A new bill could change requirements in the National Housing Act if it succeeds the long road to becoming law. House Resolution 2777—Give Veterans Home Loan Choices Act of 2017, aims to require that a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgage notice to a veteran include information that compares Veteran Affair (VA) loan information along with information about conventional loans and FHA loans. Currently, it is not a requirement under the Informed Consumer Choice disclosure to include information about VA loans.
Originally introduced by Representative Marc Veasey (D-Texas) in June, the goal is to help veterans make an informed decision when deciding which route to take when buying a home.
“Homeownership is a pillar of the American dream and a goal that should not be out of reach for our nation’s veterans,” said Congressman Marc Veasey. “That is why I am committed to ensuring that the brave men and women who serve our country have access to the benefits they’ve earned and are provided the information they need to make an informed decision when purchasing a home.”
The bill currently has 13 co-sponsors, including Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-Hawaii); Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas); Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-Washington D.C.); Sandord Bishop Jr. (D-Georgia); Mark Takano (D-California); Dwight Evans (D-Pennsylvania); Donald Norcross (D-New Jersey); Gene Greene (D-Texas); Kyrsten Sinema (D-Arizona); Raul Grijalva (D-Arizona); Daniel Lipinski (D-Illinois); Norma Torres (D-California); and Eric Swalwell (D-California); and is sponsored by a handful of organizations, such as the Association of the United States Navy, National Military Family Association, Association of the United States Army, Reserve Officer Association, and the Veterans Association of Real Estate Professionals (VAREP).
As of Wednesday, the bill has referred to the House Armed Services Committee. According to G-II Varrato, the AZ State Director for VAREP and the Chairman of VAREP National Legislative Committee, this bill has been in the works for four years, and is a “multipronged effort.”
The first hurdle the bill had to overcome was to require the loan application to ask the potential borrower if he/she has ever served. According to Varrato, that piece of information has been missing from the application since 1944 when the loan was created.
“Because of that,” Varrato said, “over 65 percent of the veteran community are disenfranchised—missed out on this loan product.”
VAREP succeeded in altering the loan application in 2016; the new application will go live in December of 2018.
The second piece of the puzzle, which Veasey’s bill is currently trying to do, would be to require the side by side comparison.