March 1, 2011
Contact: Aaron Hunter 202-225-2040
Congresswoman Susan Davis Introduces Bill to Help Veterans Refinance Their Homes
Washington – In response to the recent rise in home foreclosures, Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego) introduced legislation to give veterans access to mortgage refinancing opportunities. The Veterans Home Loan Refinance Opportunity Act (H.R. 834) will allow veterans in Alaska, Oregon, California, Wisconsin, and Texas to take advantage of low-interest home loan refinancing options available from the state. Currently, veterans in these states can use the home loans to purchase a primary residence -- but not to refinance.
“Given the large number of foreclosures that have swept the nation, it makes sense to allow veterans the same opportunity to refinance into low-interest, affordable loans that so many average Americans have been able to do,” said Davis. “Our veterans have fought and sacrificed to help keep the American Dream flourishing. It is only right that they should be allowed to take part in that dream.”
Under the bill, veterans paying on adjustable-rate or interest-only mortgages would have the opportunity to refinance into lower-interest fixed rate mortgages through a program that may not have been available to them until 2008 when Congress passed legislation opening QVMB-financed mortgages up to newly discharged veterans.
Alaska, California, Oregon, Texas, and Wisconsin provide former service members a state benefit of lower interest-rate mortgage loans to encourage home ownership. For years, federal Qualified Veterans Mortgage Bond (QVMB) financing was only available to veterans who signed up for duty prior to 1977. In the 110th Congress, Davis led the effort to pass legislation opening up the QVMB program to veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.
H.R. 834 also includes a provision that will allow loan limits to increase each year as the cost of housing rises to ensure the home loan programs remain viable.