"The VA is Reaching Out to Vets with Mortgage Problems
Peake: VA Has a "Solid Record of Success" in Helping
WASHINGTON (June 12, 2008) - Many home owners have found it difficult
recently to pay their mortgages, but quick intervention by loan
counselors at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has actually
reduced the number of veterans defaulting on their home loans.
"VA is reaching out to veterans -- both those who use our home-loan
guaranty program and those who don't take advantage of our guaranties --
to keep people in their homes," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Dr.
James B. Peake. "I'm proud of our solid record of success in helping
veterans and active-duty personnel deal with financial crises."
Accounting for much of this success are VA counselors at nine regional
loan centers who assist people with VA-guarantied loans avoid
foreclosure through counseling and special financing arrangements. The
counselors also can assist other veterans with financial problems. VA
counselors have helped about 74,000 veterans, active-duty members and
survivors keep their homes since 2000, a savings to the government of
nearly $1.5 billion.
Depending on a veteran's circumstances, VA can intercede with the
borrower on the veteran's behalf to pursue options -- such as repayment
plans, forbearance, and loan modifications -- that would allow a veteran
to keep a home.
To obtain help from a VA financial counselor, veterans can call VA
toll-free at 1-877-827-3702. Information about VA's home loan guaranty
program can be obtained at www.homeloans.va.gov
Since 1944, when home-loan guaranties were offered with the original GI
Bill, VA has guarantied more than 18 million home loans worth $911
billion. Last year, about 135,000 veterans, active-duty service members
and survivors received loans valued at nearly $24 billion.
About 2.3 million home loans still in effect were purchased through VA's
home-loan guaranty program, which makes home loans more affordable for
veterans, active-duty members and some surviving spouses by protecting
lenders from loss if the borrower fails to repay the loan. More than 90
percent of VA-backed home loans were given without a downpayment.
April data shows that foreclosures are down more than 50 percent from
the same months in 2003. VA attributes this to prudent credit
underwriting standards, its robust supplemental loan servicing program
and VA financial loan counselors."