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Real Estate Forclosure Tax Consequences of Foreclosures and Short Sales
When homeowners utilize the short sale, deed--in-lieu option, or a foreclosure takes place, the IRS requires all lenders to send a 1099 Income Earnings Statement to all borrowers on the note for any deficiency balance (forgiveness of debt according to the IRS) in excess of $600.
This real estate forclosure must be reported on the borrower's tax returns as income and taxes may be assessed. The exception would be for a purchase money loan (an original loan when the house was purchased, and no refinance has taken place), or when insolvency can be proven and the IRS determines the tax liability should be waived or lowered. In either case, a CPA knowledgeable in short sales and real estate forclosures is essential.
Real Estate Forclosure Credit Report Implications
When a real estate forclosure occurs, there are levels of severity, but how a future lender views your current situation depends upon how well you documented the hardship, how you have overcome it, and what other compensating factors you now have to offset the derogatory real estate forclosure credit history.
Even if you end up keeping your home, your credit report will probably show 30, 60, 90-day late payments. Payment histories are reported for seven years unless it is a matter of public record, such as a judgment, which remains on the credit file for 10 years. A short sale may or may not show on your credit report but is generally not considered very harmful since you took positive steps to remedy your situation.
Real estate forclosure is probably the worst rating that can appear on a credit report. A deed-in-lieu of foreclosure is only slightly better. Both will stay on your credit report for seven years. You usually must wait about three to four years before buying another home at competitive interest rates.
Reestablishing a good credit history is imperative. This can be done with an excellent payment history on a new credit card, timely utility payments, and/or satisfactory rental payment records. If you have trouble obtaining an unsecured credit card, seek out a secured card.
Finally, it is a good idea to file a "Consumer Statement" (a short 100 words or less hardship letter explaining your situation) with each credit bureaus. The explanation remains as long as the items show on your credit report. There is no charge for filing this statement and the credit bureaus must help you write the statement if you request their help.
Real estate forclosure is frustrating however, ALWAYS keep a copy of your hardship letter with your payment records, in case you need to recall this information at a later date.