SHORT SALE.Also known as "pre-foreclosure sale." This option gives the homeowner some time to be able to sell the property to try to avoid foreclosure. If a buyer is found, but the sale price agreed to will not pay the mortgage balance in full, some mortgage companies agree to accept less than the mortgage amount. Mortgage companies will agree to a short sale if they think they will receive more money for the property than they will after foreclosure, while avoiding the costs associated with foreclosure. Some lenders require the owners to sign a new note agreeing to pay part or all of the discrepancy between the amount they received at the time of the closing and the amount needed to pay off the mortgage. In the past, the homeowner had to pay income tax on the amount the mortgage was reduced. However, in December of 2007, Congress enacted the Mortgage Forgiveness Relief Act, which, in most cases, excludes "qualified principal-residence indebtedness" from taxation. The exclusion is retroactive to January 1, 2007.