Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act Extension:

Over the course of the first two weeks in July, National REIA’s lobbying arm in Washington, D.C., in concert with National REIA board member Tom Zeeb, has met with the key sponsors of legislation to extend the short sale tax break retroactively for 2014 and through 2015. The extension of this tax break, which prevents the IRS from taxing cancelled debt during the utilization of short sales, is critical to restoring the use of short sales. Since the failure to extend the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act into 2014, short sales have fallen dramatically since the passage of the tax break implementation in 2008 to 2013 and through the passage of FHFA’s National Standard Short Sale Program, another product of National REIA’s lobbying arm.

National’s lobbying arm and Mr. Zeeb met with the offices of Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), the primary sponsor of the bill, along with the office of Senator Dean Heller (R-NV), one of the top Republican supporters of the bill in the Senate. The team also held additional meetings. The meetings produced three positive results.

First, National REIA’s team gathered importance intelligence about the prospects for passage and timing of passage of the short sale tax extender. Second, the offices provided National REIA with a blueprint for helping the bill pass before the end of the year. Finally, the meetings established National REIA as a valuable player in this process and one of the driving forces behind helping distressed homeowners and opening up more opportunities for investors.

Based upon its meetings on Capitol Hill, National REIA’s lobbyist is confident that the short sale tax break will be extended. As it stands today, the most likely scenario in terms of timing for passage will be after the election in November and before the new Congress convenes in January. National REIA’s lobbyist will continue to meet with every Senate office through the election to gather additional support for the passage of the tax break extension.

At this time, National’s lobbyist has this issue firmly under control, thus National does not believe that any grassroots contact or meetings without the presence of National REIA are necessary as our current effort is well-organized, the same message is being delivered to every Senate office, and prospects for passage look solid. National does not want to confuse the issue with potentially mixed messages especially as we are potentially six months away from a significant victory.

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