Author: Rebecca McLean

Improving Neighborhoods, One Home at a Time By Rebecca McLean Executive Director, National Real Estate Investors Association There is no doubt about the critical need for affordable housing in America today.  Affordable housing allows families to have a stable home, offering countless benefits to children by helping families stay connected to the communities they choose where they have found medical care, churches and schools.  Stability helps keep families together.  However, there is another benefit of providing affordable housing; it becomes a pathway to homeownership, a way to build financial security. Members of the National Real Estate Investors Association work every…

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National REIA HousingWire Editorial on Short Sale Tax Treatment: Congress Must Extend Housing Short Sale Tax Relief In late 2007 as Americans began to feel the crushing weight of the housing crisis, Congress passed the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act. The legislation protected homeowners opting to cut a deal with their lender to sell their homes at a discount, through a process called a “short sale”, from debt cancellation tax being levied by the Internal Revenue Service. The decision to enter into a short sale is made by homeowners and lenders, and is a recognition that it is simply the…

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Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act Extension: National REIA’s lobbying arm in Washington, D.C. along with National REIA Board Member Tom Zeeb continued meetings with Congressional leadership staff in Washington during the month of September. The meetings concentrated on restoring the short sale tax break, raising the profile of National REIA as a partner with members of Congress and staff, and discussing the Congressional housing agenda for 2015. Based upon more than three dozen meetings over the course of the last several months, National REIA’s lobbyist in Washington believes there is a very high probability that the short sale tax break…

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Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act Extension: National REIA Board Member Tom Zeeb will be in Washington, D.C. this week with National’s lobbyist meeting with the office of the subcommittee chairman with oversight of Fannie and Freddie to discuss a variety of housing issues as well as the role of residential investors and National REIA’s leadership of the industry. One item on the agenda will be the extension of the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act, a bill that prevented distressed homeowners from taxation on phantom income when utilizing a short sale transaction. Mr. Zeeb, in concert with National REIA’s lobbying arm,…

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Existing Home Sales Report (July 2014): Summary of July 2014 Existing Home Sales Report Single family home sales were up 2.4% from June 2014, and down 4.3% from July 2013; Existing home inventory was up 3.5% from June 2014 to 2.37 million homes; Distressed sales (foreclosures and short sales) comprised 9% of all existing home sales. 6% were foreclosures, 3% were short sales. The overall distressed sales figure for July 2014 is down 15% from July 2013. This month marks the first time distressed sales comprised less than 10% of existing home sales since the housing crisis. Average distressed…

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Fall Congressional Preview: The annual Federal Budget debate and the vote to lift the Federal Debt Ceiling will dominate the Congressional agenda this fall. We can expect a large part of the House budget debate to center on compromises in exchange for the defunding of the Affordable Care Act, a process that will not go anywhere. One key budget issue pertaining to landlords will be the expected increase in funding for HUD’s Private Enforcement Initiative, part of the FHIP program. This funding provides grants to eligible non-profits to conduct what amount to sting operations on landlords to ensure compliance with…

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Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act Extension: National REIA’s lobbying arm in Washington, D.C. continued to meet with offices of members of the U.S. Senate and relevant committee staff attorneys to discuss extending the short sale tax break through 2015. Representatives for National REIA met with the sponsors of the measure earlier this month, and are now focused on one goal: securing enough votes in the Senate to pass this important tax break for distressed homeowners and the residential real estate investing community. National REIA’s Washington lobbyist will continue to hold Senate meetings through the summer and into the fall until…

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Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act Extension: Over the course of the first two weeks in July, National REIA’s lobbying arm in Washington, D.C., in concert with National REIA board member Tom Zeeb, has met with the key sponsors of legislation to extend the short sale tax break retroactively for 2014 and through 2015. The extension of this tax break, which prevents the IRS from taxing cancelled debt during the utilization of short sales, is critical to restoring the use of short sales. Since the failure to extend the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act into 2014, short sales have fallen dramatically…

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Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act Extension: Legislation approved by the Senate Finance Committee that would have extended this legislation died on the Senate floor. This bill, passed in December 2007 and applicable until the end of 2013, allowed borrowers utilizing short sale transactions to be relieved of the debt cancellation tax burden associated with short sales. However, Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) and Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) are sponsoring a bill that would reinstate the extension. National REIA is actively lobbying the Senate to get this bipartisan measure passed before the end of the year. While it is unlikely the bill…

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Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act Extension: National REIA’s lobbying arm in Washington, D.C. has initiated meetings with members of Congress and committee lawyers in both houses of Congress to discuss extending the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act. Passed in 2007, the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act assisted sellers utilizing short sales by eliminating a requirement to pay taxes on the amount banks write-off when accepting a short sale. The expiration of the Act has curbed the utilization of short sale transactions. Recently, the Senate Finance Committee passed S. 2260 (Expiring Provisions Improvement Reform and Efficiency Act known as “EXPIRE”) that…

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