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Attorney Generals Steps Into The Short Sale Fight

Posted by Greg Moser on November 26, 2012
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Attorney Generals Steps Into The Short Sale Fight – Good afternoon everyone, I hope you were all able to enjoy the Thanksgiving Holiday.  My wife and I spent the holiday tent camping in Big Bear, a little cold but nevertheless beautiful.  If you ever get the opportunity to camp there I would recommend the Serrano campground on the north side of the lake, it’s a terrific location for the entire family.   If you’re going to do what we did and tent camp, be sure to bring plenty of blankets along with a warm sleeping bag and plenty of hot chocolate, it gets very cold at night up there. . .

It’s been a few months since my last article and I wanted to reach out to you regarding an issue that is affecting many of my clients.  As we all know there are several looming issues that Congress and the President need to resolve.  As we approach the end of the year, the primary issue that I’m am facing is in assisting my clients with short selling their homes.  If the current fiscal amendment that provides tax relief falls short, that will create a catastrophic breakdown in the housing market.  Homeowners that were going to sell will now be forced to let their homes go to foreclosure to avoid having to pay tax on the write-down (“gain”).  With today’s fragile economy that just simply is not an option.

Below is an article published by Housing Wire written by Megan Hopkins? Please take a moment and read the article.

Four attorneys general are leading the fight to extend tax relief to homeowners who faced financial hardship such as a foreclosure and were granted mortgage debt forgiveness.

Attorneys General Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada, Lisa Madigan of Illinois, Pam Bondi of Florida, George Jepsen of Connecticut and Martha Coakley of Massachusetts lead the national effort of 41 state attorneys general calling on Congress to extend the exclusion, in place since 2007. Various government agencies and industry trade groups began fighting for an extension as early as April.

If Congress does not answer, the tax relief efforts put in place by the Mortgage Debt Relief Act will expire on Dec. 31. This federal act essentially dismisses a distressed homeowner’s mortgage debt in the case of a foreclosure, short sale or loan modification.

With the recent push toward more principal reductions via the national settlement between state AGs and the nation’s biggest mortgage servicers, hundreds of thousands could be impacted. The $20 billion-plus settlement outlines consumer-relief mandates and servicing requirements for the nation’s largest mortgage servicers.

“Failure to extend this tax relief would hurt the very families we set out to help in the national foreclosure settlement,” Illinois’ Madigan said. “We need to do everything we can to encourage – not deter – struggling homeowners to seek help to stay in their homes.”

The AGs wrote a letter to the leaders of the U.S. House and Senate requesting an extension. The letter noted that if the $25 billion national settlement does expire, homeowners would face up to $1.3 billion in tax increases over two years, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

“Unless Congress acts, any debt relief to be provided in 2013 under the national mortgage settlement, as well as other mortgage debt relief programs, will likely be considered taxable income,” said Masto.

Added Coakley, “This tax relief is critical for helping struggling homeowners stay in their homes as we work to repair the damage from the foreclosure crisis. We urge Congress to ensure families are not hit with an unexpected tax bill when seeking a loan modification.”

More than 4,000 homeowners had received mortgage debt relief for an average savings of $67,457 per homeowner in Coakley’s state of Massachusetts since the settlement was signed earlier this year. An extension is included in the Family and Business Tax Cut Certainty Act of 2012 (S. 3521), which recently passed out of the Senate Finance Committee with bipartisan support.


If you have any questions about the current tax relief bill or need assistance with short selling your home, please contact my office today.  I have successfully negotiated hundreds of short sales.  Please contact my office at 858-525-2525.

Happy Holidays !

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