Trouble Making Your Payments?
The US Department of Veterans Affairs urges all veterans who are encountering problems making their mortgage payments to speak with their servicers as soon as possible to explore options to avoid foreclosure. Contrary to popular opinion, servicers really do not want to foreclose because foreclosure costs a lot of money. Depending on a veteran’s specific situation, servicers may offer any of the following options to avoid foreclosure:
Repayment Plan – The borrower makes regular installment each month plus part of the missed installments.
Special Forbearance – The servicer agrees not to initiate foreclosure to allow time for borrowers to repay the missed installments. An example of when this would be likely is when a borrower is waiting for a tax refund.
Loan Modification - Provides the borrower a fresh start by adding the delinquency to the loan balance and establishing a new payment schedule.
Additional time to arrange a private sale – The servicer agrees to delay foreclosure to allow a sale to close if the loan will be paid off.
Short Sale – When the servicer agrees to allow a borrower to sell his/her home for a lesser amount than what is currently required to payoff the loan.
Deed-in-Lieu of Foreclosure - The borrower voluntarily agrees to deed the property to the servicer instead of going through a lengthy foreclosure process.
Servicemembers Civil Relief Act
Veteran borrowers may be able to request relief pursuant to the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA). SCRA is intended to ease the economic and legal burdens on military personnel during their active service. To view SCRA frequently asked questions click here.
Assistance to Veterans with VA-Guaranteed Home Loans
When a VA-guaranteed home loan becomes delinquent, VA provides supplemental servicing assistance to help cure the default. The servicer has the primary responsibility of servicing the loan to resolve the default. However, in cases where the servicer is unable to help the veteran borrower, Loan Guaranty has Loan Technicians in eight Regional Loan Centers and two special servicing centers who take an active role in interceding with the servicer to explore all options to avoid foreclosure. Veterans with VA-guaranteed home loans can call (877) 827-3702 to reach the nearest Loan Guaranty office where loan specialists are prepared to discuss potential ways to help save the loan.
Other Assistance for Delinquent Veteran Borrowers
If VA is not able to help a veteran borrower retain their home (whether a VA-guaranteed loan or not), the HOPE NOW Alliance may be of assistance. HOPE NOW is a joint alliance consisting of servicers, counselors, and investors whose main goal is to assist distressed borrowers retain their homes and avoid foreclosure. They have expertise in financial counseling, as well as programs that take advantage of relief measures that VA cannot. HOPE NOW provides outreach, counseling and assistance to homeowners who have the willingness and ability to keep their homes but are facing financial difficulty as a result of the crisis in the mortgage market. The HOPE NOW Alliance can be reached at www.hopenow.com.