Help for Veterans Facing Foreclosure

by admin on November 11, 2010

Veterans’ Day is a time which many Americans spend proudly remembering and honoring the service of our nation’s military members. However, in lieu of celebration, many Americans forget the current homelessness crisis many of our nation’s veterans and current active duty personnel now face.
In late September, Representatives Tim Walz and John Boozman introduced the Veterans’ Homelessness Prevention and Early Warning Act of 2010. The bipartisan legislation addresses increasing veteran homelessness by implementing a stronger level of VA support for veterans and active duty service members facing foreclosure on their VA loan.
“American heroes living on the streets, out of cars and on the couches of family members is a disgrace,” said Rep. Walz. “These men and women fought for our country and we must do everything we can to address their unique needs, which all too often are a contributing factor in homelessness amongst this population.”
Although, the VA does not own or service VA loans, the department is considered responsible for the loan as it guarantees each loan received by eligible military members. The VA’s guarantee is what provides military members and certain military personnel spouses with the competitive interest rates and mortgage terms exclusive to the VA loan, so long as the veteran or active duty personnel qualifies for this unique VA – provided benefit. The VA home loan program has experienced continued success in spite of the current mortgage crisis, however, still saw 15,145 VA loans foreclosed in 2009 – a number that has nearly doubled since 2007.
To reduce the likeliness of homelessness amongst veterans and active duty service members, the Veterans’ Homelessness Prevention and Early Warning Act of 2010 will mandate that the VA:
• Alerts VHA homelessness case managers within 7 business days of being notified of a VA home loan defaulting
• Ensures each VHA case manager can provide alternate housing for the veteran and his or her family should the veteran lose his or her home
• Submits a plan for the Act within 6 months of enactment, and will have the regulations in place within one year of enactment.

“Stable, permanent housing is the cornerstone of health and family – our veterans deserve nothing less,” stated Nan Roman, president of the National Alliance to End Homelessness. “This bill represents the first step in connecting all veterans to the support and resources necessary to achieve that stability for themselves and their families. I applaud Representatives Walz and Boozman for demonstrating urgency on this critical issue, and I look forward to their continued leadership to prevent and end homelessness for all our nation’s heroes.”

Guest Post By James Kelley:
James Kelley blogs on veteran’s issues and real estate in the United States at VA Benefit Blog .He also works for VA Mortgage Center, proudly serving American military families as the nation’s premier VA lender.

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