Claiming: Biden, Congress created a “generous mortgage relief program” for veterans
As home sales prices continue to rise increase Posts have surfaced on social media across the country claiming that Congress introduced a “generous mortgage relief program” for veterans.
The claim follows that of President Joe Biden American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, which provides approximately $ 10 billion to help homeowners struggling financially.
A post titled “BIDEN IS ON A ROLL” claims that if veterans cannot wait for this help, they can seek assistance from a congressional aid program instead.
“If you can’t wait for help, Congress offers seasoned homeowners a generous mortgage relief program. You will be happy when you see how much you could save, ”says a Video posted May 5th from the Veteran Loans Online Facebook page.
The organization also runs paid Facebook ads with a similar claim.
reviews The site has numerous complaints about the company providing personal information to mortgage companies without permission. January 16, 2020, a user wrote, “Click bait taking advantage of veterans.”
The Veteran Loans Online video is misleading as it references a program used to refinance an existing VA loan. It has existed for decades and is not affiliated with Biden.
USA TODAY contacted Veteran Loans Online for comment.
Advertising is misleading
Called Veteran Loans Online, the program is a loan refinancing program that was launched more than 40 years ago to help homeowners lower their monthly mortgage payments with loans backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Veterans Loans Online is administered by LowerMyBills, a third party company that collects customer information and shares it with lending companies, who then issue the loans. In January 2020, Leading stories debunked a similar ad of Congressional creation of a veteran mortgage relief program in which LowerMyBills confirmed that this is the program mentioned in the submissions Reduced Interest Refinance Loans (IRRR).
The program streamlines the paperwork for refinancing, but does not provide direct access to banks or interest rates that are only reserved for veterans. And it has nothing to do with Biden as the post implies.
“This is your classic bait and switch,” said Brian Reese, a retired Air Force active duty officer and an expert on U.S. Veteran Achievement. “It is factually incorrect and misleading” to present the program and to bind it to Biden like the advertisement.
Reese said the IRRRL program applies to anyone with a mortgage loan at their primary residence that is supported by the VA.
“It’s a VA program and they’re promoting it, but the VA isn’t a mortgage lender. You still need to contact an authorized mortgage lender, ”Reese said. “Veterans need to make sure they read the fine print before committing to any of these agreements.”
Reese, who is also the founder of VA Claims Insider, said that depending on the approved mortgage lender, there might be additional charges on this loan for refinancing or other interest rates.
“Every mortgage lender is different,” he said.
On his website, LowerMyBills touts the IRRRL as “very little paperwork and almost no cost out of your pocket”. It does not define it as a “generous mortgage relief program” as the ad from its affiliate does.
The Left Included in the mail and supposedly providing calculations for new home payments lead to disclaimer websites stating that the company is not a lender or broker, and the information provided by the company is not a mortgage loan application.
The IRRRL program, commonly referred to as the “Streamline”, is supported by the Veterans Affairs Department and was introduced in 1980 through the Veterans Disabled Compensation and Housing Allowance changes.
LowerMyBills did not respond to requests for comment.
Corporations warn against VA refinancing loans
“Some lenders marketing VA mortgage refinancing may use aggressive and potentially misleading advertising and sales tactics,” the company said on November 21, 2017, blog entry from the consumer group CFPB and VA. “Lenders can offer an interest rate just to get you to respond, or you can get a VA mortgage refinance offer that gives you limited benefits while adding thousands of dollars to your loan balance.”
Warning signals Scams include extremely low interest rates, missed mortgage payments, no out-of-pocket expenses or waiting, and thousands of dollars back in cash, according to MilitaryBenefits.info.
Our assessment: partly wrong
An ad claiming veterans may take advantage of a Congress-launched “generous mortgage relief program” related to Biden is PARTIALLY FALSE based on our research. The post collectively refers to the IRRRL program and a pandemic relief law, but the two are in no way related to each other. The IRRRL is real and has been around for decades as a refinancing option that could potentially cut paperwork. But it has no connection with Biden. The benefits of the program depend largely on the outside mortgage lender, and hidden costs and fees might be taken into account.
Our fact check sources:
- LowerMyBills, accessed June 6 Licenses and Disclosures
- Veteran Loans Online, accessed June 6 Facebook page transparency
- LowerMyBills, December 23, 2019, How Do Veteran Home Loans Work?
- Key Stories, January 9, 2020. Fake Ad: Congress is NOT giving seasoned homeowners a generous mortgage assistance program
- LowerMyBills, May 2, 2018, What is a Reduced Interest Refinancing Loan?
- US Department of Veterans Affairs, accessed June 9 Refinance the interest rate reduction loan
- Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, accessed June 9 Reduced Interest Refinance Loans
- Credible June 3rd Credit required to refinance your home
- Consumer Protection Office, November 20, 2017, CFPB and VA WARNO: VA refinancing offers that sound too good to be true
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Nov. 21, 2017 VA and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau warn of home loan refinancing offers that sound too good to be true
- MilitaryBenefits.info, accessed June 6 VA Refinance Loan Fraud Warning
- PolitiFact, May 28th No, there is no congressional program that offers veterans “generous mortgage relief”
- Veteran Loans Online, accessed June 9 “Calculate new payment”
- Federal Trade Commission consumer information, accessed June 9 Mortgage relief scams
- Brian Reese, June 30, telephone interview with USA TODAY
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Our fact-checking work is partially supported by a grant from Facebook.