The fiscal cliff package that was approved this week includes a provision that will help maintain a viable short sale market in the year 2013.
The Mortgage Forgiveness  Debt Relief Act was set to expire on December 31, 2012. This act provided an exemption to the normal rule that forgiven debt is taxable income. The act allowed many homeowners to avoid income tax liability on the mortgage debt forgiven in a short sale. This week, Congress passed the "American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012" which extends the income tax exemption on forgiven mortgage debt for one year. This means that homeowners who short-sell their principal residence and are forgiven the obligation to repay some or all of the unpaid balance may exclude the qualified cancelled debt from their taxable income. This should serve to promote short sales in the coming year as it will enable homeowners to continue seeking forgiveness of mortgage debt in a short sale without being taxed for it. The exemption also applies to any qualified debt forgiveness in a loan modification, refinance, or foreclosure.

However, not all mortgage debt qualifies for the exemption. Homeowners should be advised to seek advice from a tax professional to ascertain whether their mortgage debt qualifies for the exemption.

Call me if you're thinking of selling your home even if you think it might be a short sale.  I am happy to help with a free comparative market analysis and connect you to the right people to speak with regarding your situation.  I proudly allign myself with a portfolio of professionals to best help you!