Following Tester Push, VA Pauses Foreclosures for Veterans Vulnerable to Losing Homes
VA halts foreclosures for 6 months for veterans and servicemembers with VA home loans; Chairman led the effort demanding VA take immediate action to ensure they can remain in their homes
Following efforts from U.S. Senator Jon Tester demanding the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) take immediate action to protect thousands of veterans and servicemembers using VA home loans facing foreclosure through no fault of their own, VA is stopping foreclosures for six months to ensure these veterans and servicemembers can stay in their homes.
“I’m encouraged to see VA answering my call to quickly address this crisis facing our men and women who risked their lives serving this country and were facing foreclosure through no fault of their own,” said Tester, Chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee. “This pause will help ensure our veterans, servicemembers, and their families can remain in their homes and get their payments back on track while VA works on a long-term solution. While this is a good start, the Department still has work to do and I’ll keep holding it accountable in delivering for our men and women using their earned VA home loan benefit.”
Veterans and servicemembers with VA home loans who faced financial difficulties during the COVID-19 pandemic used forbearance to pause their mortgage payments without penalty and remain in their homes. While VA previously offered solutions to help borrowers exit forbearance and get back on track with their payments, some of those authorities expired when the pandemic ended and left veterans with fewer options to bring their mortgages current. These limited options have left thousands of veterans and servicemembers who took forbearance vulnerable to losing their homes.
To ensure these veterans and servicemembers can stay in their homes, VA is pausing foreclosures of VA home loans through May 31, 2024. It is also extending the COVID-19 Refund Modification program through May 31, 2024 to allow veterans to access a zero-interest, deferred-payment loan from the Department to cover missed payments and modify their existing VA loan to achieve affordable monthly payments for the duration of this extension.
This move follows efforts from Tester last week pushing the Department to take immediate action to address this looming crisis facing thousands of veterans and servicemembers who used their VA home loan guarantee benefits and are now at-risk of losing their homes through no fault of their own. In a letter to VA Secretary McDonough, Tester urged VA to swiftly take action to ensure veterans and servicemembers don’t lose their homes and are afforded the same protections as those with other federally-backed loans.
In addition to pausing foreclosures and extending the COVID-19 Refund Modification program, VA is continuing its efforts to launch the Department’s newest home retention option, the VA Servicing Purchase Program. This new loss mitigation solution will help more veterans lower their payments and remain in their homes.
If you are a veteran who is struggling to make your VA home loan payment, visit www.va.gov/housing-assistance or call 877-827-3702 for assistance.