Bill Aims to Help Veterans Avoid Homelessness Following Foreclosure

A pair of Congressmen have introduced legislation aimed at helping America’s veterans avoid homelessness in the wake of foreclosure.

The “Veterans’ Homelessness Prevention and Early Warning Act of 2010″ would require the Department of Veterans Affairs to contact one of its homelessness case managers within a week of a VA loan going into default. In turn, that case manager would be required to craft a plan to prevent the borrower from winding up on the streets.

VA loans remain the safest loan program on the market, with a default rate well below that of FHA and even prime loans. But foreclosures do occur and, in fact, have risen from 8,113 in 2007 to more than 15,000 in 2009.

“American heroes living on the streets, out of cars and on the couches of family members is a disgrace. These men and women fought for our country and we must do everything we can to address their unique needs, which all too often are a contributing factor in homelessness amongst this population,” U.S Rep. Tim Walz (D-MN), one of the bill’s sponsors, said in a news release. “One way we can begin to rectify this situation is by addressing homelessness before it happens.”

Under this bill, the Veterans Affairs department would have six months to come up with a plan and procedures for implementation. Regulations would have to be in place within a year of the bill’s enactment.

The bipartisan legislation was co-sponsored by U.S. Rep. John Boozman (R-AR).

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