Homeowners may be hit with a massive Tax Bills if extension is not granted by Congress.

Homeowners may be hit with a massive Tax Bills if extension is not granted by Congress.

Congress has left unrenewed The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007 created to help distressed homeowners; that were faced with taxes after a Principal reduction. Under current federal Pay-Estimated-Taxestax law, when the homeowners accept reductions in what they owe, the amount forgiven by the bank gets reported to the IRS, and the owner is hit with taxes as  if it were ordinary income.

Without Congressional action to renew the breaks, those whom banks allowed to sell their homes for less than the amount of their mortgage would have to pay taxes on the forgiven mortgage debt as if it were income, and it will hit hard on homeowners with a massive tax bills. This Congressional inaction could add $75K  in phantom income.

RealtyTrac estimates that in the first three-quarters of 2014, there have been more than 170,000 short sales representing a mortgage debt forgiveness of $8.1 billion total. The average short sale has a mortgage forgiveness of about $75,000, which if the tax break expires would be counted as income.

If Congress does not extend the law retroactively thousands of underwater homeowners could be hit with tax burdens that may not be able to handle.

 

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Home sales hit fastest rise in more than a year

Home sales hit fastest rise in more than a year

buying-a-home11Sales of existing-homes rose by 1.5% in October according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Last October previously-owned homes reached its highest annual pace of the year as buyers continue to be encouraged by interest rates at lows not seen for a long time.

This numbers also represents the first yearly gain since October 2013. The median existing-home prices posted as well an increase compared to October 2013. From the previous year, October’s median price of $208,300 was up 5.5%, marking the 32nd straight month of yearly improvement.

The National Association of Realtors tracks completed transactions of single family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops each month, dubbing this group “existing-home sales.” As the housing market crashed back in 2008, NAR also began tracking the share of home sales that were distressed (foreclosures and short sales).

In October distressed home sales declined to 9% of the total, hitting the single digits for the third month in 2014. One year ago, distressed sales accounted for 14% of the market. Foreclosures account for 7%, and short sales 2% total average. The share of homes purchased for all-cash buyers in October accounted for 27%, compared to a 31% in October 2013.

First-time buyers remain a smaller slice of the market than the historic norm, at 29% in October for the fourth straight month. First-time buyers have represented less than 30% of the buyer pool in 18 of the past 19 months.

Inventory levels declined by 2.6% in October to a supply of 2.22 million existing-homes available for sale the lowest level since March, but 5.2% higher than a year ago, when there were only 2.11 million existing-homes for sale.

We still need an increment on housing inventory. However, Government-sponsored enterprise Freddie Mac has projected a 20% gain for inventory between 2014 and 2015, which will help supply. Let’s make it happen.

NOW is the time…Rates don’t wait!

If you have higher mortgage payments, now is the time to change it!  In recent years we have seen many changes in our national economy. We have seen cuts in interest rates given by the Federal Reserve cuts not seen for many years. imagesCA68GG1H

One situation that influenced home foreclosures for many homeowners were the high interest rates they were granted. These mortgage loans  were presented for a large number of months as a fixed payments and later converted into variable rates, causing a drastic financial instability in many homeowners facing now a new higher mortgage payment.

The HARP Refinance Program gives the Homeowners that have not been behind in the last 12 months, and can prove income under the new conditions and repayment capacity; the opportunity to refinance with low current interest rates. This means that you can refinance even if the actual mortgage balance is higher than the value of your property on the market today.  The HARP and FHA programs are the only programs that allow you to refinance under these terms.

Compare and discuss your options and determine if refinancing NOW is financially right for you. The essence of refinancing is to find the best fit and financial balance  for you and your family. Remember, an informed decision is the best guarantee!

Home sales show encouraging stats

Home sales show encouraging stats

Existing home sales, excluding distressed sales, are the most encouraging stats at the moment. These, according to Trulia and the National Association of Realtors, were 80 percent back to normal in August.

home-salesTrulia’s Bubble Watch also showed that prices were 3.4 percent undervalued in the third quarter, which is a marked improvement over the 13.5 percent undervaluation at the worst of the housing bust. That means prices are three-fourths of the way back to normal.

Delinquency and foreclosure rates also were much improved. According to Trulia and Black Knight, the national delinquency and foreclosure rate was 74 percent back to normal in August, the same as one quarter ago and up from 56 percent one year ago. The decline in defaults and foreclosures has helped stabilize the financial system and hard-hit neighborhoods.

September:  Highest Consumer Confidence

September: Highest Consumer Confidence

Consumer confidence reached its highest level since the Great Recession in September, according to the Thomson Reuters and University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers.

consumer-confidenceSeptember’s increase in consumer confidence is the result of optimistic outlooks on the overall economy and personal incomes.  The consumer expectations index rose 5.8 percent over the month of September, while the current conditions index fell 0.9 percent.

Additionally, a growing number of consumers expect their incomes to increase over the next year. The median income growth expectation reported in September was 1.1 percent, which is the highest expectation since late 2008. At the same time, more households anticipate income growth now than at any time since September 2008.

The renewal of income growth is particularly important for sparking consumer spending, and adding pending changes to monetary policy will make income gains prompt to boost even more consumer’s confidence.

80,000 Foreclosures prevented!

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) indicated in its report on foreclosure prevention  for Q2 2014 released on September 24, that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac  prevented nearly 80,000 foreclosures nationwide in the second quarter, raising the total number of foreclosures prevented since the start of the conservatorship in September 2008 to 3.3 million.

fThe measures taken by the two GSEs to prevent foreclosures have helped about 2.7 million borrowers remain in their homes in the last six years, with approximately 1.7 million of those borrowers receiving permanent loan modifications. The number of foreclosures prevented is down 10 percent from Q1, when GSE measures stopped almost 89,000 foreclosures.

FHFA reports as well that about 37 percent of those who received permanent loan modifications were able to reduce their monthly payments by more than 30 percent in second quarter.

Fact or Fiction: Tax relief for homeowners’ on debt forgiveness.

Fact or Fiction: Tax relief for homeowners’ on debt forgiveness.

Congress is now back from its summer vacation, so the burning financial question on thousands of homeowners’ minds right now is this: Are you finally going to help the consumers who are underwater on their mortgages and have already accepted a principal reduction by their lenders? 20131125_fact copy

Under current federal tax law, when the homeowners accept reductions in what they owe, the amount forgiven by the bank gets reported to the IRS, and the owner is hit with taxes as if it were ordinary income.

The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007 was created to help distressed homeowners; that were faced with taxes after a Principal reduction; however this law has already expired Dec. 31, 2013.

If Congress does not extend the law retroactively thousands of underwater homeowners could be hit with tax burdens they may not be able to handle. We hope for the Best!