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Foreclosure, Repossession Debt Cancellation

Foreclosures and Repossessions.

If you owned property which was subject to a recourse debt in excess of the Fair market Value (FMV) of the property, the lender's foreclosure or repossession of the property may result in your realization of gain or loss on the disposition of the property.

If the lender forgives all or part of the amount of the debt in excess of the FMV of the property, ordinary income may result from the cancellation of debt.

The gain or loss on the disposition of the property is measured by the difference between the FMV of the property at the time of the disposition and your adjusted basis (usually your cost) in the property.

The character of the gain or loss (such as ordinary or capital) on the disposition of the property is determined on the basis of the character of the property foreclosed.

The ordinary income from the cancellation of debt (the excess of the canceled debt over the FMV of the property) must be included on your tax return unless certain exceptions or exclusions apply. For more details, see Exceptions and Exclusions, later.

If you owned property which was subject to a non-recourse debt in excess of the FMV of the property, the lender's foreclosure on the property does not result in ordinary income from the cancellation of debt.

The entire amount of the non-recourse debt is treated as an amount realized on the disposition of the property.

The gain or loss on the disposition of the property is measured by the difference between the total amount realized (the entire amount of the non-recourse debt plus the amount of cash and the FMV of any property received) and your adjusted basis in the property foreclosed.

The character of the gain or loss on the disposition of the property is determined on the basis of the character of the property foreclosed.

See Publication 523, Selling Your Home; Publication 544, Sales and Other Dispositions of Assets; Chapter 2, Foreclosures and Repossessions; and Publication 551, Basis of Assets; for more details.

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