So what is the possibility of congress extending the tax relief? One Hill-watcher puts it at 60-40. The Senate Finance Committee passed a package of tax extenders right before the recess, including a one year mortgage relief extension, but leadership in the House of Representatives has not figured out how it wants to handle these extenders. With the looming “fiscal cliff,” tax cuts are an increasingly tough sell. This particular extension does have bipartisan support, but that doesn’t always mean passage in Congress, especially around a presidential election.
“It could be an uphill fight to get this passed this fall, as it will likely get caught up in larger debate of over taxes, deficits and the financial cliff. But we believe that it is a helpful provision for distressed borrowers, as getting a tax bill on forgiven debt can be another punch in the gut for families who are already facing financial hardship,” says David Stevens, president and CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association. (Read More:Is Housing Risen From Ashes? 'Industry Has Come Back')
Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA), who introduced legislation last March to extend the tax relief for three years said in a release, “Collecting federal income tax on relief intended for struggling homeowners is not only bad policy, but is simply wrong.”
With great uncertainty as to the fate of the tax relief, some say short sales could get a boost this fall. Borrowers and banks alike may rush to get in before the expiration, which could help boost overall home sales numbers.
Sector Watch: US Home Builders
—Beazer Homes USA
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