Mortgage Help for Reno Homeowners - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Mortgage Help for Reno Homeowners

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Nearly half of the homeowners in the Reno-Sparks market are underwater on their mortgages - which means the federal government's extension of the Mortgage Debt Relief Act will help a lot of people here in Northern Nevada.

"It's huge to give folks yet another year to get their home through the short sale process," said realtor Amy Shocket with Dickson Realty. "It's unfortunate that so many people have to resort to short sales right now, but it is a very big part of our business. And a lot of folks were holding off in November and December concerned that they wouldn't get through it by January first. Now they will probably go ahead and list those homes and get them on the market."

The extension of the tax relief really does focus on saving those who are underwater and are selling their homes for less than the value to unload them. The difference in the value and the sale price has historically been taxed as income. But the Mortgage Debt Relief Act will extend the timeframe for avoiding the tax.

"Not only will it help those selling home," says mortgage specialist Pam Robinson with National Residential Mortgage in Reno, "it should help the housing market overall. Inventory has been low. And because the rates have been low, demand for homes is growing. This will get more houses out there and give us more mortgages to write. So it helps the buyers too."

The relief was extended to January of 2014.

A toll free "Home Again Hotline" was established last month. To learn more or get help, call 1-855-457-4638.

And - for more information on whether you qualify for help go to www.irs.gov/uac/Ten-Facts-for-Mortgage-Debt-Foregiveness

Written by Erin Breen

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