Office of Rep. Derek Kilmer press release.
On August 10, U.S. Representatives Derek Kilmer (WA-06), Guy Reschenthaler (PA-14), and Marc Veasey (TX-33) announced that they have introduced bipartisan legislation to help ensure veterans have the tools and resources they need to access home loans and attain homeownership.
Veterans Affairs (VA) Home Loans aim to provide benefits to servicemembers, veterans, and eligible surviving spouses – including lower down payments, interest rates, and closing costs, than traditional conventional financing options. These VA Home Loans aim to help those who use them save thousands of dollars over the life of the loan. However, only 10% to 15% of veterans report being able to use this benefit – with some states reporting only 6% utilization.
To help ensure that more veterans are made aware of VA Home Loans, the VA Loan Informed Disclosure Act of 2022 (VALID Act of 2022) proposes to update the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s “Informed Consumer Choice Disclosure Notice” to ensure more veterans are notified of the VA home loan financing option. The bill proposes adding VA Home Loans to the current Informed Consumer Choice Disclosure Notice – ensuring that VA home loan options are listed in a side-by-side comparison with conventional loans and loans through the Federal Housing Administration.
“Our nation owes a debt of gratitude to those who put their lives on the line to defend our freedom. That means that every veteran should have a home. And it means veterans should have an easier time finding the benefits that are available to them,” said Rep. Kilmer. “That’s why I’m proud to introduce bipartisan legislation to help ensure that more veterans, servicemembers, and their families are made aware of VA home loans – so they can get the benefits they have earned and deserve.”
“As a U.S. Navy veteran who used a VA home loan, I know how convoluted the process can be,” said Rep. Reschenthaler. “It’s not surprising that only ten to fifteen percent of those who served report successfully using this significant benefit. Modifying the Informed Consumer Choice Disclosure requirement to include VA home loans would improve transparency and help more veterans achieve the American Dream. I urge my colleagues to support the VALID Act and ensure a grateful nation can truly thank those who served to defend it.”
“We need to work together to inform our hardworking, brave veterans and help them become homeowners,” said Rep. Veasey. “Our bipartisan VALID Act will do this by requiring the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide vets with a side-by-side comparison of costs between VA loans and conventional loans that will increase transparency and help them access home ownership.”
The legislation is endorsed by the Veterans Association of Real Estate Professionals (VAREP) and the National Association of Realtors.
“Why does it make any sense, at all, to disallow a veteran, like my husband, from reviewing, in a side-by-side view, of the actual written financial differences between the VA Home Loan when compared to a FHA Home Loan or a Conventional Home Loan? Updating the ‘informed consumer choice disclosure notice’ will close that loop,” said Lynn Jabs, Tacoma VAREP Chapter board member and National Legislative Co-Chair at VAREP.
“VAREP wholeheartedly endorses the VA Loan Information Disclosure Act of 2022. This legislation will help correct an injustice of non-disclosure of all viable mortgage loan options to all home loan applicants who are eligible to take advantage of their earned VA Home Loan Guarantee Benefits,” said VAREP in a statement. “VAREP applauds Rep. Kilmer for taking action to require the original lender to include a third financial comparator, to the current disclosure law that requires only disclosure of the difference between an FHA and a Conventional loan. Adding the third comparison of the VA Home Loan, to the FHA Home Loan and the Conventional Home Loan is an essential missing loan disclosure element.