Housing recovery could also tumble off the ‘fiscal cliff’!!!!!!!!!!!!

If Congress drives the economy off the “fiscal cliff,” wave goodbye to short sales that have helped the housing market get back on its feet.

At risk is a provision that erases taxes on selling a home for less than what’s owed to the bank.

Expiration of the tax treatment would create a major new headache for the one in four homeowners who owe more than their house is worth. Those “underwater” sellers would have to come up with a big check for Uncle Sam to pay the tax on the difference.

That “would be a blow to the housing recovery,” said Paul Diggle, a housing economist at Capital Economics. “The increased use of short sales, rather than foreclosures, has become an important support to the recovery.”

Currently, roughly a quarter of all home sales are short sales.  There are several reasons they’ve become much more common in the aftermath of the biggest housing bust since the 1930s.