AGs: Congress should extend Mortgage Forgiveness Tax Relief Act

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) -- A group of state attorneys general is urging Congress to extend tax relief to help financially-strapped homeowners through at least 2014.

The National Association of Attorneys General sent a two-page letter to members of Congress, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, Thursday.

The 42 attorneys general say extending the Mortgage Forgiveness Tax Relief Act is critical to the ongoing recovery of the housing market.

"If this deadline is not extended, financially strapped homeowners, even those who lose their home to foreclosure, will be forced to pay taxes as income on any mortgage debt that is forgiven by the holder of the mortgage," the letter states.

The act expires on Dec. 31.

Last year, at the urging of state attorneys general, Congress extended the benefit into 2013.

"We've made significant headway and seen real results achieved for our citizens through the National Mortgage Settlement and other programs that forgive or cancel mortgage debts through modifications, waivers of foreclosure deficiencies, or short sales," the letter explains.

"But this assistance will be less meaningful if the very homeowners that receive mortgage debt relief are hit with tax bills they cannot afford."

To read the full letter, click here.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at

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