X
                        RISMedia's ACE
Search
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in comments
Search in excerpt
Filter by Custom Post Type
{ "homeurl": "http://rismedia.com/", "resultstype": "vertical", "resultsposition": "hover", "itemscount": 4, "imagewidth": 70, "imageheight": 70, "resultitemheight": "auto", "showauthor": 0, "showdate": 0, "showdescription": 1, "charcount": 3, "noresultstext": "No results!", "didyoumeantext": "Did you mean:", "defaultImage": "http://rismedia.com/wp-content/plugins/ajax-search-pro/img/default.jpg", "highlight": 0, "highlightwholewords": 1, "openToBlank": 0, "scrollToResults": 0, "resultareaclickable": 1, "autocomplete": { "enabled": 1, "googleOnly": 1, "lang": "en", "mobile": 1 }, "triggerontype": 1, "triggeronclick": 1, "triggeronreturn": 1, "triggerOnFacetChange": 1, "trigger": { "delay": 300, "autocomplete_delay": 310 }, "overridewpdefault": 0, "override_method": "post", "redirectonclick": 0, "redirectClickTo": "results_page", "redirect_on_enter": 0, "redirectEnterTo": "results_page", "redirect_url": "?s={phrase}", "settingsimagepos": "left", "settingsVisible": 0, "hresulthidedesc": "0", "prescontainerheight": "400px", "pshowsubtitle": "0", "pshowdesc": "1", "closeOnDocClick": 1, "iifNoImage": "description", "iiRows": 2, "iiGutter": 5, "iitemsWidth": 200, "iitemsHeight": 200, "iishowOverlay": 1, "iiblurOverlay": 1, "iihideContent": 1, "loaderLocation": "auto", "analytics": 0, "analyticsString": "", "show_more": { "url": "?s={phrase}", "action": "ajax" }, "mobile": { "trigger_on_type": 1, "trigger_on_click": 1, "hide_keyboard": 0 }, "compact": { "enabled": 1, "width": "200px", "closeOnMagnifier": 1, "closeOnDocument": 0, "position": "fixed", "overlay": 0 }, "animations": { "pc": { "settings": { "anim" : "fadedrop", "dur" : 300 }, "results" : { "anim" : "fadedrop", "dur" : 300 }, "items" : "fadeInDown" }, "mob": { "settings": { "anim" : "fadedrop", "dur" : 300 }, "results" : { "anim" : "fadedrop", "dur" : 300 }, "items" : "voidanim" } }, "autop": { "state": "disabled", "phrase": "", "count": 10 } }
Select Page

This column is brought to you by the NAR Real Estate Services group.

A lender will, on occasion, forgive some portion of a borrower’s debt. The general tax rule that applies to any debt forgiveness is that the amount forgiven is treated as taxable income to the borrower. Some exceptions to this rule are available, but, until recently, the borrower was required to pay tax on the debt forgiven. A new law enacted in December 2007 provides relief to troubled borrowers when some portion of mortgage debt is forgiven. However, this relief expires on December 31, 2012 and NAR will be working to obtain an extension throughout the year.

Below is some general information you need to know about this law and cancellation of mortgage debt.

General Rule for Debt Forgiveness
If a lender forgives some or all of an individual’s debts, the general rule is that the forgiven amount is treated as ordinary income and the borrower must pay tax on the forgiven amount. Exceptions apply for bankruptcy, insolvency and certain other situations, including mortgage debt.

Current Law for Mortgage Debt
(Jan. 1, 2007 through Dec. 31, 2012): A borrower can be excused from paying tax on forgiven mortgage debt. The debt must be secured by a principal residence and the total amount of the outstanding obligation may not exceed the original mortgage amount plus the cost of any improvements.

Does the relief apply only to a sale?
No. The provision has broader application. Lenders might forgive some portion of mortgage debt in a short sale (when value at sale is less than the amount owed) or in a foreclosure where the debt is wiped out. In addition, if a borrower still living in the home is able to make an arrangement with a lender that reduces the principal balance of a mortgage, the amount forgiven in that workout will not be taxed.

Can the homeowners in a short sale or foreclosure claim a loss?
No. The loss is considered a personal loss and is, therefore, ineligible for either capital loss or ordinary loss treatment.

What happens to the seller when mortgage debt is forgiven?
Until January 1, 2013, the homeowner will pay no tax on any forgiven amount.

Does this provision apply to a refinanced mortgage?
Only in limited circumstances. The relief provision can apply to either an original or a refinanced mortgage. If the mortgage has been refinanced at any time, the relief is available only up to the amount of the original debt (plus the cost of any improvements). Tax relief is generally not available for second mortgages or home-equity lines of credit where the funds are not used for home improvement. Any amount that is not eligible for the relief provision will be taxed as ordinary income.

How does the homeowner get the correct information to the IRS?
The lender is required to provide the homeowner and the IRS with a Form 1099 reflecting the amount of the forgiven debt. The borrower/homeowner must file a Form 982 to reflect the amount forgiven and to show the reason why the forgiven amount is not taxable. Any taxable portion of forgiven debt will then be reported on the homeowner’s Form 1040 for the tax year in which the debt was forgiven.

What if a property declines in value but the owner stays in the house?
The provision would not apply. The provision applies only at the time of sale or other disposition or when there is a workout (reduction of existing debt) with the lender.

Do all lenders forgive mortgage debt when property values decline or the home is in foreclosure?
No. Some states have laws that allow a lender to require a repayment arrangement, particularly if the borrower has other assets. Forgiveness of debt is always at the lender’s discretion.

Linda Goold is the Tax Counsel for National Association of REALTORS®.


Buying/Selling Consumer Luxury National Spotlights
Milwaukee - city panorama seen from the north side.
2016 Home Sales Increasing Twice as Fast in Counties with Low Hazard Risk

The recently released ATTOM Data Solutions 2016 U.S. Natural Hazard Housing...

portrait of us army soldier and little daughter outside their home
The Best Military Towns Named for Investing in Rental Homes

New data was released by HomeUnion on the best military towns...

House chart , This is a computer generated and 3d rendered image.
August Brings Hottest Housing Market in a Decade, Says REALTOR.com

A record-breaking summer for the residential real estate market continued in...

Agent Broker Coaching Lead Gen Teams
Holding house keys on house shaped keychain in front of a new home
Stepping into the Residential Arena

In the following interview, Paul Kenny and Matt Bogue of Engel...

Handshake of a two businesswomen after closed deal
Recruiting and Retaining in Today’s World

“Times are changing” is a phrase that’s been uttered by countless...

education_tip_concept_NAR_Series.jpg
Education Insider: RPR’s Learning Site Is Blowing Our Mind

A couple weeks ago, Realtors® Property Resource (RPR) announced its brand...

Agent Best Practices Branding Broker Niche
Digital composite of businesswoman touching interface with profile pictures
Four Tips to Fuel Your Online Presence

Social media is a prime way to both connect with potential...

Hispanic family with laptop at home smiling
Back-to-School Marketing Ideas

As families gear up to send the kids back to school,...

Word Cloud with Lead Generation related tags
Ask the Expert: How Much Should You Spend on Lead Generation?

Today’s “Ask the Expert” column features Arthur Darmanin, Chief Executive Officer...

Agent Apps/Gadgets Best Practices Broker Innovation
financial stock price
5 Ways Big Data Is Changing Real Estate

Every facet of the business world has been radically changed by...

Computer keyboard with loupe concept
Maximizing Exposure with Unique, Interactive Domains

When it comes to finding your target audience, proper listing exposure...

Silhouette of business people moving and joining pieces of jigsaw puzzle on a business and stock market  blue background, with charts, diagrams, world maps and data arranged on grid and tables. World maps showing continents and countries with economy data and growth diagrams. Light glowing from the center. Copy space on bottom.
PNC Offers Online Business Insights, Webinars and Tools for Agents

Looking for the latest real estate industry information, education and networking...

Business Insights Content Generation Marketing Trends
Nizhnevartovsk, Russia - June 12, 2013: Man hand holding iPhone 5 with Instagram App. iPhone is product Apple Inc. Instagram is an online photo-sharing and social networking service.
Visual Storytelling: Tips for Mastering the Art of Instagram

Creating and implementing a consistent social media strategy is vital for...

"Paris, France - May 27, 2012: Instagram logo on Apple iPhone display"
Instagram Is Open for Business—Find Out What This Means for Real Estate

Last week, Instagram released some major updates that could create a...

instagram_update_2
Story Time: Move Over Snapchat, Instagram Wants In

Are you using Snapchat in your real estate business? Well, you should...

Buying/Selling For Your Clients Home Improvement How-To Lifestyle
US Marine Female Soldier at Home with Real Estate Paperwork.
Home Loans for Veterans: Everything You Need to Know

(TNS)—If you or your spouse has served in the military or...

Cheerful teenager girl with earphones doing homework on sofa at home
Pros and Cons: Buying a Property for a College Student

There’s no way around it, supporting a college student can be...

A beautifully staged modern living room within a Victoria, BC condo.
5 Dirt Cheap Home-Staging Ideas

(TNS)—We all want to make our houses look like they are...

manhattan
RISMedia’s CEO Exchange

RISMedia’s 2016 Real Estate CEO Exchange September 13 & 14, 2016...

Capital Building, Washington
RISMedia’s Power Broker Forum at the NAR REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo

RISMedia’s Power Broker Forum at the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo...

PB-annual
RISMedia’s Power Broker Forum, Reception & Dinner – Annual

RISMedia Power Broker Events 2016 Orlando, Fla. Friday, November 4, 2016...