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Mortgage Forgiveness is Currently Set to expire at end of 2012
One primary feature attracting many underwater homeowners to a short sale is the fact that the taxes are lowered thanks to a Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007 provision. However, that credit is set to go away at the end of the year 2012. This means that homeowners who have put off selling need to get busy.
Basics of the Rule
When foreclosures were the primary topic of almost every news broadcast, Congress stepped in and offered this one time transaction. Homeowners could sell their home, for less than the existing mortgage, if the lender agreed to the deal. The outstanding balance would normally be taxable as earned income to the homeowner. However, the Mortgage Forgiveness Act wiped out the taxes on any unpaid balance up to a whopping two million dollars. This act applies to short sales that occurred between 2007 and 2012.
New Area of Expertise for Real Estate Agents
Many real estate agents have chosen to specialize in certain areas. Some people prefer to work with commercial property, while others may focus their energy on single family homes. The past few years has seen a rise in the number of agents that zero in on the short sales, and for good reason. Many banks are not open to the idea of a short sale coming straight from the homeowner. But with an experienced real estate agent, the situation changes. Banks realize that these agents are quite familiar with the local area and can accurately predict a home’s true value. Using an experienced agent can help homeowners negotiate a fair sales price and remove themselves from the burden of a mortgage that is no longer feasible.
Possible Change before End of the Year
It is possible that Congress could move to extend the Mortgage Forgiveness expiration. After all, the home purchase credit initiated a couple of years ago was extended twice to encourage more people to buy homes. However, it is too early to tell if this particular act will be extended so it is better for most people to err on the side of caution and begin negotiating a sales price with their real estate agent and their lender.
Getting Everything in Order for a Short Sale
If you are considering a short sale of your home then you will need to get a bit of information together. First, you must contact your lender and ask them for a 30 day payoff on your mortgage. If you have more than one mortgage, or Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC), then you will need a payoff amount for each loan. Once you have these figures you can call your real estate agent and ask for their professional opinion about the value of your home. The agent will be able to access sales of homes similar to yours in the surrounding area and provide you with an accurate value. Then, you will have a strong argument to present to the lender. The lender may ask that you have an actual home sale contract in hand before accepting your offer. But at least you will be on the track to selling the home once you have spoken to a real estate agent.
Original Email - Mortgage Forgiveness Act expiring soon