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Economy and Business


End of mortgage debt relief program could cost Ohio taxpayers
2007 Mortgage Forgiveness Act expires Wednesday
Story by GRACE MURRAY


 
In The Region:
CORRECTION: Some 7,000 people a year, not a month, are losing their homes to foreclosure in Cuyahoga County. This story incorrectly gave the wrong time period.

The expiration of a debt relief program could cost underwater homeowners extra taxes this year. The 2007 Mortgage Forgiveness Act was created in response to the foreclosure crisis, and it allows homeowners to forego paying taxes on forgiven mortgage debt. The law has been extended in the past and advocates, like Lou Tisler of Cleveland’s Neighborhood Housing Services, are hoping Congress will continue the trend.
End of mortgage debt relief program could cost Ohio taxpayers

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“It’s not a partisan issue. It’s not the D’s and the R’s; the haves or the have-nots. It really is something that affects everybody, and so it’s not as if you’re taking tax money away from somebody. Because it isn’t as if this is a tax cut. It’s not zero-sum game. This is stuff people are being taxed on for something they didn’t see.”

Tisler says the foreclosure crisis is far from over, with 7,000 people losing their homes each year in Cuyahoga County alone. He says he believes the law is needed relief to keep the economy moving forward. Three bills are in the process of making their way through legislature – two in the House and one in the Senate – to extend the act.


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