The remnants of the Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Relief Act only apply in 2017 to debts that were subject to a written agreement which was entered into in 2016. So, as of today, all new agreements that forgive debt (i.e., short sale, deed-in-lieu or mortgage modification with principal reduction) will expose the debtor to income tax, which tax will be based upon their corresponding debt savings.
H.R.110, the Mortgage Debt Tax Forgiveness Act of 2017, seeks to "amend the Internal Revenue Code to make permanent the exclusion from gross income of income attributable to the discharge of qualified principal residence indebtedness."
S.122, the Mortgage Debt Tax Relief Act, seeks to "amend the Internal Revenue Code to extend through 2018 the exclusion from gross income of income attributable to the discharge of indebtedness on a principal residence."
While H.R.110 is preferable to forever eliminate a tax on unfortunate homeowners incident to having their debt forgiven, please support either bill by contacting your local congressman and having your voice heard.