Congress considers extension to mortgage-debt relief deadline

Action not expected until post-election

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.