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Washington Post: Underwater homeowners could face extra tax burden in 2014


by Michael H. Wasserman, Attorney at Law

The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act expires Tuesday at midnight. Sadly and perhaps all to predictably, Congress has three bills pending that would extend tax relief for underwater home owners, but has not acted to move any of them forward for passage.

As new years approaches, several buyer-clients and I find ourselves standing on the sidelines watching several short sales that were "all but" approved but have ground to a full stop over the last several weeks, for no apparent reason.

Waiting to see what happens next, if / when the Sellers lenders approve any or all of these deals next year. 

  • Will Seller's attorneys advise their clients of the tax liabilities their clients will now face?
  • Will they kill deals outright
  • Delay closings until (?) Congress acts? (Will Congress act to extend the tax relief law?), or,
  • Will they sell their clients down the (tax liability) river to close contracts (and get paid)?

More on this mess, reported here.

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Zoiks! Real estate scams up 480%

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You read that right, A 480 percent increase according to a May 2017 PSA from the FBI. Its Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3). Scammers are targeting wire transfers with alarming frequency. As state law mandates the use of wire transfers for most real estate transactions, it's vital that every buyer, seller and professional be vigilant to prevent fraud. Here's what to look for and what you can do to help protect your money - your deal.

Check the Source: Wire transfer fraud typically starts with a "phishing" email that looks ok at first blush, but is a fake. Real-looking but fraudulent emails may contain:

A slightly different email address. It could be just one character off. Or using a correct name but from a free account, like gmail, aol or yahoo.

Legit-looking logos and email footers. Remember, logos can be downloaded from public websites from title companies and banks.

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