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Bipartisan Legislation Aims to Support Veteran Homebuyers

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, Chair of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and Sen. Mike Braun, have introduced new legislation, the VA Home Loan Awareness Act of 2023, to help inform veteran homebuyers of their eligibility for the VA Home Loan Program, which helps more veterans achieve the dream of homeownership.

“By letting veterans and servicemembers know they may be eligible for a VA home loan, we can help make the dream of homeownership a reality for more military families and make sure that the Ohioans who have served our country get the benefits they’ve earned,” said Sen. Brown.

The VA Home Loan Program serves as a tool for helping veterans and their spouses achieve the American dream of homeownership—offering veterans perks for financing their home purchases, including no down payment, no private mortgage insurance (PMI), and oftentimes lower interest rates than conventional FHA loans. Despite these benefits, only 13% of veterans ever utilize their VA Home Loan benefit.

“Those who have risked their lives for our freedom should be able to afford a house in the country they’ve sworn to protect,” said Sen. Braun. “I am glad to lead this bill to inform Hoosier veterans of the benefits they that have earned and deserve.”

Among veterans who choose not to use the VA loan when purchasing a home, 33% of them said it was because they were not aware of the program. This rate is even higher among surviving veteran spouses, as 46.3% said they did not know they were eligible for a VA Home Loan at the time of their purchase.

The VA Home Loan Awareness Act of 2023 would add a disclosure to the standard mortgage prequalification application (Uniform Residential Loan Application) to inform veterans that they may qualify for a VA Home Loan. Because this form was recently updated in March 2021 to include a section for military service information, this bill would only add an additional line to that section informing veterans of this critical benefit.

Co-sponsoring the Act are Sens. Jacky Rosen, Ted Budd, Chris Van Hollen, Marco Rubio, Kyrsten Sinema, Thom Tillis, Bernie Sanders, Amy Klobuchar, Sheldon Whitehouse, Mark Kelly, Raphael Warnock, Jack Reed, Angus King, and Peter Welch.

“We work to support our veterans with housing, medical care, and more in recognition of their support of our country, and we must ensure that veterans are aware of those benefits so they can make informed choices,” said Sen. Klobuchar. “This bipartisan legislation will ensure home loan applications for veterans include information stating that they may qualify for a VA Home Loan.”

Click here for full text of the VA Home Loan Awareness Act of 2023.

About Author: Eric C. Peck

Eric C. Peck has 20-plus years’ experience covering the mortgage industry, he most recently served as Editor-in-Chief for The Mortgage Press and National Mortgage Professional Magazine. Peck graduated from the New York Institute of Technology where he received his B.A. in Communication Arts/Media. After graduating, he began his professional career with Videography Magazine before landing in the mortgage space. Peck has edited three published books and has served as Copy Editor for Entrepreneur.com.

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