posted on Feb, 14 2013 @ 02:08 PM
They can't get blood from a turnip. Consult a pro and negotiate that debt for pennies on the dollar. But yes, forgiven debt gets you a Form 1099 for
the amount. You reneged on the debt, and that amounts to income. But look at it this way, if you'd borrowed from the Mafia instead of a bank, you'd
be dead now.
I apologize in advance, but it has to be said. You took out the mortgage promising to pay and you did not. Once you pull the trigger for Foreclosure
Hell anything can happen, but it was you who pulled the trigger in the first place, trying to manipulate your way out of your bad situation. I'm sure
you got caught in the downturn, but so did everyone else and everyone else is not in foreclosure. Who knows what you did to make it turn out this way,
but those people whom I have personal knowledge of, including my own son, got in their situations because they over-extended themselves. It's not
rocket science to figure out what happened to them.
They did some really weird stuff, too. My son got caught up in the ever-rising market, so he had this perfectly reasonable house in a nice
neighborhood that had risen in value so he had over $100K equity in it. But he wanted to live on "the lake" because he had a friend who lived on
"the lake" and it was really cool. So here's what he did. He re-mortgaged his house for its full worth, took that $100K cash as a down payment on a
$900K house on "the lake." House payments were incredible, but he had a great job in commercial construction, so what the hey? He rented out the old
house for less than its new mortgage payment. I don't see how he qualified for such a large loan, and here's where I would fault the bank for giving
it to him, but he instigated this whole scheme in the first place and it is his responsibility.
It gets better. Real estate was still going up, so suddenly his $900K house was worth $1.1 million. So he re-finances the lake house and takes the
$200K in cash to buy a fancy speedboat and remodel the kitchen in granite. Then a few things happen. First the septic tank failed so they had to move
to a rental. Then we had a cold winter and a pipe burst and flooded the house. As it warmed back up Black Mold grew everywhere so the house had to be
gutted and re-done. That's when they found out how poorly the house was constructed. The electrical was done wrong and not to code.
Then the real estate market tanked and his house became worth, on paper, about $500K, though he could never sell it for that because of the shape it
is in. There's a little more to the story, but the bottom line is that he is now in Foreclosure Hell. As usual, people in this situation try to find
someone else to blame and the Evil Bank is right there to take the hit EVEN THOUGH the bank loaned out a million bucks and now has a $500K house
(cough) to show for it. The bank is out $500K and we blame the bank????
So they completely abandoned the house. They stopped making payments on it altogether. I notice the taxes are paid, and I don't know who did that.
The bank is stalling on foreclosing; they don't really want to, and the story gets a little murky here. I believe they did NOT ask for a
restructuring, and that may have allowed them to avoid the dreaded Form 1099. It's been several years and they are still in the midst of this mess.
The American Dream is very much alive for people who do not over-extend themselves, who manage their finances in a responsible manner and pay what
they owe. It doesn't work particularly well for people who crave a 4 car garage when they can afford a 2 car garage, people who manipulate their
mortgage to get goodies instead of concentrate on being completely debt-free as soon as possible.
My son ought to have paid off his first house and foregone the speedboat and the lake until he could really afford them. With real estate prices low,
now would have been a good time, but he jumped the gun. Of course, my son is very much smarter than I am and doesn't think old Dad knows what he is
talking about. After all, he's the one with the good job that pays more than I ever made. Well, it did until he got fired, anyway. Ironically, it's
my money that will ultimately bail him out in a few years when I'm gone. I'm the one who has no house on the lake and no speedboat, but I also have
no mortgage, no debt, and a substantial inheritance to leave him. I'm betting when he sees the cash his eyes are going to light up and we'll have
another rounds of this.
Oh, and his friend lost his house on the lake, too.