HAMP, the Treasury program that allows eligible homeowners to reduce their mortgage payment, will come to an end on December 30, 2016. The program, begun in 2009 as part of the "Making Home Affordable" initiative, was extended from its original deadline of December 30, 2015. A compilation of information provided by servicers participating in MHA under a Servicer Participation Agreement shows that, as of September, 2016, the program has processed over 9.3 million applications of which approximately 2.9 million were approved and 6.5 million denied.
Federal Estate Tax, Gift Tax and Generation-Skipping Tax Exemptions
The 2016 federal exemption against estate and gift taxes is up to $5,450,000 per person adjusted for inflation, up $20,000 from the 2015 exemption which was $5,430,000 per person. This is up from $5,120,000 in 2012. Estates in excess of this exemption amount are subject to a 40% federal estate tax. The federal generation-skipping transfer tax exemption was also increased to $5,450,000 per person.
Chapter 11 of the bankruptcy code used to be routinely used only by business debtors. But, more and more, the bankruptcy courts are seeing individual debtors turning to Chapter 11 for effective relief as a result of the economic downturn. Most often these type of individual debtors have real estate with negative equity, rental properties in need of debt restructuring, or too much debt for Chapter 13.