Two Mortgage Tax Breaks Ending At Midnight

At the stroke of midnight, fifty-five federal tax breaks will expire. Two of those tax breaks have to do with mortgages, but will it effect the Lubbock real estate market?
By Michaela MacDonald

LUBBOCK, TX -- When the clock strikes midnight, homeowners will no longer be able to get a tax break on their mortgage insurance premiums or mortgage debt forgiveness.

"If they had, did not put down 20% on their mortgage then they are charged Private Mortgage Insurance we call that PMI, and they were able to deduct that as an interest deduction, but no longer are they going to be able to do that," said realtor Cheryl Isaacs.

She says not many Lubbock residents will miss the mortgage insurance premiums tax break, because few knew it existed.

"A lot of people didn't know anyway, if their accountant didn't catch it they didn't know that they could so its not going to impact that market at all," said Isaacs.

The expiring mortgage debt forgiveness tax break has been around since 2007.

"The other people that are going to be affected are the people who had a short sale and they had debt forgiven by their lender, they modified their loan, that short fall amount was not taxable income, well starting January 1, 2014, anytime that they do have a short fall like that that will now be taxable," she said.

"The market had been kind of declining for us up until this past year and this current year 2013 has bounced back and it looks like its going to be one of our best years. It is our best year since 2006," said Ron Betenbough, Vice President of Betenbough Homes.

He says their company saw an 83 percent increase in sales this past year, and he doesn't expect the expiring tax breaks to slow down the growth.

"By numbers we are about a third of the market and it feels like its going to be a great year. I think it will be better 2014 feels to me like it will be a better year than 2013. 2013 was kind of an upswing and I think we will carry that momentum into 2014," said Betenbough.


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