For anyone hoping that a fractious, election-bound Congress can manage to extend a law that is crucial to the housing recovery -- the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act -- here's a little good news: Before heading home for the Easter holiday recess, key members of the House and Senate tax-writing committees introduced bills that would keep the law alive through 2014. Without action by Congress, the law -- which allows homeowners whose mortgage debts have been written off by lenders in short sales, foreclosures, principal reductions and deeds-in-lieu of foreclosure to escape heavy federal taxation on the amounts forgiven -- would expire Dec. 31, 2012. Real estate and mortgage trade groups believe that any expiration would be disastrous for large numbers of underwater owners try...
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