Guest Post by Jay Buerck
For veterans who dream of owning a home, foreclosure does not have to turn a dream into a nightmare, thanks to VA resources aimed at preventing foreclosure. Loan experts and an assortment of payment options through VA are in place to help veterans avoid the frightful F-word.
It’s no wonder why VA loans have the lowest foreclosure rates on the market, according to a Department of Veterans Affairs’ winter announcement. The programs and experts are effective. VA even offers guidance to veterans and service members who do not have a VA-guaranteed loan.
VA offers several options for veterans who need help averting foreclosure, such as:
• Deed-in-lieu – Instead of going through the foreclosure process, veterans voluntarily deeds their property to the loan collector.
• Repayment plan – Parts of the missed installments are added to the veteran’s regular monthly installment.
• Short sale – The veteran sells the property for less than the amount that is required to pay off the loan.
Lenders may give veterans more time to pay missed installments or arrange a sale of the property that will pay off the loan.
VA loan specialists are spread across the country in eight locations. To get in touch with the representative nearest to them, veterans need to call a hotline (877-827-3702). Under the Veterans’ Benefits Improvement Act of 2008, there are options for veterans with conventional loans to refinance to a VA-guaranteed loan, covering up to 100 percent of the property’s value.
Last year, VA loan volume grew 80 percent, which is no surprise since 90 percent of VA-guaranteed loans are made without a down payment. In a December press release, Secretary of VA Erik Shinseki attributed the low foreclosure rate of VA loans to loan counselors, mortgage industry partners and the heroism of our veterans.
“VA is making good on its promise to help veterans buy homes, and veterans are achieving their dreams,” he said.