If you bought your home a year or two ago - you might be in the situation many homeowners are. You owe more than your house is worth. Because of the market slowdown, homeowners are seeing houses in their neighborhood sell for less than they did a couple years ago. This can become a scary prospect when you are forced to sell your home due to relocation, a lost job or death in the family. That's why the president and congress passed House Bill 3648 - the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007. This bill is more commonly known as Program 3648.

Prior to program 3648, here is what happened. Let’s say you fell behind in your mortgage payments, lost your job or just couldn't keep up with the bills. You decided to sell your house and get out from under the mortgage. You bought the house for $350,000 but could only sell it for $250,000. This is a scenario that is all too common today. The bank would then issue a 1099 to you at the end of the year for $100,000. That meant that you would have to report $100,000 on your tax return and pay taxes on it. Can you imagine? What a tax bill.

Thankfully, congress and the president reacted to the market and created program 3648. The Mortgage Debt Forgiveness act means you are no longer liable for taxes on that difference you didn't pay the mortgage company. Now, there are some rules that apply to this program. It has to be your primary residence for instance. And you also need to make sure the mortgage company isn't going to come after you for the difference. If you have questions - you should always ask your accountant or tax counsel who prepares your taxes.

When you sell your house for less than you owe the bank it's called a short sale. Nationwide, only about 10% of short sales are actually approved. In order to make this kind of sale work it's important to know what you're doing. My staff and I have the ability to move the “odds” into your favor. The vast majority of short sales that we handle are approved and closed.

As a Certified Program 3648 Representative I have expertise and experience in negotiating short sales that many Realtors® and Investors do not possess. I have an experienced staff of Loss Mitigation Negotiators that work exclusively on my files. I have a staff appraiser that works for me, to keep us on top of values, which is essential in negotiating a successful short sale. We have the experience, systems and staff in place to maximize the likelihood of a success short sale. Frankly I believe that there is no one else in our market that has our level of expertise in negotiating a successful short sale transaction.

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Signature Realty Associates is a licensed real estate brokerage firm in the State of Florida. Ze'ev "Wolf" Bar-El is a licensed real estate agent in the State of Florida.

Signature Realty Associates and Ze'ev Bar-El, LLC.are not associated with the government, and our service is not approved by the government or your lender. Even if you accept this offer and use our service, your lender may not agree to change your loan.