Government Loans Department of Veteran Affairs

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1 Module 6 Module 6 Government Loans

2 Explanation: This pdf is only a copy of the module slides. To proceed through the course, you must read and click through each slide.

3 VA The Servicemen s Readjustment Act, more commonly known as the GI Bill of Rights, was signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on June 22, This comprehensive program provided returning World War II service men and women, with medical benefits, educational benefits and low interest loans to help the veteran assimilate back into civilian life. Section 501 of the act provides for a real estate loan that is partially guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The VA home loan program has made mortgage credit available to many veterans whose loans otherwise would not have been made. In this connection, although VA borrowers have been directly favored by the more liberal terms on those loans, it is also likely that these terms have induced a competitive liberalization of the terms on conventional mortgages, whose recipients have benefited as well. As a result, the impact of the VA home loan programs on the economy and on the mortgage market vastly exceeds the actual volume of VA home loans. VA s loan guaranty program has benefited more than 18 million veterans and dependents. From 1944, when this program was established as part of the original GI Bill, through September 2006, VA has guaranteed more than 18.1 million home loans valued at $913 billion. In fiscal year 2006, VA guaranteed 142,726 loans valued at $24 billion. 5 5 Houston Regional Loan Center, Lender Training Guide Revised 06/17/2009

4 VA VA Loan Guarantee VA loans are made by a lender, such as a mortgage company, savings and loan or bank. VA s guaranty on the loan protects the lender against loss if the payments are not made, and is intended to encourage lenders to offer veterans loans with more favorable terms. This guarantee reduces the lenders risk. Should the veteran default on their payments, the lender is compensated by the VA for any losses incurred by a foreclosure up to the guarantee limit. Originally in 1944, veterans could apply for loans up to $2,000, with 50 percent guaranteed by the government. The guarantee was increased in 1945 by congress to 60% for loans up to $4,000. The portion of the veteran s loan the VA will guarantee a lender is called entitlement. As the costs of homeownership have increased over the years, congress has likewise increased the veterans Loan Guarantee Entitlement.

5 VA Electronic Publication of Lender s Handbook VA Pamphlet 26 7, VA Lender s Handbook, along with H , VA Servicing Guide, are now available electronically on the Internet. Changes to the handbook and Servicing Guide will be available on the Internet when signed. Lenders are strongly encouraged to begin accessing these publications electronically.

6 VA Definitions and Authorities (VA Pamphlet 26 7, Revised 1.01) Supervised Lender A lender that is subject to mandatory periodic examination and supervision by an agency of the United States or of any state or territory, including the District of Columbia.. VA determines whether the level of examination and supervision to which a lender is subject satisfies the requirement. Examples of supervised lenders include: Federal savings banks National banks Farm Credit System institutions State banks Insurance companies Credit unions, and Private banks.

7 VA Definitions and Authorities (VA Pamphlet 26 7, Revised 1.01) Supervised Lender (Continued) VA considers any lender subject to mandatory periodic examination and supervision by any of the following Federal entities to be supervised: The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation The Comptroller of the Currency The Office of Thrift Supervision The National Credit Union Administration, and The Farm Credit Administration. A state acting as a lender is also considered supervised.

8 VA Non supervised Lender Any lender that is not a supervised lender. Non supervised Automatic Lender A non supervised lender who, after applying to VA for authority to close loans on an automatic basis, has been formally granted such authority by VA.

9 VA Agent A person or entity that performs any portion of the work involved in originating and closing a VAguaranteed loan on behalf of, or in the name of, a sponsoring lender. Sponsoring Lender A lender that uses an agent to perform any portion of the work involved in originating and closing a VA guaranteed loan is the sponsoring lender for that agent.

10 VA Prior Approval The Submission of a loan to VA for underwriting and approval prior to closing the loan. All lenders, whether or not they have automatic authority, must submit the following types of loans to VA for prior approval: Joint loans Loans to veterans in receipt of VA non service connected pension. Loans to veterans rated incompetent by VA. Interest Rate Reduction Refinancing Loans (IRRRLs) made to refinance delinquent VA loans. Manufactured home loans (except when the manufactured home is permanently affixed to the lot and considered real estate under state law) unless the lender has been separately approved for this purpose. Cooperative loans. Unsecured loans or loans secured by less than a first lien. Supplemental loans.

11 Where Are We Now? To be considered a supervised lender the VA requires the mandatory periodic examination and supervision by any of the following Federal entities except: a. The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System b. The Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry c. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation d. The Comptroller of the Currency VA considers any lender subject to mandatory periodic examination and supervision by any of the following Federal entities to be supervised: The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation The Comptroller of the Currency The Office of Thrift Supervision The National Credit Union Administration, and The Farm Credit Administration. A state acting as a lender is also considered supervised.

12 VA Prior Approval (Continued) Lenders with automatic authority may also elect to submit a loan (of a type not on the above list) for prior approval when issues or circumstances cannot be resolved by the lender s own underwriting staff. The submission must include the underwriter s analysis and explanation of why it is being submitted for prior approval. Do not use this provision to shift the burden of a loan rejection to VA. Lenders without automatic authority must submit all loans to VA for prior approval except IRRRLs made to refinance VA loans that are not delinquent.

13 VA Automatic Authority (Authority to Close Loans on an Automatic Basis) Automatic authority is authority for a lender to close VA guaranteed loans without the prior approval of VA. The following lenders have automatic authority: all supervised lenders certain non supervised lenders who apply for and are granted automatic authority by VA, and any lender (even a lender who does not otherwise have automatic authority) for the limited purpose of closing an IRRRL, as long as the loan being refinanced is not delinquent. Lenders with automatic authority should use it to the maximum extent possible.

14 VA Supervised Versus Non supervised Automatic Lenders A non supervised lender that wishes to close loans on an automatic basis must not only obtain VA authorization for automatic authority; it must also obtain VA approval of other elements of its automatic lending operations (that is, underwriter approval). This difference between supervised and non supervised lenders is outlined below. Authority To close loans on the automatic basis: Supervised Lender No VA approval needed, once VA establishes that the lender is supervised. Non supervised Automatic Lender Must submit application and be authorized by VA to close loans on an automatic basis.

15 VA Supervised Versus Non supervised Automatic Lenders (Continued) Authority To use certain underwriters: Supervised Lender No VA approval needed. Any of the lender s underwriters may underwrite loans processed on the automatic basis. Non supervised Automatic Lender Must submit application and obtain VA approval for each person to underwrite VA loans processed on the automatic basis. Authority To close loans in particular states: Supervised Lender No VA approval needed. Lender may close loans in any state if supervised by a Federal entity, or, in the state where supervised if supervised by a state. Non supervised Automatic Lender Must submit request and obtain VA approval to use its automatic authority in each state where it wishes to close loans.

16 Where Are We Now? Automatic authority is authority for a lender to close VA guaranteed loans without the prior approval of VA. Which of the following lenders have automatic authority: a. Direct Endorsement Lenders b. Prior Approval Lenders c. All Supervised Lenders d. All NMLS Approved Lenders Automatic authority is authority for a lender to close VA guaranteed loans without the prior approval of VA. The following lenders have automatic authority: all supervised lenders certain non supervised lenders who apply for and are granted automatic authority by VA, and any lender (even a lender who does not otherwise have automatic authority) for the limited purpose of closing an IRRRL, as long as the loan being refinanced is not delinquent. Lenders with automatic authority should use it to the maximum extent possible.

17 VA VA Loan Guarantee VA loans are made by a lender, such as a mortgage company, savings and loan or bank. VA s guaranty on the loan protects the lender against loss if the payments are not made, and is intended to encourage lenders to offer veterans loans with more favorable terms. This guarantee reduces the lenders risk. Should the veteran default on their payments, the lender is compensated by the VA for any losses incurred by a foreclosure up to the guarantee limit. Originally in 1944, veterans could apply for loans up to $2,000, with 50 percent guaranteed by the government. The guarantee was increased in 1945 by congress to 60% for loans up to $4,000. The portion of the veteran s loan the VA will guarantee a lender is called entitlement. As the costs of homeownership have increased over the years, congress has likewise increased the veterans Loan Guarantee Entitlement.

18 VA Entitlement Increases Date of Increase Maximum Entitlement Original Act, 1944 $2,000 December 28, 1945 $4,000 July 12, 1950 $7,500 May 7, 1968 $12,500 December 31, 1974 $17,500 October 1, 1978 $25,000 October 7, 1980 $27,500 February 1, 1988 $36,000 December 18, 1989 $46,000 October 13, 1994 $50,750 January 1, 2005 $89,912 January 1, 2006 $104,250

19 VA Eligibility of a Veteran Eligibility is the veteran s entitlement to VA home loan benefits under the law, based on military service. An eligible veteran must still meet credit and income standards in order to qualify for a VAguaranteed loan. A lender cannot make a VA guaranteed loan to an ineligible applicant under any circumstances (2.01). It is critical that a potential borrower s eligibility be established early in the loan process. This assures that a lender is working with an eligible party. The documents the VA certifies the veteran s eligibility for a home loan benefits are: VA Form , Certificate of Eligibility (COE) for Loan Guaranty Benefits, or VA Form a, Certificate of Eligibility (COE) for Loan Guaranty Benefits (Reserves/National Guard). The originator may rely on a COE as proof that a veteran is eligible for a VA home loan.

20 VA Amount of Entitlement (2.02) The amount of available entitlement can be found at the center of the COE in the entitlement section. The maximum available entitlement that can be shown on the COE is $36,000. Even though the veteran may use up to $104,250 of entitlement for certain loans greater than $144,000, the COE will never reflect the additional $68,250 in the available entitlement amount shown. Instead, an asterisk by the word available refers to a note which explains the additional entitlement. Amount of available entitlement is the most important item on a COE to a Lender, because VA s guaranty on the loan generally cannot exceed this amount. An exception is the additional $68,250 entitlement available on certain loans greater than $144,000. If available entitlement shown is less than $36,000, it is for one of two reasons: the maximum entitlement has been changed by law since VA issued the COE, or the veteran previously used entitlement that has not been restored.

21 VA Amount of Entitlement (2.02) (Continued) Unlike other home loan programs, there are no maximum dollar amounts prescribed for VA guaranteed loans. Limitations on VA loan size are primarily attributable to three factors: 5 1. The reasonable value of the property shown on the Notice of Value (NOV), AND 2. The lender s requirements in terms of the secondary market. Based on full entitlement available, VA s guaranty for purchase money mortgages will equal 25% of the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation s (FHLMC) conforming conventional loan limit. For 2012, the FHLMC conforming loan limit is $417,000, and 50% higher for loans in Alaska, Hawaii, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands. 3. The Government National Mortgage Association (GNMA) announced that, effective in September 2007, it would accept VA loans in excess of $417,000 provided that overall coverage on the loan was at least 25%. For veterans with full VA entitlement, the veteran would generally be required to make a down payment of 25% of the difference between the value of the property and $417,000. Lenders should contact GNMA for specific requirements. 5 Houston Regional Loan Center, Chapter 3, Topic,3 Lender Training Guide Revised 06/17/2009

22 VA Proof of Service Requirements (2.04) DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge From Active Duty, will generally contain all the information needed for VA to make an eligibility determination for persons who served in a regular component of the Armed Forces. VA will accept originals or legible copies of the DD Form 214. Persons separated from military service after January 1, 1950 should have received DD Form 214. Persons separated after October 1, 1979 should furnish Copy 4 of DD Form 214 which includes character of service and separation reason. Persons separated from active duty before January 1, 1950 received documentation other than DD Form 214. To be acceptable it should indicate length of service, and character of service.

23 Where Are We Now? What is the name of the document used by the Veterans Administration to certify the veteran s eligibility for a home loan benefits. a. Certificate of Entitlement b. Certificate of Benefit c. Certification of Eligibility d. Certificate of Active Duty The documents the VA certifies the veteran s eligibility for a home loan benefits are: VA Form , Certificate of Eligibility (COE) for Loan Guaranty Benefits, or VA Form a, Certificate of Eligibility (COE) for Loan Guaranty Benefits (Reserves/National Guard). The originator may rely on a COE as proof that a veteran is eligible for a VA home loan.

24 VA Veterans Still on Active Duty Veterans still on active duty must provide a current statement of service signed by, or by the direction of, the adjutant, personnel office, or commander of the unit or higher headquarters they are attached to. There is no one form used uniformly by the military for a statement of service. While statements of service are typically on military letterhead, some may be computer generated. The statement of service must clearly show veteran s full name Social Security Number (SSN) date of birth the entry date on active duty the duration of lost time, if any, and the name of the command providing the information.

25 VA How to Obtain a COE The veteran completes VA Form , Request For A Certificate Of Eligibility For VA Home Loan Benefits. The application must be signed and dated. Attach a copy of DD214, Certificate of Separation from Active Duty. Active duty personnel will need to furnish a Statement of Service letter issued by, or by direction of, the adjutant, personnel officer, or commander of the unit in place of the DD214. Mail the completed application and a copy of Discharge Papers to the Winston Salem Eligibility Center for processing. VA Eligibility Center PO Box Winston Salem, NC (8:00 4:00 EST) Inquiries: Overnight Delivery Veterans Affairs Regional Office 251 N. Main Street Winston Salem, NC 27155

26 VA Automated Certificate of Eligibility (ACE) ACE allows lenders to input data about their potential veteran borrower and obtain an eligibility determination on most cases in a matter of seconds. If eligibility is established, the lender prints out the certificate to submit with their guaranty package. This eliminates completing a paper application, mailing it to an eligibility center and waiting for a reply by mail. If eligibility cannot be established, a refer message will instruct the lender to submit a completed to VA for processing. ACE will not make all determinations. ACE will be most helpful in cases where the veteran is a first time user of the program. Some types of cases cannot be processed through ACE at this time. They are: Persons whose service was or is in the Reserves/National Guard Persons who may have had prior VA loan(s) that went to foreclosure Persons who did not serve the minimum required length of service and were not discharged for an authorized exception Persons who were discharged under conditions other than honorable Persons for which VA has insufficient data to make the determination Persons seeking restoration of previously used entitlement Unmarried surviving spouses

27 VA Automated Certificate of Eligibility (ACE) (Continued) ACE will never deny eligibility. If eligibility cannot be established, the lender will get a refer message saying the determination cannot be made. A refer message only means that ACE cannot make the determination and that further development is necessary. It does not necessarily mean the veteran is ineligible.

28 VA General Rules for Eligibility (2.05) A veteran is eligible for VA home loan benefits if he or she served on active duty in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard after September 15, 1940, and was discharged under conditions other than dishonorable after either 90 days or more, any part of which occurred during wartime, or 181 continuous days or more (peacetime). 2 Year Requirement: A greater length of service is required for veterans who enlisted (and service began) after September 7, 1980, or entered service as an officer after October 16, 1981.

29 VA General Rules for Eligibility (2.05) (Continued) These veterans must have completed either 24 continuous months of active duty, or the full period for which called or ordered to active duty, but not less than 90 days (any part during wartime) or 181 continuous days (peacetime).

30 VA Wartime and Peacetime PERIOD DATES TIME REQUIRED WW II 9/16/40-7/25/47 90 Days Post-WW II 7/26/47-6/26/ Days Korean Conflict 6/27/50-1/31/55 90 Days Post-Korean 2/01/55-8/04/ Days Conflict Vietnam Era 8/05/64-5/07/75 90 Days Post-Vietnam Era 5/08/75-9/07/ Days Persian Gulf War 8/02/90 - present 2 years, or the full period called to active duty (at least 90 days).

31 VA Eligibility for Reserves and/or Guard Members of the Reserves and National Guard who are not otherwise eligible for loan guaranty benefits are eligible upon completion of 6 years service in the Reserves or Guard. The applicant must have been honorably discharged from such service unless he or she is either in an inactive status awaiting final discharge, or still serving in the Reserves or Guard.

32 VA Eligibility of Spouses of Veterans Some spouses of veterans may have home loan eligibility. They are the unmarried surviving spouse of a veteran who died as a result of service or service connected causes, and the spouse of an active duty member who is listed as missing in action (MIA) or a prisoner of war (POW) for at least 90 days. Eligibility under this MIA/POW provision is limited to one time use only.

33 VA Other Qualifying Service Congress has periodically granted veteran status to groups other than members of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard, such as certain members of the Public Health Service, cadets at the service academies, certain merchant seaman, etc. Originators should contact the appropriate VA Eligibility Center for assistance when one of these unique cases is encountered.

34 Where Are We Now? Members of reserve elements of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard, and members of the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard, may be entitled loan guaranty benefits. To be eligible, the participant must: a. have completed at least six years of honorable service. b. have completed at least seven years of honorable service. c. have completed 181 days of honorable service. d. Have completed 90 days of honorable service. Members of the Reserves and National Guard who are not otherwise eligible for loan guaranty benefits are eligible upon completion of 6 years service in the Reserves or Guard. The applicant must have been honorably discharged from such service unless he or she is either in an inactive status awaiting final discharge, or still serving in the Reserves or Guard.

35 VA Exceptions to Length of Service Requirements There are numerous exceptions to the length of service requirements outlined in this section. For example, one day of service is sufficient for an individual who is discharged or released from service (regular or Reserve/Guard) due to a service connected disability. Because of the complexity and number of exceptions, this review does not attempt to cover all of them. The exceptions provide another reason to submit a formal eligibility application to VA in all cases, even if it appears the applicant is not eligible.

36 VA Restoration of Previously Used Entitlement (2.06) Entitlement previously used in connection with a VA home loan may be restored under certain circumstances. Once restored it can be used again for another VA loan. Restoration of previously used entitlement is possible if the property which secured the VA guaranteed loan has been sold, and the loan has been paid in full, or an eligible veteran transferee has agreed to assume the outstanding balance on a VA loan and substitute his or her entitlement for the same amount originally used on the loan. The assuming veteran must also meet occupancy, income and credit requirements of the law.

37 VA Divorce Cases When property is awarded to the veteran s spouse as a result of divorce, entitlement cannot be restored unless the spouse refinances the property and/or pays the VA loan in full or the ex spouse is a veteran who substitutes their entitlement.

38 VA Special Restoration Cases In addition to the basic restoration criteria outlined above, a veteran may obtain restoration of the entitlement used on a prior VA loan under any of the following circumstances: the prior VA loan has been paid in full and the veteran has made application for a loan to be secured by the same property which secured the prior VA loan. This includes refinancing situations in which the prior loan will be paid off at closing from a VA refinancing loan on the same property. the prior VA loan has been paid in full, but the veteran has not disposed of the property securing the loan. The veteran may obtain restoration of the entitlement used on the prior loan in order to purchase a different property one time only. Once such restoration is effected, the veteran s Certificate of Eligibility will indicate the one time restoration. It will also advise that any future restoration will require disposal of all property obtained with a VA loan.

39 VA Eligible Loan Purposes (3.02) To purchase or construct a residence to be owned and occupied by the veteran as a home the loan may include simultaneous purchase of the land on which the residence is situated or will be situated loans may also be guaranteed for the construction of a residence on land already owned by the veteran (A portion of the loan may be used to refinance a purchase money mortgage or sales contract for the purchase of the land, subject to reasonable value requirements.), and the residential property may not consist of more than 4 family units and one business unit except in the case of certain joint loans. (See Section 7.01 for this exception.) To refinance an existing VA guaranteed or direct loan for the purpose of a lower interest rate. To refinance an existing mortgage loan or other indebtedness secured by a lien of record on a residence owned and occupied by the veteran as a home.

40 VA Eligible Loan Purposes (3.02) (Continued) To repair, alter, or improve a residence owned by the veteran and occupied as a home. To simultaneously purchase and improve a home. To improve a residence owned and occupied by the veteran as the veteran s home through the installation of a solar heating system, a solar heating and cooling system, or a combined solar heating and cooling system, or through the application of a residential energy conservation measure. These energy efficiency improvement loans can be made in conjunction with any type of VA purchase or refinancing loan. To purchase a one family residential unit in a condominium housing development approved by VA. To purchase a farm residence to be owned and occupied by the veteran as a home. If the loan includes the purchase of farmland, the farmland is appraised at its residential value only.

41 VA Ineligible Loan Purposes VA cannot guarantee loans made for ineligible loan purposes. Examples of ineligible loan purposes include: Purchase of unimproved land with the intent to improve it at some future date (that is, the land purchase is not in conjunction with a construction loan). Purchase or construction of a dwelling for investment purposes. Purchase or construction of a combined residential and business property, unless, the property is primarily for residential purposes, there is not more than one business unit, and the nonresidential area does not exceed 25 percent of the total floor area.

42 VA Ineligible Loan Purposes (Continued) Purchase of more than one separate residential unit or lot unless the veteran will occupy one unit and there is evidence that; the residential units are unavailable separately, the residential units have a common owner, the residential units have been treated as one unit in the past, and the residential units are assessed as one unit, or partition is not practical, as when one unit serves the other(s) in some respect; for example, common approaches or driveways

43 VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinancing Loans (IRRL) A veteran who obtained a VA loan may refinance it with a VA guaranteed loan at a lesser interest rate without using additional entitlement. IRRRLs can only be used to refinance existing VA guaranteed loans. The new loan must be at a lesser interest rate than the old VA loan except when refinancing an existing adjustable rate mortgage with a new fixed rate mortgage. The dollar amount of guaranty applicable to the prior VA loan is transferred to the new loan. The minimum guaranty on an IRRRL is 25%. If the existing loan is delinquent, the IRRRL must be submitted to VA for prior approval. Although no underwriting is required, approval of new credit may be required by the trustee in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

44 VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinancing Loans (IRRL) (Continued) No appraisal is required. The veteran may not obtain cash proceeds, except in the case of energy efficiency improvements included in the loan. No portion of the loan proceeds may be used to pay off other debts. The new loan is limited to the balance of the old loan, the funding fee, up to $6,000 of energy efficient improvements, and allowable closing costs including not more than 2 discount points. The term of an IRRRL may not exceed the original term of the loan being refinanced by more than 10 years.

45 VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinancing Loans (IRRL) (Continued) The veteran, including active duty service members stationed elsewhere, is able to satisfy the occupancy requirement by certifying prior occupancy. If the veteran whose entitlement was previously used has died, and the surviving spouse was a co obligor, that spouse is considered a veteran for the purpose of the IRRRL.

46 Where Are We Now? Which of the following is not a characteristic of a VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinancing Loan (IRRRL)? a. No portion of the loan proceeds may be used to pay off other debts. b. The new loan is limited to the balance of the old loan, the funding fee, up to $6,000 of energy efficient improvements, and allowable closing costs including not more than 2 discount points. c. The term of an IRRRL may not exceed the original term of the loan being refinanced by more than 10 years. d. A new VA appraisal is required. Interest Rate Reduction Refinancing Loans (IRRL) No appraisal is required. The veteran may not obtain cash proceeds, except in the case of energy efficiency improvements included in the loan. No portion of the loan proceeds may be used to pay off other debts. The new loan is limited to the balance of the old loan, the funding fee, up to $6,000 of energy efficient improvements, and allowable closing costs including not more than 2 discount points. The term of an IRRRL may not exceed the original term of the loan being refinanced by more than 10 years.

47 VA Cash Out Refinancing Loans A cash out refinancing loan is a VA guaranteed loan that refinances any type of lien or liens against the secured property. The liens to be paid off may be: current or delinquent, and from any source, such as tax or judgment liens, or VA, FHA, or conventional mortgages. Loan proceeds beyond the amount needed to pay off the lien(s) may be taken as cash by the borrower for any purpose acceptable to the lender. The loan must be secured by a first lien on the property.

48 VA Cash Out Refinancing Loans (Continued) The maximum loan amount is 90 percent of the appraised value, plus the cost of any energy efficiency improvements, plus the VA funding fee. Cash proceeds from the loan may be used to pay allowable fees and charges and discount points. The maximum guaranty for regular (i.e., cash out ) refinancing loans is the same as the maximum guaranty for purchase loans. Prior to October 10, 2008, the maximum guaranty had been limited to $36,000. However, guaranty on this type of loan is now computed the same as for purchases (i.e., can vary depending on location).

49 VA Occupancy (3.05) The law requires a veteran obtaining a VA guaranteed loan to certify that he or she intends to personally occupy the property as his or her home. As of the date of certification, the veteran must either personally live in the property as his or her home, or intend, upon completion of the loan and acquisition of the dwelling, to personally move into the property and use it as his or her home within a reasonable time. The above requirement applies to all types of VA guaranteed loans except Interest Rate Reduction Refinancing Loans (IRRRLs). For IRRRLs, the veteran need only certify that he or she previously occupied the property as his or her home. Example: A veteran living in a home purchased with a VA loan is transferred to a duty station overseas. The veteran rents out the home. He or she may refinance the VA loan with an IRRRL based on previous occupancy of the home.

50 VA Interest Rates (3.06) VA no longer prescribes interest rates for VA guaranteed loans. The interest rate is negotiated between the veteran borrower and the lender to allow the veteran to obtain the best available rate. The lender and borrower are expected to honor any lock in or other agreements they have entered into which impact the interest rate on the loan. VA does not object to changes in the agreed upon rate, as long as no lender/borrower agreements are violated. The following procedures apply in such cases. Any increase in the interest rate of more than one percent requires re underwriting to ascertain the veteran s continued ability to qualify for the loan documentation of the change, and a new or corrected loan application with any corrections initialed and dated by the borrower.

51 VA Discount Points (3.06) Veterans may pay reasonable discount points on VA guaranteed loans. The amount of discount points is whatever the borrower and lender agree upon. Discount points can be based on the principal amount of the loan after adding the VA funding fee, if the funding fee will be paid from loan proceeds. Discount points may be rolled into the loan only in the case of refinancing loans, subject to the following limitations: 1. Interest Rate Reduction Refinancing Loans A maximum of 2 discount points can be rolled into the loan. If the borrower pays more than 2 points, the remainder must be paid in cash.

52 VA Discount Points (3.06) (Continued) 2. Refinancing of Construction Loans, etc.: A construction loan An installment land sales contract, or A loan assumed by the veteran at an interest rate higher than that for the proposed refinancing loan Any reasonable amount of discount points may be rolled into the loan as long as the sum of the outstanding balance of the loan plus allowable closing costs and discount points does not exceed the VA reasonable value. 3. Cash out Refinancing Loans While discount points cannot specifically be included in the loan amount, the borrower can receive cash from loan proceeds, subject to maximum loan limits The cash received by the borrower can be used for any purpose acceptable to the lender, including payment of reasonable discount points.

53 Where Are We Now? What is the maximum LTV allowed on a VA Cash Out Refinance Loan? a. 100 percent of the Certificate of Reasonable Value. b. 90 percent of the Certificate of Reasonable Value. c. 100 percent of the Certificate of Reasonable Value. d. VA does not allow Cash Out Refinances. Significant differences are that for cash out refinances: The loan limit is 90% of the amount on the Certificate of Reasonable Value, plus the funding fee, plus the cost of any energy efficient improvements up to $6,000 The maximum guaranty is $36,000 The loan must pay off an existing lien(s) Itemization of the debts paid off by loan proceeds is required The veteran can receive cash proceeds from the loan for any purpose acceptable to the lender

54 VA VA Credit Underwriting Income from Non Military Employment (4.02) Verify a minimum of two years employment. If the applicant has been employed by the present employer less than two years verify prior employment plus present employment covering a total of two years. provide an explanation of why two years employment could not be verified. compare any different types of employment verifications obtained (such as, Verification of Employment, pay stubs, tax returns, and so on) for consistency, and clarify any substantial differences in the data that would have a bearing on the qualification of the applicant.

55 VA VA Credit Underwriting Income from Non Military Employment (4.02) (Continued) Acceptable verification consists of: VA Form , Request for Verification of Employment (VOE) or any format which furnishes the same information as VA Form , plus a pay stub if the employer normally provides one to the applicant. If the employer does not indicate the probability of continued employment on the VOE, the lender is not required to request anything additional on that subject.

56 VA VA Credit Underwriting Income from Non Military Employment (4.02) (Continued) The VOE and pay stub must be no more than 120 days old (180 days for new construction). For loans closed automatically, the date of the VOE and pay stub must be within 120 days of the date the note is signed (180 days for new construction). For prior approval loans, the date of the VOE and pay stub must be within 120 days of the date the application is received by VA (180 days for new construction). The VOE must be an original. The pay stub may be an original or a copy certified by the lender to be a true copy of the original.

57 VA VA Credit Underwriting Income from Non Military Employment (4.02) (Continued) Lenders may use VOEs supplied by an employment verification service only if VA has approved the use of VOEs from that particular provider. VA has approved two: 1. FULL verifications of employment through The Work Number for Everyone, a service of the TALX Corporation. (No pay stub is needed with the TALX verification.) 2. Verifications through VIE, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. VIE verifications must be supplemented by a pay stub or telephone verification of the applicant s current employment. For telephone verification, document the date of verification and the name, title, and telephone number of the person with whom employment was verified.

58 VA VA Credit Underwriting Verification: Alternative Documentation Alternative documentation may be submitted in place of a VOE if the lender concludes that the applicant s income is stable, reliable, and anticipated to continue during the foreseeable future; that is, if the applicant s income qualifies as effective income. Two years employment is not required to reach this conclusion. Alternative documentation consists of pay stubs covering at least the most recent 30 day period W 2 forms for the previous two years, and telephone verification of the applicant s current employment. Document the date of verification and the name, title, and telephone number of the person with whom employment was verified.

59 VA VA Credit Underwriting Verification: Alternative Documentation (Continued) If the employer is not willing to give telephone verification of applicant s employment or the pay stubs or W 2 forms are in any way questionable as to authenticity, use standard documentation. Alternative documentation cannot be used. Pay stubs and W 2 forms may be originals or copies certified by the lender to be true copies of the originals.

60 VA VA Credit Underwriting Active Military Applicant s Income A military LES (Leave and Earnings Statement) is required instead of a VOE (VA Form ). The LES must furnish the same information as a VOE. The LES must be no more than 120 days old (180 days for new construction). For loans closed automatically, the date of the LES must be within 120 days of the date the note is signed (180 days for new construction). For prior approval loans, the date of the LES must be within 120 days of the date the application is received by VA (180 days for new construction).

61 VA VA Credit Underwriting Active Military Applicant s Income (Continued) The LES must be an original or a copy certified by the lender to be a true copy of the original. In addition, identify service members who are within 12 months of release from active duty or end of contract term. Find the date of expiration of the applicant s current contract for active service on the LES (for an enlisted service member) or on an officer s orders. For a National Guard or Reserve member, find the expiration date of the applicant s current contract.

62 VA VA Credit Underwriting Active Military Applicant s Income (Continued) If the date is within 12 months of the anticipated date that the loan will close, the loan package must also include one of the following four items, or combinations of items, to be acceptable: Documentation that the service member has already reenlisted or extended his/her period of active duty to a date beyond the 12 month period following the projected closing of the loan, or verification of a valid offer of local civilian employment following the release from active duty. All data pertinent to sound underwriting procedures (date employment will begin, earnings, and so on) must be included, or a statement from the service member that he/she intends to reenlist or extend his/her period of active duty to a date beyond the 12 month period, plus a statement from the service member s commanding officer confirming that: the service member is eligible to reenlist or extend his/her active duty as indicated, and

63 VA VA Credit Underwriting Active Military Applicant s Income (Continued) the commanding officer has no reason to believe that such reenlistment or extension of active duty will not be granted, or documentation of other unusually strong positive underwriting factors, such as: a down payment of at least 10 percent significant cash reserves, and clear evidence of strong ties to the community coupled with a nonmilitary spouse s income so high that only minimal income from the active duty service member is needed to qualify.

64 VA VA Credit Underwriting Military Quarters Allowance The lender may include a military quarters allowance in effective income if properly verified. In most areas there will be an additional variable housing allowance, which can also be included. The military quarters and variable housing allowances are not taxable income. Ensure that the applicant meets the occupancy requirements set forth in Section 3.05.

65 VA VA Credit Underwriting Assets (4.04) The applicant or spouse must have sufficient cash to cover any closing costs or points which are the applicant s responsibility and are not financed in the loan. the down payment, if a Graduated Payment Mortgage, and the difference between the sales price and the loan amount, if the sales price exceeds the reasonable value established by VA. VA does not require the applicant to have additional cash to cover a certain number of mortgage payments, unplanned expenses, or other contingencies. However, the applicant s ability to accumulate liquid assets and the current availability of liquid assets for unplanned expenses should be considered in the overall credit analysis.

66 VA VA Credit Underwriting Debt and Obligations (4.05) All significant debts and obligations of the applicant(s) must be verified and rated. The lender must obtain a credit report. Credit reports used in analyzing VA loans must be either: Three file Merged Credit Reports (MCR), OR Residential Mortgage Credit Reports (RMCR).

67 VA VA Credit Underwriting Debt and Obligations (4.05) (Continued) For automatically closed loans, the date of the credit report must be within 120 days of the date the note is signed (180 days for new construction). For prior approval loans, the date of the credit report must be within 120 days of the date the application is received by VA (180 days for new construction).

68 VA VA Credit Underwriting Analysis of Debts and Obligations Deduct significant debts and obligations from total effective income when determining ability to meet the mortgage payments. Significant debts and obligations include debts and obligations with a remaining term of 10 months or more; that is, long term obligations, and accounts with a term less than 10 months that require payments so large as to cause a severe impact on the family s resources for any period of time.

69 VA VA Credit Underwriting Analysis of Debts and Obligations (Continued) If a married veteran wants to obtain the loan in his or her name only, the veteran may do so without regard to the spouse s debts and obligations in a non community property state. However, in community property states, the spouse s debts and obligations must be considered even if the veteran wishes to obtain the loan in his or her name only. Debts assigned to an ex spouse by a divorce decree will not generally be charged against a veteranborrower. This includes debts that are now delinquent.

70 VA VA Credit Underwriting CAIVRs (Lender s Handbook, Chapter 4, Topic 6c) CAIVRS is an acronym for Credit Alert Interactive Voice Response System. It is a HUD maintained computer information system that enables lenders to learn if an applicant has previously defaulted on a federally assisted loan from any of the following agencies: Department of Agriculture, Small Business Administration, Department of Education, HUD, and VA.

71 VA VA Credit Underwriting CAIVRs (Lender s Handbook, Chapter 4, Topic 6c) (Continued) The VA default information includes: Overpayments on education cases, Overpayments on disability benefits income, Claims paid due to home foreclosures CAIVRS screening is required on all applicants, including co obligors.

72 VA VA Credit Underwriting What if CAIVRS Shows a Debt? (Lender s Handbook, Chapter 4, Topics 6d, e) An applicant cannot be considered a satisfactory credit risk if he or she is presently delinquent or in default on any debt to the Federal Government until the delinquent account has been brought current or satisfactory arrangements have been made between the applicant and the Federal agency. Refinancing of a delinquent VA Loan with an IRRRL satisfies this requirement. An applicant cannot be considered a satisfactory credit risk if he or she has a judgment lien against his or her property for a debt owed to the Government until the judgment is paid or otherwise satisfied.

73 VA VA Credit Underwriting Credit Analysis (4.07) The applicant s past repayment practices on obligations are the best indicator of his or her willingness to repay future obligations. Emphasis should be on the applicant s overall payment patterns rather than isolated occurrences of unsatisfactory repayment.

74 VA VA Credit Underwriting Absence of Credit History For applicants with no established credit history, base the determination on the applicant s payment record on utilities, rent, automobile insurance, etc. Absence of credit history is not generally considered an adverse factor. It may result when: Recently discharged veterans have not had an opportunity to develop a credit history. Applicants have routinely used cash rather than credit. Applicants have not used credit since some disruptive credit event such as bankruptcy or debt pro ration through consumer credit counseling.

75 VA VA Credit Underwriting Adverse Credit History In circumstances not involving bankruptcy, satisfactory credit is generally considered to be reestablished after the veteran, or veteran and spouse, have made satisfactory payments for 12 months after the date of the last derogatory credit item. If the applicant and/or spouse are determined to be satisfactory credit risks in spite of derogatory credit information, include an explanation of the basis for the determination.

76 VA VA Credit Underwriting Adverse Credit History (Continued) For unpaid debts or debts that have not been paid timely: Pay off of these debts after the acceptability of applicant s credit is questioned does not alter the unsatisfactory record of payment. Generally, unpaid collections should be considered as open, recent credit. Lenders may consider a veteran s claim of bona fide or legal defenses regarding unpaid debts except when the debt has been reduced to judgment. Account balances reduced to a judgment by a court must be either paid in full or subject to repayment plan with a history of timely payments. Documentation of alternate credit (e.g., utilities, car insurance, etc) should not be used to offset an otherwise unsatisfactory credit history.

77 Bankruptcy The fact that a bankruptcy exists in an applicant s (or spouse s) credit history does not in itself disqualify the loan. Develop complete information on the facts and circumstances of the bankruptcy. Consider the reasons for the bankruptcy and the type of bankruptcy filing. Bankruptcy Filed Under the Straight Liquidation and Discharge Provisions of the Bankruptcy Law Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Generally, bankruptcies discharged more than 2 years ago may be disregarded. If the bankruptcy was discharged within the last one to two years, it is probably not possible to determine that the applicant or spouse is a satisfactory credit risk unless both of the following requirements are met: The applicant or spouse has obtained consumer items on credit subsequent to the bankruptcy and has satisfactorily made the payments over a continued period, and

78 Bankruptcy (continued) the bankruptcy was caused by circumstances beyond the control of the applicant or spouse such as unemployment, prolonged strikes, medical bills not covered by insurance, and so on, and the circumstances are verified. Divorce is not generally viewed as beyond the control of the borrower and/or spouse. If the bankruptcy was caused by failure of the business of a self employed applicant, it may be possible to determine that the applicant is a satisfactory credit risk if: the applicant obtained a permanent position after the business failed there is no derogatory credit information prior to self employment there is no derogatory credit information subsequent to the bankruptcy, and failure of the business was not due to the applicant s misconduct. If a borrower or spouse has been discharged in bankruptcy within the past 12 months, it will not generally be possible to determine that the borrower or spouse is a satisfactory credit risk.

79 VA Chapter 13 Bankruptcy This type of filing indicates an effort to pay creditors. Regular payments are made to a courtappointed trustee over a two to three year period or, in some cases, up to five years, to pay off scaled down or entire debts. If the applicant has finished making all payments satisfactorily, the lender may conclude that the applicant has reestablished satisfactory credit. The lender must document that the applicant has satisfactorily paid on the plan for at least 12 months and obtain a letter stating that the Trustee or the Bankruptcy Judge approves of the new credit.

80 VA Bankruptcies and Foreclosures Foreclosure A credit history that reflects a foreclosure (or deed in lieu of foreclosure) does not in itself disqualify the loan. Develop complete information on the facts and circumstances of the foreclosure. Apply the guidelines provided for bankruptcies filed under Chapter 7. If the foreclosure was on a VA guaranteed loan, determine whether or not the veteran has sufficient entitlement available for the new loan.

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