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Veterans more likely to avoid foreclosure with VA-backed loan

Mortgage loans guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) continue to have the lowest rate for serious delinquency and foreclosures in the industry.

"The continued high performance of VA loans is due to the dedication of VA's loan professionals, the support of our partners in the mortgage industry and most notably, the responsibility of our veterans and their desire to maintain home ownership," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. "VA is making good on its promise to help veterans achieve the American dream of owning a home."

There are currently about 1.3 million active home loans that have been obtained using VA's Home Loan Guaranty Program. The program makes home ownership more affordable for veterans, active-duty service members, and eligible surviving spouses by permitting low or no down payment loans and by protecting lenders from loss if the borrower fails to repay the loan.

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association National Delinquency Survey, VA's foreclosure rate for the last eight quarters and serious delinquency rate for the last five consecutive quarters have been the lowest of all measured loan types, even prime loans.

Much of the program's strength stems from the efforts of VA employees and loan servicers nationwide, whose primary mission is to "ensure all veterans receive every possible opportunity to remain in their homes, avoid foreclosure, and protect their credit from the consequences of a foreclosure," added Shinseki.

Depending on the situation, VA's loan specialists can intervene on a veteran's behalf to help pursue home-retention options such as repayment plans, forbearances and loan modifications. When home retention is not an option, sometimes VA can help arrange a sale, or a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure, both of which are better options for veteran borrowers than foreclosure.

Since 1944, when home-loan guaranties were first offered under the original GI Bill, VA has guaranteed more than 18.8 million home loans worth $1.06 trillion.

Please see your local county veterans service officer if you have any questions. You can contact your local VSO at (218) 631-7617 or by e-mail at As always, have a great week.