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550 South Dixie Highway
Coral Gables, FL 33146
This week I attended an informative seminar led by the Miami Board of Realtors about short sales and tax implications. When sellers are considering short sales, it’s common to talk about the bank’s deficiency, but often less discussed is the potential tax implication. While a bank might forgive the deficiency, the seller might still be required to pay taxes on a certain portion of the amount being forgiven. For example, if you own a home with a mortgage AND line of credit and you short sell your house, you have to prove that all money used from the line of credit was used towards home improvements, like replacing your roof or installing a pool. However if money was spent on personal items like paying school tuition, that amount will be counted as income and taxed. The major lesson learned was when considering a short sale, speak to an accountant first to understand exactly what you’re getting into!
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I heard the most interesting news this week that I thought was worth sharing. Bank of America has started a new pilot program offering to pay their distressed sellers up to $20,000 to short sell their homes. They have rolled this program out only in Florida for now since we have the highest foreclosure rates in the country. To qualify, sellers have to have their home listed by November 30th and the closing has to take place before August 31st, 2012. Bank of America then determines how much to grant back to the seller based on the value of the home and length of delinquency.
Here is an interesting story detailing an example of this special real estate program in action.