The Department of Veterans Affairs announced that it is pausing foreclosures on VA-backed loans and extending pandemic protections for veterans facing difficulties paying their mortgages.
Officials said Friday that the department will contact mortgage services to pause VA foreclosures and extend the COVID-19 Refund Modification program through May 31, 2024, to ensure that veterans are able to stay in their homes.
The move follows a report Nov. 11 by National Public Radio that found veterans who used the mortgage forbearance program authorized by Congress early in the pandemic were at risk of losing their homes after the VA ended a Partial Claim Payment program that would have allowed them to defer their missed payments to the back of their loan period.
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Instead, when the program ended, they received bills from their mortgage companies for the total payments missed, meaning they faced paying large sums to keep their existing low-interest mortgages or refinancing under today's rates, which are double what they were in January 2022.
According to the NPR report, roughly 6,000 VA homeowners are in the foreclosure process. Another 34,000 are delinquent.
The VA has called for mortgage services to pause foreclosures and will “work with servicers on workable home retention solutions for veterans,” according to a department statement.
The extension of…