Mortgage Debt Tax Relief Extended for Another Year as 30 Year Mortgage Rates Hover Above Record Lows

Average 30 year mortgage rates today are just above record lows but if you're in the position of losing your home, low mortgage rates today doesn't help your situation. In fact, you face the possibility of having a considerable tax bill on any debt relief you're forgiven on your mortgage.

Thankfully, the first round of the fiscal cliff  deal in Washington included extending mortgage debt tax relief. Homeowners that were involved in a short sale, foreclosure, or principal mortgage debt relief would be faced with owing taxes on the amount that was forgiven by the lender. The tax bill could easily be in the tens of thousands of dollars for these homeowners.

The "debt relief" tax law was set to expire on December 31, 2012, but was extended to until December 31, 2013. reported the average short sale in Florida sold for about $103,000 less than what the homeowner owed. The mortgage debt tax relief was enacted in 2007 but if the law wasn't on the books, the typical homeowner selling on a short sale would have owed just over $25,000 in federal taxes if they were in the 25 percent tax bracket.

Millions of homeowners are in the position of having to sell their home for less than they paid for it. Millions also are still facing a distressed sale, so extending the debt relief tax law will provide some relief to many people. This law also helps the housing market by allowing these sales to go through by lowering housing inventory.

Home affordability is at record highs these days, combined with record breaking low current mortgage rates. The housing market is finally recovering from the worst bust since the depression. Home sales are moving higher year over year, home builders are optimistic about the future and home prices are rising again.

Average conforming 30 year mortgage rates are at 3.54 percent today but you can find lenders quoting fixed 30 year rates well below the average. If you search on our rate tables, you will find some lenders quoting 30 year mortgage refinance rates just below 3.00 percent with points.
Author: Robert Till
January 7th, 2013
Posted in: Mortgage Rates