Brown introduces bill to prevent veterans from losing homes

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 20, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, hosted a news conference call last week with Larry Moore, executive director of the Summit County Veterans Service Commission, and Veterans of Foreign Wars Department of Ohio State Legislative Chairman, to discuss new legislation to prevent veterans and servicemembers using Department of Veterans Affairs home loans from losing their homes.     

Veterans and servicemembers with VA home loans who faced financial difficulties during the COVID-19 pandemic used forbearance to pause their mortgage payments without penalty and prevent foreclosures that would cost them their homes. Brown’s Veterans Housing Stability Act of 2024 would reestablish a partial claim program to help veterans and servicemembers using the VA home loan exit forbearance, get back on track with their payments, and keep their homes. 

Brown introduced the bill with Sen. Jon Tester, D-Montana, chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee.

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“No Ohio veteran should be kicked out of their home – particularly not when they are trying to get back on track with their payments,” Brown said. “Ohioans who have served our country and used their VA home loan benefit don’t have workable options to resume their payments and are facing foreclosure. The Veterans Housing Stability Act will keep our promises to veterans and servicemembers today and in the future by giving homeowners affordable options to stay in their homes.”

While VA previously offered solutions to help borrowers exit forbearance and get back on track with their payments, the VA ended some of those programs when the COVID-19 national emergency ended and left veterans with fewer options to bring their mortgages current. These limited options have left thousands of veterans and servicemembers who took forbearance vulnerable to losing their homes.

The Senators’ Veterans Housing Stability Act of 2024 would also grant VA the authority to impose a moratorium on foreclosure, or establish a period of forbearance if there is an urgent need, including a declared national emergency or disaster.

Following a push from Brown and Tester, VA paused foreclosures of VA home loans in November 2023, through May 31, 2024. to help veterans and servicemembers stay in their homes. 

The Senators’ legislation is also supported by the Mortgage Bankers Association.