Today is Saturday 21st of April 2018


November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving from The Sister Team


During Thanksgiving, let us not forgot to give thanks to our family, friends, pets…anyone or anything that is truly most important to us. Live compassionately and thankfully throughout the year.

Happy Thanksgiving!


November 11, 2015

Happy Veterans Day! WE SALUTE YOU!!!!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

March 17, 2015


Were you aware that exactly 253 years ago today, the world celebrated its first St. Patrick’s Day Parade, in New York City?  However, New York can hardly lay claim to being home to the most state residents with Irish ancestry. That honor goes to Massachusetts, the state with the largest share of residents who claim Irish ancestry. It and New Hampshire are the only two states where more than 1 in 5 residents claim some Irish ancestry. Just under 1 in 17 people in Utah, New Mexico and California claim Irish ancestry.

May your pockets be heavy and your heart be light. May good luck pursue you each morning and night…


November 11, 2014

Happy Veterans Day from "The Sister Team"

Happy Veterans Day from “The Sister Team”


Please take a moment today, and every day, to thank the Veterans, past and present, for their service! This special day in America is for honoring America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.

Thank you, Veterans, past and present.



April 20, 2014





“The Sister Team”




Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act

January 24, 2014


In a speech given recently to a housing industry group, Michael Stegman, assistant Treasury Secretary for Housing Finance Policy, made a plea for renewal of the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act, which expired at the end of 2013.  The act, first passed in 2007 and extended in 2009 and 2011, is what is commonly called a “tax extender.”

Under the legislation, a homeowner for whom some portion of his mortgage balance is forgiven through a loan modification or following a short sale, a deed-in-lieu, or a completed foreclosure does not have to treat that forgiven debt as income for purposes of federal taxes.

Stegman said, “Failing to extend this provision could force struggling families to settle for a less effective mortgage modification, or choose foreclosure over better alternatives for families and their community. Congress should do the right thing and extend this targeted tax forgiveness now.”

With the law no longer in effect, here is a rough example of what could happen.  A homeowner who has lost his job is no longer able to maintain payments on his mortgage on a home he purchased in 2004 for $200,000.  His original mortgage has been paid down to $150,000 but $8,000 in unpaid interest, late fees, penalties, and legal fees has accrued. The house, in an extremely distressed part of California, is now valued at $130,000.   The homeowner is able to find a buyer for the home at the current market value and the proceeds after real estate commissions, back taxes, and other costs results in a payment to the bank of $122,000.   At the conclusion of the short sale transaction, the lender writes off the remaining balance of $36,000 and gives the seller a 1099 showing that amount as unearned income for the year.  On April 15 of the following year the IRS will expect the homeowner, even if he had no other income for the year, to pony up over $1,000 in taxes on that forgiven debt.

Two bills authorizing extension of the law were introduced last summer.  HR 2788, sponsored by Joe Heck (R-NV) is currently sitting in the House Ways and Means Committee and S1187 sponsored by Debbie Stabenow has been referred to the Senate Finance Committee.  In his appeal for passage of the extensions, Stegman notes, “Congress often passes tax extenders late in the year and makes them retroactive to the beginning of the tax year. While this is generally well understood and incorporated into firms’ decision-making, it does not work for families in danger of losing their homes today.”

Critics of the bill note that the debt forgiveness costs the government a lot of tax money and that the worst of the crisis has passed so homeowners no longer need relief.  Supporters claim that the crisis is far from over.  While the level of distress has certainly abated from its peak, RealtyTrac says that 1.2 homes are still in the process of foreclosure.  Many of those homeowners who will find the ultimate resolution of their situation will result in a mortgage deficiency balance.  Perhaps more of a reason for extending the law is the estimated 6.4 million homeowners nationwide (13 percent of all mortgaged homes) who CoreLogic says remain underwater on their mortgages and another 1.5 million who have less than 5 percent equity in their homes.  Any one of these people could have an event triggering a default on their mortgage or forcing them to sell their home at a loss and thus face a tax liability.

Beyond the economic hardship, Stegman alludes to another potential result of failing to extend the law.  If a tax liability looms at the end of the road, a homeowner may lose enthusiasm for working through the process of a loan modification.  There is even less reason for giving a deed-in-lieu or completing a short sale because at the end of those sometimes difficult negotiations the homeowner might have a tax bill but no longer has his home.  Either of these outcomes could result in a higher rate of default as homeowners decide they have little to lose by simply walking away.

Edward J. DeMarco, an opponent of allowing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to use principal reduction as a loan modification tool, was recently replaced as head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency by Mel Watt who favors it.   In addition, some recent legal actions such as JP Morgan’s $13 billion settlement with the Justice Department contain provisions requiring principal reductions.  Therefore, while it is possible we will see an increase in the use of principal reduction, it is conceivable that any impact on default and foreclosure rates it may have will be muted by the potential of homeowners being taxed on the result.

In a video prepared for his constituents (Nevada has an estimated 32.5 percent negative equity rate) calls forgiven debt “shadow income” and says of his reason for sponsoring the extension, “This isn’t income.  The homeowner never sees a dime of that money.  The government should not tax income never actually received.”

–This article excerpted from Mortgage News Daily 1/24/2014.


Happy Halloween!

October 31, 2013



This photo is of Gracie as a sea monster holding Brooklynn the mermaid (Halloween 2012).  Last year may likely have been the final year of the girls dressing as a theme.

Gracie is a teenager now and wants to do her ‘own thing’.  In the past, the girls have dressed as a bee keeper and bee, Oscar the Grouch and Elmo, Snow White and the Evil Witch, etc.  Our family has so much fun during the Halloween season each year.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN from “The Sister Team”.

Be safe out there tonight!!!

Happy Labor Day

September 2, 2013

Happy Labor Day!


Were you aware that the first Labor Day parade in United States history was held on September 5, 1882?  Ten thousand workers took unpaid time off to march from City Hall to Union Square in New York City, according to

Even though the event reinforced the idea of a “workingmen’s holiday,” Congress didn’t legalize the holiday until 12 years later.

Labor Day is a day of rest or the last chance for many people to go on trips before the summer ends.  Some people think that Labor Day signifies the “end of summer”, when in reality the “official” end of summer comes with the September Equinox, or autumnal equinox, that’s scheduled to happen September 22, 2013 at 4:44 p.m. EDT.

Regardless of what you choose to do this Labor Day, we wish you a safe, fun, relaxing, and happy day!  Enjoy…


Daylight Saving Time 2013

March 9, 2013

Don’t forget to set your clocks one hour ahead at 2 a..m Sunday, March 10th!  We will all be springing forward and sleeping one hour less.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

February 15, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day from "The Sister Team"

Happy Valentine’s Day from “The Sister Team”

May you all bask in the love of a friend, a loved one, a stranger, even a pet…not only today, but all the days ever!!!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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