You’ve certainly heard and read many reports about defaults on mortgage loans.Â There are many reasons homeowners face such situations, some of which are completely beyond their control.Â There are also several solutions, but each carries a consequence.
In one example, a family had to relocate for an attractive job offer.Â The home they were selling languished in a slow market for over six months, and they defaulted because they couldn’t continue the mortgage payments.
Their agent negotiated a “short sale,” whereby the lender accepted an offer that was $10,000 less than the loan balance (rather than begin unpleasant foreclosure proceedings).Â In this case, it’s important to understand that the shortfall is considered “debt relief” and is reported as taxable income to the IRS.
Since the sellers didn’t have to repay that $10,000 to the lender, the IRS considered it the same as $10,000 income.Â This debt relief from a short sale is considered taxable to the borrowers, and the corresponding Form 1099 must be reported.
This is one of the simpler scenarios created by defaults or foreclosures, which are becoming more common as market corrections and rising interest rates prevail.Â No matter what reason you or someone you know might be facing default, it is absolutely critical to consult with a tax adviser and a trusted real estate agent before deciding how to proceed.
Bennington VT, Selling