The House Ways and Means Committee has passed a bill that removes tax penalties for homeowners involved in a mortgage restructuring or foreclosure and extends for seven years a deduction for mortgage insurance premiums."Families dealing with the pain of foreclosure should not have the double-whammy of a large tax bill for terminating their mortgage through no fault of their own," said Rep. Charles B. Rangel, D-N.Y., the committee chairman. The Bush administration proposed temporary relief from paying taxes on the forgiveness of debt, but the provision in the committee bill (H.R. 3648) is a permanent exclusion. So far, its does not appear that the White House will oppose the bill. Families with incomes of $100,000 or less who refinanced or purchased a home in 2007 can deduct the cost of their mortgage insurance premium. But this deduction is due to expire at the end of the year. By going with a seven-year extension, the House tax writers signaled that it is not appropriate to extend the MI deduction one year at a time, like many other provisions in the tax code.

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