Below is a link to an excellent page from the IRS. Please note that when a short sale happens the loan does not go back to the lender as full satisfaction. So it seems to me the correct legal strategy would involve something much more complicated that saying this is a non recourse loan so no loan forgiveness liability for a short sale. Also do not forget to factor in the potential for capital gains liability.
Questions and Answers on Home Foreclosure and Debt Cancellation: ". Can you provide examples? A borrower bought a home in August 2005 and lived in it until it was taken through foreclosure in September 2007. The original purchase price was $170,000, the home is worth $200,000 at foreclosure, and the mortgage debt canceled at foreclosure is $220,000. At the time of the foreclosure, the borrower is insolvent, with liabilities (mortgage, credit cards, car loans and other debts) totaling $250,000 and assets totaling $230,000. The borrower figures income from the foreclosure as follows: Use the following steps to compute the income to be reported from a foreclosure: Step 1 - Figuring Cancellation of Debt Income (Note: For non-recourse loans, skip this section. You have no income from cancellation of debt.) 1. Enter the total amount of the debt immediately prior to the foreclosure.___$220,000__ 2. Enter the fair market value of the property from Form 1099-C, box 7. ___$200,000__ 3. Subtract line 2 from line 1.If less than zero, enter zero.___$20,000__ The amount on line 3 will generally equal the amount shown in box 2 of Form 1099-C. This amount is taxable unless you meet one of the exceptions in question 2. Enter it on line 21, Other Income, of your Form 1040."