Sherrod Brown

04/12/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 04/12/2024 20:19

Following Brown’s Push, VA to Launch New Program to Help Ohio’s Veterans Keep their Homes

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Following sustained effort from U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Jon Tester (D-MT) demanding the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) take action to protect thousands of veterans and servicemembers using VA home loans facing foreclosure, VA announced it will launch a new program to help more than 40,000 veterans facing financial hardship and foreclosure stay in their homes.

"No Ohio veteran should lose their home - especially when they are trying to get back on track with their payments," said Brown. "We pushed the VA to help veterans stay in their homes through the VASP program, which will be a critical tool to help Ohio's veterans and servicemembers avoid foreclosure. We also need to pass our Veterans Housing Stability Act so that Ohio veterans and servicemembers who can make their payments don't face needless foreclosures in the first place."

"Our veterans earned their home loan guarantee benefit, and they need viable options to keep their homes," said Tester. "This new program will be one of these options that will help ensure the most vulnerable veterans and their families can stay in their homes. Veterans deserve opportunities to avoid foreclosure, and I'll continue pushing my Veterans Housing Stability Act to make sure we're delivering for the men and women using their 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, VA ended some of those programs when the COVID-19 national emergency ended. This left veterans who used forbearance with fewer options to bring their mortgages current and vulnerable to losing their homes.

As Chairmen of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee and Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, Brown and Tester have been leading the effort for months to press VA to ensure veterans and servicemembers using VA home loans can keep their homes. Following a push from Brown and Tester, VA paused foreclosures of VA home loans in November 2023 through May 31, 2024 to help veterans and servicemembers stay in their homes. VA estimates this move has helped more than 145,000 veterans and their families avoid foreclosure in 2023 alone.

Brown and Tester also introduced the Veterans Housing Stability Act of 2024in February to reestablish a partial claim program to help veterans and servicemembers with VA home loans exit forbearance and get back on track with their payments and keep their homes.

Following sustained efforts from Brown and Tester, VA will launch its newest home retention option, the VA Servicing Purchase (VASP) Program, on May 31, 2024. This new loss mitigation solution will allow VA to assist struggling veterans to adjust their loans and monthly payments-helping 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.

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