What Would Elimination of the Tax Break for Mortgage Debt Do To Your Business?

Mortgage and Lending with SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) NMLS 223495

Bloomberg National Poll: Tax Break for Mortgage Debt Is Ready for the Wrecking Ball


In this morning's editorial, the editors of Bloomberg state the following:  "Forty-nine percent of respondents in a Bloomberg National Poll said they were willing to abandon the mortgage tax break if it meant lower overall tax rates. Only 45 percent opposed the switch."

Bloomberg's editors (no single name at the bottom of the article) believe that "Getting rid of the mortgage deduction is one of the most effective elements of any plan to lower overall tax rates or narrow the deficit. That process should begin in earnest. This is a rare opportunity to make the most of public willingness for change."

  • The UK has done away with the tax break for mortgage debt.
  • Canada has no tax break for mortgage debt.
  • Germany used to have a tax break for mortgage debt, but no longer does.

Whoopee for them! 

What I wondered when I read this morning's editorial was this: What would the elimination of the mortgage tax break mean for the Real Estate and Lending business in the United States of America?



I'm Mike in Tucson, your preferred Tucson Arizona Mortgage Lender.

NMLS #223495

SUNSTREET MORTGAGE LLC ~ Correspondent Mortgage Bank
Offices in Mesa, Tucson, Sierra Vista & Nogales

Comments (23)

Toni Weidman
Sailwinds Realty - Trinity, FL
20+ Years Selling Homes in New Port Richey, FL

If people want a home of their own, they will still buy. I don't think it will make a difference to mindset.

Jun 24, 2011 01:03 AM
William J. Archambault, Jr.
The Real Estate Investment Institute - Houston, TX


It's not the raise in taxes, presay* it's the accompanying hysteria that will hurt!



*I can't spell in English and my spell checker can't speak French, a fine pair we make.

Jun 24, 2011 02:19 AM
CONTACT janeAnne365@gmail.com


Great fodder for a real conversation here at AR. I'm "Suggesting" this post!

Jun 24, 2011 03:00 AM
Larry Brewer - Benchmark Realty llc
Benchmark Realty LLc - Nashville, TN

Mike - most of the people in this country believe in being treated failrly, but something think they are special. I am for a useage tax. We don't have a state income tax here in Tennessee, but we do have a sales tax as does every other state in the country. What I have noticed is that while a lot of states are in big financial trouble, Tennessee not so much. Revenues are down, but not nearly as much as others. I think everyone should pay taxes, but we know that only have paay income taxes, that's not fair in my mind. Those are also the some ones who usually think the tax payers have too many tax breaks. I say it would hurt the economy of the country in a big way.

Jun 24, 2011 03:22 AM
Mike Jones
SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) - Tucson, AZ
Mike Jones NMLS 223495


Thanks for saying so.


Thanks for the "suggest."  I'd like to see a wide-open discussion on this.




Does that mean that you believe your business will be unaffected?


Thanks for your opinion!


I hear you!


Thanks for being the first to jump in and comment!  What do you think this would do to your ReMax business?

Mike in Tucson

Jun 24, 2011 03:36 AM
Harry F. D'Elia III
RentVest - Phoenix, AZ
Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR

Americans will adjust and the boys on Wall Street will mess it up again down the road.

Jun 24, 2011 02:11 PM
Margaret Woda
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. - Crofton, MD
Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation

Perhaps the 49% who are ready to see this go are people who don't own homes, people who do not have this tax deduction calculated into their budget, people who might be added to the growing list of folks who can no longer pay their mortgages for other reasons, such as job loss and rate increases.  To the other 51%, this could be devastating.

Jun 27, 2011 12:17 AM
Chuck Carstensen
RE/MAX Results - Elk River, MN
Minnesota/Wisconsin Real Estate Expert

I think half the people I work with dont know nothing about it anyway.  It would probably put some delay in buyers and slow business down about 15-25%.

Jun 27, 2011 12:22 AM
Melissa Juarez
Massachusetts Buyers Broker Agency, LLC - Quincy, MA

There are numerous advantages to owning your own home and this will not change that fact.

Jun 27, 2011 12:31 AM
Richard Weisser
Richard Weisser Realty - Newnan, GA
Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional


Two things ....

It would not be catastrophic but it would not reduce the national debt. 

Jun 27, 2011 01:04 AM
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Mike, I have a feeling the 49% weren't home owners. It sure would simplify doing taxes every year. Not many people can meet the minimum deduction for doing Schedule A without the mortgage tax deduction.

Jun 27, 2011 01:28 AM
Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Clearwater, FL
Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor

Mike - I also think people will adjust to the change, it is just a matter of time.

Jun 27, 2011 01:36 AM
Howard and Susan Meyers
The Hudson Company Winnetka and North Shore - Winnetka, IL

Good post Mike. 

No one knows what will happen if this is imposed. It is likely that the market will absorb the changes and adjust.  However, "adjust" means adjust at lower property values with lower demand.  It is a basic math issue.  If the value of the asset is diminished it will be worth less.

Additionally, the timing of this proposal is ridiculous.  While the housing market is suffering greatly and is the anchor which is postponing economic recovery, it seems foolhearty to experiment with policy which would surely have a negative impact on demand. 

Perhaps if this were proposed in 2004, it would have made more sense.

Jun 27, 2011 02:00 AM
Gary Burleson
Beach Water Realty - www.beachwaterrealty.com - Myrtle Beach, SC
Myrtle Beach Homes, Condos, Foreclosures, Investment Propery

Are there any numbers on how many this would affect? As mentioned above, if you don't pay taxes it won't matter and if you don't have a mortgage it won't matter. How many homes are owned free and clear?

Jun 27, 2011 03:30 AM
Mike Jones
SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) - Tucson, AZ
Mike Jones NMLS 223495


I appreciate your comments, but the question is What would this do TO YOUR BUSINESS in the near term?

I'm sure we would all adjust as buyers and business people just like the folks in Japan are adjusting to the new reality caused by the Tsunami.

What would it do to YOUR business?

Mike in Tucson

Jun 27, 2011 04:05 AM
Bill Pohl
Tetra Homes, Inc. - Loveland, OH

Besides the great news coverage of our great demise, I'm sure the American people will deal with over the course of a couple years. Housing should be for living, not tax advantage planning. In the long run, it will allow stronger hands to own homes and not have this kind of debacle again.

Jun 27, 2011 04:05 AM
Bill Rozek
Embrace Home Loans, Inc. - Potomac, MD
NMLS #214260

I think one thing that could be expected if the tax break is eliminated is that the debt-to-income ratios Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FHA and USDA will allow for loans will be reduced as it will become more expensive overall for Americans to own homes.  With the issue of foreclosures still on the market and properties that have been defaulted on that still have not been foreclosed on we may well see property values drop yet again in many areas.  Even if the drop in values matches the drop in buying power, declining property values tend to have a negative effect on jobs and the economy.  More people will end up upside-down in their mortgages, especially on higher end highly leveraged properties. The cycle of foreclosures will then likely continue and the economy continue to stagnate.  Over all, the potential number of qualified borrowers would be reduced and more borrowers would have troubled credit.

I think realistically that this would slow my business down in the near term. 

Jun 27, 2011 05:02 AM
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

My thinking has always been . . . when the mortgage interest is defined differently the get rid of it.  But when the first years of the mortgage only goes to interest (with very little principal reduction) the tax write offs on the mortgage interest makes sense.  Because no one pays the principal down . . . just look at any amortization table.  The banksters have that calculated since way, way back.  The mortgage interest always goes to them first.  The cream off the top of the mortgage payment.  Tax write offs on the mortgage interest is fair.  Perhaps getting rid of them AFTER ten years in the property would be the solution.  An owner can use the mortgage interest write off the first ten years in the property, then they go away. 

Jun 27, 2011 05:28 AM
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

Mike - I can't see how it would be a good thing for our business, our real estate market or our economy.  I'm not economist, but it's my understanding and has been amplified over the last few years that our economy runs on the back of our housing market.  If that's true, how could it be a good idea to possibly undermine that market by eliminating the mortgage deduction.

Jun 27, 2011 07:40 AM
Bryan Robertson
Los Altos, CA

NAR has been fighting this with FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) by convincing agents that the MID is necessary.  As you point out, it's not.  The reality is that a reduction in income taxes that matches the value of the MID would mean a "net zero" change in the tax paid by the homeowner.  A study by NAR found that 76% of buyers would buy a home even if it lost money.  I don't think they'll care if the MID is gone so long as they can own the home.

Jun 27, 2011 10:18 AM

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