For more on grounds to cancel or discharge a federal student loan debt, see NCLC’s Education loan Law Chapter 10. That chapter examines the closed school, false certification, unpaid refund borrower defense, disability, and death discharges, and also forgiveness for public service, teachers, other professions, and for other categories of student loan borrowers. Forgiveness based on income-driven repayment plans is examined at NCLC’s Student loan Laws Chapter 3.
When the principal amount of a homeowner’s mortgage debt is partially or fully forgiven through a short sale, loan modification or otherwise, the amount forgiven is included in a taxpayer’s gross income, triggering a potential hefty tax liability. The Qualified Principal Residence Indebtedness (QPRI) Exclusion allows a taxpayer to exclude up to $2 million of the forgiven debt related to a decline in the value of the residence or to the financial condition of the taxpayer. Find 26 U.S.C. § 108(a)(1)(E). The QPRI exclusion was to expire on . See Social Laws No. 116-260, Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020, div. EE, § 114.
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The ARPA provides an additional $4.5 billion for energy bills through the existing Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). See ARPA § 2911. For a discussion of the LIHEAP program, see NCLC’s Use of Power Laws Chapter 8. State LIHEAP programs have already received their regular appropriations for this year, and will receive their allocation from the additional $4.5 billion shortly. Low-income consumers should incorporate immediately for LIHEAP assistance if they have not done so already.
The ARPA may provide other assistance for tenants with utility arrears, depending on the state and local government. Tools have been defined to include electricity, gas, water and sewer, trash removal, and energy costs, such as fuel oil. (more…)