Sens. Brown, Reed, and Tester praise revisions to military borrowers initiative

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Three senators recently applauded the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) revisions to its proposed COVID-19 Veterans Assistance Partial Claim Payment (COVID-VAPCP) program.

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The revisions stemmed from concerns raised by legislators and other stakeholders, with Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), chair of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, Jack Reed (D-RI), chair of the U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services and Jon Tester (D-MT), chair of the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. The senators noted that the changes would help veterans with VA-guaranteed home loans return to making normal payments after exiting a COVID-19-related forbearance.

Authorities indicated the original proposal outlined the program could add additional debt for military borrowers exiting forbearance, raise monthly costs, and cause military borrowers to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars more than other borrowers. However, the final rule will allow veterans and servicemembers whose loans are in forbearance to resume their payments without increasing their monthly costs.

“This decision will keep veterans and service members from losing their homes,” Brown said. “As originally proposed, this program would have raised costs for those who served our country and jeopardized their ability to stay in their homes. (VA) Secretary (Denis) McDonough listened to the concerns my colleagues and I raised and those raised by consumer advocates and lenders and took action to ensure that veterans and service members who have struggled during this pandemic have the opportunity to get back on track with their payments.”

Tester said men and women in uniform fell on tough times this past year trying to make payments to keep a roof over their heads and get the meaningful support they needed.

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