SARASOTA, Fla. (March 15, 2018) – On March 14, REALTOR® Barry Grooms presented a testimony on the exclusion for mortgage debt cancellation. Grooms, a member of the REALTOR® Association of Sarasota and Manatee (RASM), testified on behalf of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) to the House Committee on Ways and Means Subcommittee on Tax Policy.

In his testimony, Grooms advocates for permanent mortgage forgiveness. The exclusion for forgiven home mortgage debt following a foreclosure, short sale or loan modification should be made permanent to provide tax relief to troubled borrowers and minimize the damage to families, neighborhoods and communities.

“The exclusion for mortgage debt cancellation delivers a huge dose of fairness,” said Grooms. “Up through last year, the exclusion stepped in and relieved the often-impossible tax burden. If allowed to expire, we are left with a tax policy that rewards good fortune but piles on when the tables are turned. This is neither fair nor smart.”

As the Voice for Real Estate® in the Sarasota and Manatee area, RASM advocates for issues such as this to protect homeowners and the real estate industry.

“Whether we’re testifying at a local, state or national level, members like Barry support our goal to protect private property rights,” said Greg Owens, 2018 RASM President. “We’re proud to represent this industry at all levels.”

Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.), chairman of the U.S. House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Tax Policy, speaking with REALTOR® Barry Grooms. Photo courtesy of the National Association of REALTORS®.

Barry Grooms is a longtime member of RASM and also serves Florida REALTORS® as their 2018 Vice President. Additional information about NAR’s mortgage debt cancellation tax relief efforts, along with the full testimony, was shared in an article from NAR.

For more information, contact Government Affairs Director Max Brandow at or (941) 952-3410.