congress to renew the Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Act, an income tax exemption on mortgage debt forgiven in a short sale or a workout for principal residences.
The Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Act expired at the end of 2013, which means that distressed home owners are responsible for paying taxes on “phantom income” from the forgiven debt once the properties are sold. The tax on a 2014 short sale or workout would be due April 15 of next year if Congress does not extend the measure. (Read more about the issue.)
“Unless Congress acts, hundreds of thousands of American families who did the right thing will have to pay tax on ‘phantom income’ — money they never see,” reads an ad issued by NAR, which will run in select Capitol Hill publications this week.
Some families have chosen not to go through a short sale or seek workouts because of the uncertainty surrounding the extension this year.
NAR is urging its members to contact their representatives and senators in Congress to support extending Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Act. At the REALTOR® Action Center, you can access a template for a letter in support of the extension and send an instant e-mail to your congresspeople.
More than 5 million home owners remain underwater, owing more on their mortgage than their home is currently worth. Also, nearly 1 million households are seriously delinquent on their mortgages or are in foreclosure.
When “your world has been turned upside down, the last thing you need is a tax bill for income you’ll never see,” NAR’s ad says.
I have already contacted my representatives and Congress to support this bill being extended. Hopefully they listen and take the action necessary to assist!