The Department of Veterans Affairs is taking a break from their busy schedule of misplacing paperwork and sending veterans on wild goose chases to halt foreclosures for 6 months. Yes, you heard that right folks! They’re actually doing something helpful for once!
This action comes after an investigation by NPR found that thousands of veterans who took what’s called a COVID forbearance are now at risk of losing their homes through no fault of their own. It’s like the VA thought, “Hey, we’ve already made these heroes jump through hoops for everything else, why not add foreclosure to the list?”
“Helping Veterans and their families stay in their homes is a top priority at VA,” said VA Press Secretary Terrence Hayes in a statement. Wow, it only took them how many decades to figure this out? But hey, better late than never I guess.
“We are calling on mortgage servicers to pause foreclosures of VA-guaranteed loans through May 31, 2024.” The forbearance program was set up by Congress after the pandemic hit in order to let people who suffered a loss of income skip mortgage payments for six or 12 months because apparently living paycheck to paycheck wasn’t stressful enough.
But in October 2022, the VA ended the part of the program that allowed homeowners an affordable way to get current on their loans again because who needs affordable optionsSponsored Product when you can just throw people into foreclosure instead?
The VA has a new program to replace it but says it will take four or five months to implement. That’s too late to help many veterans facing foreclosure. Because clearly there aren’t any urgent situations going on here.
After NPR first reported on the problem (thank goodness for investigative journalism), a group of senators sent a letter asking them nicely – okay maybe not so nicely -to immediately stop the foreclosures before they have even more angry constituents knocking down their doors.
“This was never the intent of Congress.” Well isn’t that just shocking! Who would have thought that leaving thousands homeless wasn’t part of Congress’ grand plan?
The VA said in its statement that by pausing foreclosures “we can continue assisting Veterans with their loans while we launch our newest home retention option.” Oh yes please do tell us more about your newest option! Is it as efficient as waiting years for disability claims processing? Color me intrigued!
Through this new program, they say they will basically purchase back loans from companies currently holding them and modify them within a VA-owned loan portfolio. “This will empower us…blah blah blah” We’ll believe it when we see it ladies and gentlemen!
The Under Secretary for Benefits Josh Jacobs encouraged any Veteran struggling with making payments (which seems like pretty much all veterans nowadays)to visit www.va.gov/housing-assistance or call 877-827-3702 if you want some good old-fashioned bureaucratic runaround.
“We at VA will do everything in our power…” If only we could be confident about what exactly is included under “everything”.
So there you have folks! The Department Of Veteran Affairs finally decides maybe keeping vets off streets might be worth looking into -but don’t hold your breath; knowing bureaucracy things move slower than molasses uphill.