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Category Archives: Hillsborough Title in the News
Check out today’s edition of the Tampa Bay Times…
HT in TBT!
Mark Baer listed his Walsingham Heights home for sale, buyers offered $100,000 less than what he owed on his mortgages.
Baer, 50, believed he could persuade the bank to forgive the difference. But the deal posed a big risk: If not done by the end of the year, it could cost him $30,000 in taxes.
“If I do close before that deadline, I will feel like the luckiest man in the world,” Baer said. “If you owe the government money … they can come take your last pair of sneakers. They could take everything.”
Starting Jan. 1, underwater homeowners could be in for a painful surprise: The Internal Revenue Service will begin counting most forgiven mortgage debt as income that can be taxed.
Foreclosed? You’ll be taxed on what’s left on your mortgage. Win a write-down on your principal? You’ll pay taxes on what was cut. Even short sales, the distressed market’s new norm, will be taxed on what was still owed.
For example, if a bank reduces a mortgage principal by $100,000, that homeowner would owe taxes on that amount because it would be treated as income. A homeowner in a 20 percent tax bracket would owe $20,000.
The tax time bomb could serve as a costly new indignity for homeowners. The fallout would be particularly drastic in the Tampa Bay area, where the foreclosure rate remains high and nearly half of all mortgage holders owe more than their homes are worth.
It could also sludge up the housing market as it teeters toward recovery, real estate agents said. Spooked potential sellers could dodge the taxes by staying put in their homes. Instead of the confidence that comes with a fresh start, they would remain burdened by a financial anvil.
“If (tax relief) is not extended, you’re going to get a bunch of people stuck in short sales … and they’ll never be able to get out,” said Keller Williams agent Steve Capen. “I don’t think it would be good for anybody.”
The change comes with the end of the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act, passed by Congress in 2007 at the dawn of the housing bust. It allowed homeowners to write off the “phantom income” of forgiven debt but is set to expire Dec. 31.
The law allows homeowners to write off up to $2 million in mortgage debt this year, as long as it was spent on buying or improving a primary home.
The IRS will provide for some very limited exceptions after the provision’s end, meaning most homeowners would have no chance to scrape past the tax unscathed.
Securing a deficiency waiver will keep bank collectors away, but not the IRS. Even a bankruptcy is not likely to remove the extra tax.
Congress has talked of an extension, but final approval is far from guaranteed in a polarized election year. Extending the provision for two years would cost the government more than $2 billion in tax revenue, Congressional Budget Office records show, at a time when Republicans and Democrats both crow about cutting deficits.
Beth Cromwell, a short sale processer with Hillsborough Title, is telling worried homeowners that she would bet on an extension.
“There’s too many short sales that haven’t even been approved yet,” Cromwell said. “If they don’t (extend), they’re just going to create a wave of people filing for bankruptcy.”
Others, like attorney Charles Gallagher, are more doubtful of an 11th-hour rescue. “I’m not real hopeful D.C. will come up with a fix by the end of the year,” he said.
Lenders must forgive the debt by Dec. 31 for homeowners to make the cut, and short sales and other forgiveness measures can often take longer than 90 days to process.
“If you want to get in by the end of the year, you’d need to list your house today,” and even then it might be too late, Capen said. “I have a feeling December is going to be a mess.”
By: Drew Harwell, Tampa Bay Times
Hillsborough Title dedicated the month of June to helping out local charities. Hillsborough Title ran a “like us for charity” contest on Facebook, and held a charity car wash. The Plant City location hosted the charity car wash which benefitted the United Food Bank of Plant City. Food and monetary donations collected totaled more than $1,200. Hillsborough Title, company-wide, ran a contest on Facebook that generated a donation of $1,000 for GTAR’s Realtor Care Foundation and the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.
“I am incredibly proud of the hard-work my team contributed to such great causes,” stated Aaron M. Davis, President/CEO of Hillsborough Title. “The United Food Bank of Plant City is hit hardest in the summer months because donations level out, so it’s astonishing to see the amount of generosity that is carried throughout the community.
The charity car wash was held June 9th where food and monetary donations were welcomed. The Plant City Hillsborough Title team delivered a total of 1,244 pounds of collected food items, and presented the Food Bank with a check for $340.
Hillsborough Title’s Facebook contest helped to raise funds for the Realtor Care Foundation and Relay for Life. The contest concluded with 781 page “likes”. The company generously rounded up the final number and donated a total of $1,000 to the selected charities.
“I was so pleased to see the Realtor Care Foundation as the charity selected to receive the donation in honor of our contest because they have so many wonderful programs in place to better the real estate market and the community as a whole,” explained Davis when asked about his charitable contribution.
The REALTORS® Care is a charitable foundation that was formed to create and provide educational and housing programs and services. Tampa Bay’s REALTORS® are continually making a difference in the neighborhoods in which they live, work and serve. REALTORS® throughout the Tampa Bay Area have a long standing tradition of community involvement and regularly volunteer their time and efforts to numerous charities and worthy causes. From fundraising to volunteering, Tampa REALTORS® remain active in their communities and diligent in their goal to give back. So the formation of the REALTORS® Care Foundation of GTAR was an easy and natural extension of what it means to be a REALTOR® in Hillsborough County.
Bay Cities Bank recognized Hillsborough Title as its’ “featured client” for the summer 2012 quarter. In an interview, Hillsborough Title President/CEO discusses how Hillsborough Title has garnered success in the industry, for “our success was formed on being a “Hometown” title agency, and we enjoy working with others who share that same formula for success”.
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admin in Hillsborough Title,Hillsborough Title in the News,Press Releases | June 18, 2012
HT’s Plant City office held a charity car wash to benefit the United Food Bank of Plant City. Over $1,200 donated for a total of more than 1,244 pounds of food.