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If I had a foreclosure on a rental property, how do I report this?

Report a foreclosure on your return as a sale. The bank should give you a Form 1099-A reporting the foreclosure. If you haven’t received a 1099-A from your lender, contact your lender to request it.

Report the sale of rental property on Form 4797. The sales date is the date the foreclosure became final (reported on 1099-A, Box 1). The sales price will depend on whether you were personally liable on the loan.

If 1099-A, Box 5 is marked, then you’re personally liable for the loan. The sales price will be the lesser of these:

  • The full outstanding debt before the foreclosure (in Box 2)
  • The fair market value (FMV) of the property (in Box 4)

If Box 5 isn’t marked, you’re not personally liable on the loan.

The sales price is the amount of the entire outstanding debt in Box 2. Figure your gain or loss by subtracting your adjusted basis in the property from the sales price. If you depreciated the property and sold it at a gain, you might have depreciation recapture. You might also be subject to loss limitations, depending on the circumstances.

The 1099-A only reports the sale portion of the transaction. You might also receive a Form 1099-C, which reports your lender’s discharge of your debt. You’ll receive the 1099-C the year your lender cancels your debt. That's not necessarily the same year you receive the 1099-A. There are separate rules for reporting these:

  • Cancellation of debt
  • Potential income associated with cancellation of debt

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