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, has prepared an editorial on the matter that will be shared with the media and members of Congress. National’s lobbyist has spent the last few months working on this matter and reports to National that the prospects for getting the extension, which will be retroactive for 2014 and extend through 2015, are extremely good.
The passage of the short sale tax break extension should revitalize the use of the transaction. Short sales gained a tremendous boost in late 2012 when National’s lobbyist worked with the Federal Housing Finance Agency on the National Standard Short Sale Program, but the failure to extend the tax break into 2014 has caused a dramatic reduction in the utilization of short sales to save distressed homeowners and revitalize communities. National REIA’s lobbying arm in Washington, D.C. will prepare a briefing for members when the tax extender package is passed in Congress, which we expect will be after the November election when Congress returns. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has committed to getting the package (which includes the short sale tax break) to the floor of the Senate for a vote before the end of the year. The measure appears to have very strong support in both the Senate and the House, and President Obama supports the tax extender package as well.
Upon passage of this crucial measure for the residential real estate community, National REIA will work with its Washington, D.C. lobbying arm to prepare an agenda for 2015.