Top 10 Tax Tips about Home Mortgage Debt Cancellation

If your lender cancels part or all of your debt, you normally must pay tax on that amount. However, the law provides for an exclusion that may apply to homeowners who had their mortgage debt cancelled in 2014. In most cases where the exclusion applies, the amount of the cancelled debt is not taxable. Here are the top 10 tax tips about mortgage debt cancellation:

  1. Main Home. If the cancelled debt was a loan on your main home, you may be able to exclude the cancelled amount from your income. You must have used the loan to buy, build or substantially improve your main home to qualify. Your main home must also secure the mortgage.
  2. Loan Modification. If your lender cancelled part of your mortgage through a loan modification or ‘workout,’ you may be able to exclude that amount from your income. You may also be able to exclude debt discharged as part of the Home Affordable Modification Program, or HAMP. The exclusion may also apply to the amount of debt cancelled in a foreclosure.
  3. Refinanced Mortgage. The exclusion may apply to amounts cancelled on a refinanced mortgage. This applies only if you used proceeds from the refinancing to buy, build or substantially improve your main home. Amounts used for other purposes don’t qualify.
  4. Other Cancelled Debt. Other types of cancelled debt such as second homes, rental and business property, credit card debt or car loans do not qualify for this special exclusion. On the other hand, there are other rules that may allow those types of cancelled debts to be nontaxable.
  5. Form 1099-C. If your lender reduced or cancelled at least $600 of your debt, you should receive Form 1099-C, Cancellation of Debt, in January of the next year. This form shows the amount of cancelled debt and other information.
  6. Form 982. If you qualify, report the excluded debt on Form 982, Reduction of Tax Attributes Due to Discharge of Indebtedness. File the form with your federal income tax return.
  7. IRS Free File. IRS e-file is fastest, safest, and easiest way to file. You can use IRS Free File to e-file your tax return for free. If you earned $60,000 or less, you can use brand name tax software. The software does the math and completes the right forms for you. If you earned more than $60,000, use Free File Fillable Forms. This option uses electronic versions of IRS paper forms. It is best for people who are used to doing their own taxes. Free File is available only on IRS.gov/freefile.
  8. IRS.gov tool. The IRS has several free tools on its website to help you file your tax return. Use the Interactive Tax Assistant tool on IRS.gov to find out if your cancelled mortgage debt is taxable.
  9. Exclusion extended. The law that authorized this exclusion had expired at the end of 2013. The Tax Increase Prevention Act extended it to apply for one year, through Dec. 31, 2014.
  10. More Information. For more on this topic see Publication 4681, Canceled Debts, Foreclosures, Repossessions and Abandonments.
No Author Biography has been linked to this Article.

Related Articles

August 4, 2019
By Jan Hamilton, Standing Chapter 13 Trustee (Topeka, KS) I just got back from RAGBRAI, which is a bicycle ride across Iowa. This year, it was 468 miles, with lots and lots of hills. (Biking Across Kansas was over 500 miles this year.) Such beautiful country. Estimates vary on actual number of riders, but anywhere from 16,000 to 20,000. Iowa...
October 31, 2021
By Henry E. Hildebrand, III, Chapter 13 Standing Trustee for the Middle District of Tennessee (Nashville) Rule 3002.1 gives the Bankruptcy Court authority to impose sanctions, including punitive sanctions, as part of the rules-granted authority to award “other appropriate relief.” (Rodriguez) Blanco v. Bayview Loan Servicing LLC (In re Blanco), 2021 WL 4190170 (Bankr. S.D. Tex. September 14, 2021) Case...
Members
January 19, 2020
January 9, 2020, the Bureau filed suit against several companies and individuals involved in offering student loan debt-relief services for allegedly obtaining consumer reports illegally, charging unlawful advance fees, and engaging in deceptive conduct. The Bureau’s action is against a mortgage lender called Chou Team Realty, LLC, which does business as Monster Loans (Monster Loans); an allegedly sham mortgage brokerage...
April 19, 2020
By Michael McCormick, Senior Partner, McCalla Raymer Leibert Pierce, LLC (Roswell, GA) H.R. 748, also known as the CARES Act (herein, “the Act”), was enacted into law on March 27, 2020. The Act is meant to address the economic fallout of the Coronavirus pandemic. The Act contains numerous consumer protections, including several pertaining to residential mortgages. Relief from Foreclosure Section...
Members
July 7, 2019
By Henry E. Hildebrand, III, Chapter 13 Standing Trustee for the Middle District of Tennessee (Nashville) Where a confirmation order of a debtor’s Chapter 12 plan specifically provided for payments to a creditor and the Chapter 12 trustee had supported confirmation of the plan, the trustee would be precluded from seeking to disallow a late-filed claim. Following the plan, the...
Members
March 17, 2019
The 2018 Form 1040 replaces prior year Forms 1040, 1040A and 1040EZ. The 2018 Form 1040 uses a building-block approach that allows individuals to file only the schedules they need with their federal tax return. Many people will only need to file Form 1040 and no schedules. Electronic filers may not notice these changes as the tax software will automatically...
Copy of Hildebrand-2016
April 17, 2022
In re Galloway, 2022 WL 1017951 (Bankr. N.D. Ill. April 5, 2022) A Chapter 13 trustee’s final audit and notice of completion of payments is not necessary or a precondition to the court granting a discharge to a debtor who has satisfied the requirements of § 1328. (Judge Thorne) Case Summary Tara Galloway filed a Chapter 13 petition in May...
Members
Scott Waterman
November 12, 2023
If you intend to seek to discharge student loans under §523(a)(8), do not consolidate the loans after the case is filed. Prebankruptcy planning is most important if one wishes to discharge student loans. A recent Texas Chapter 7 case highlights the pitfalls if one does not act accordingly. Debtors obtained 27 separate student loans prior to when they filed their...
Members
March 3, 2019
By William Houston Brown, United States Bankruptcy Judge, Retired; Editor/Adviser, The Academy On April 1, 2019, an increase takes effect in those dollar amounts in the Bankruptcy Code that are subject to adjustment every three years.1 The following increases have significance in everything from the eligibility maximums for filing under Chapters 12 and 13 to the debtor’s exemptions. Relevant Official...
October 20, 2019
By The Honorable William Houston Brown (Retired) Debtor’s objection to tax claim for being “too low” was rejected. Noting that the debtor could not benefit prior to distribution to creditors, in event trustee found assets for distribution, debtor’s objection to claim filed by tax creditor on basis that claim was “too low” was rejected. “The debtor comes last, not first,...
Members

Looking to Become a Member?

ConsiderChapter13.org offers a forum to advance continuing education of consumer bankruptcy via access to insightful articles, informative webinars, and the latest industry news. Join now to benefit from expert resources and stay informed.

Webinars

These informative sessions are led by industry experts and cover a range of consumer bankruptcy topics.

Member Articles

Written by industry experts, these articles provide in-depth analysis and practical guidance on consumer bankruptcy topics.

Industry News

The Academy is the go-to source for the latest news and analysis in the Chapter 13 bankruptcy industry.

To get started, please let us know which of these best fits your current position: