VA, Senators Calls On Mortgage Companies To Pause Foreclosures

A group of Democratic senators wrote a letter to the VA stating that the agency's ending of the veterans' program contradicted the intent of Congress

After NPR’s investigative report on the thousands of veterans who were about to lose their homes due to foreclosure, the Department of Veterans Affairs is taking action.

Thousands of veterans took advantage of the COVID forbearance program that paused or reduced their mortgage payments for a year but stipulated that they would have to catch up on the missed or reduced payments once the period was over. The VA had set up a way for veterans to make affordable payments, but that portion of the program inexplicably ended in October 2022, leaving veterans at risk of losing their homes. 

The VA has a new program to fix its oversight, but it will take around four or five months to get off the ground. That length of time is not sufficient for veterans who are currently in the middle of the foreclosure process, NPR reports.

According to data from ICE Mortgage Technology, 6,000 veterans are currently in the process of having their homes foreclosed on, and 34,000 are delinquent on their payments. A group of senators sent a letter to the VA imploring them to put a stop to the foreclosures immediately. 

Democratic senators Tim Kaine, Sherrod Brown, Jon Tester, and Jack Reed wrote a letter on Nov. 16. “Without this pause, thousands of veterans and service members could needlessly lose their homes,” they wrote. “This was never the intent of Congress.”

In response, the VA has called upon mortgage companies to pause foreclosures on loans the VA holds through May 31, 2024. “This will empower us to work with veterans experiencing severe financial hardship to adjust their loans — and their monthly payments — so they can keep their homes,” VA Press Secretary Terrance Hayes said.

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