New VA Loan Program Will Help Roughly 40,000 Veterans Keep Their Homes

New VA Loan Program Will Help Roughly 40,000 Veterans Keep Their Homes
fotog/Getty Images

Editor’s note: This article by Patricia Kime originally appeared on, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.


The Department of Veterans Affairs will launch a new program in May designed to help veterans who are in financial dire straits to keep their homes.


The Veterans Affairs Servicing Purchase program, or VASP, will serve as a "last resort" option for former service members who have defaulted on their home loans and aren't eligible for other VA loan assistance programs.


Under VASP, the VA will purchase delinquent loans from holders and become the primary loan servicer, providing borrowers a stable payment plan at a fixed rate of 2.5% for the remainder of their loan, according to VA Under Secretary for Benefits Joshua Jacobs.


[RELATED: What Is a VA Loan Assumption?]


The purpose, Jacobs said during a call with reporters on Tuesday, is for the program to serve as a safety net for an estimated 40,000 veterans at the highest risk for foreclosure and who "cannot resolve their delinquency through traditional VA home retention options."


"Let me be clear, VASP is a last resort option that may be available when it is the most appropriate home retention option under VA's home retention waterfall," Jacobs said.


Since the VA began backing home loans in 1944, it has helped active-duty troops, veterans and survivors purchase more than 28 million homes. Currently, more than 3.7 million veterans have a VA-guaranteed home loan, with the VA backing nearly 401,000 home loans in 2023 alone.


The department announced in November that it would ask mortgage service providers with VA-backed loans to pause foreclosures and extend a modification program instituted during the COVID-19 pandemic through the end of this year.


[RELATED: Lawmakers Push for Cost-of-Living Boost in Veterans Benefits Next Year]


The move followed a report by NPR that found veterans who used the COVID-19 Refund Modification program, which allowed them to defer their payments, were at risk of losing their homes after the VA ended a program it had in place that allowed them to make partial payments.


Instead, when the VA ended the Partial Claim Payment program, veterans and their families received bills from their mortgage companies for the total payments missed, facing large amounts of debt to either keep existing low-interest mortgages or refinancing under rates that rose significantly in 2023.


According to the NPR report, roughly 6,000 VA homeowners were in the foreclosure process at the time, while another 34,000 were delinquent.


VASP will allow the department to purchase defaulted VA loans from mortgage companies, modify them, and then put them in the VA's direct loan portfolio.


[RELATED: VA Will No Longer Send Veterans’ Benefits to Multiple Bank Accounts]


"This new program will help more than 40,000 veterans and their families stay in their homes, and there's nothing more important than that," VA Secretary Denis McDonough said in a release Wednesday.


Most loans described as "VA home loans" are VA-backed loans, in which the department guarantees a portion of the loan, ensuring that if a veteran homeowner goes into foreclosure, the lender will recoup some or all of its losses.


The VA has a number of programs to help veterans who need assistance in covering payments. In addition to asking mortgage services to pause foreclosures, it extended its COVID Refund Modification program that helped veterans obtain a second mortgage at 0% interest and modified existing loans to ensure that payments were affordable.


The VA also provides counseling and other types of assistance for homeowners.


[RELATED: Scams Cost Veterans, Military Retirees $350 Million in 2023]


Veterans will not apply directly to the program, which will begin on May 31. Instead, mortgage holders will identify borrowers in need and submit requests for the program on behalf of the veterans, VA officials said.


VA officials stressed that the program is only for those "facing seriously delinquent and serious default situations."


"If you are not in default, this program is not for you. You have to be in default and you have to be in default a certain amount of time," said John Bell, executive director for the home loan guarantee program at the VA.


Veterans who do not qualify but are facing financial hardship should work with their mortgage services to explore other options, officials said.


According to Jacobs, the new program is projected to be "net revenue positive" for the federal government, resulting in a benefits reduction of $1.5 billion over 10 years. That's because the savings associated with foreclosure outweighs the cost of purchasing the loans, he said.


In 2023, the VA helped 145,000 veterans avoid foreclosure and stay in their homes, according to the department.


VA officials said any veteran struggling with making their mortgage payments should check out the department's housing assistance website or call 877-827-3702.


MOAA’s Financial Calculators

Whether you’re planning for retirement, buying a home, managing your investments, or more, these tools can help you make informed decisions.

Access Now