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More Important Resources for VA Borrowers

January 21, 2011

More Important Resources for VA Borrowers

In our last blog post we listed some recommended reading for VA home loan applicants including the Fair Housing Act, and the Consumer Credit Protection Act .

A lot of the resources we listed in the last blog post had to do with anti-discrimination laws, but there are also some regulations house hunters should know about where lending is concerned. Since 1969, a set of laws has been put on the federal books that protect VA loan applicants and other real estate buyers from misleading, unfair and dishonest business practices in the financial sector.

One of those is the Truth in Lending Act, also known as the Federal Consumer Credit Protection Act. Passed in 1969, this federal law insures financial institutions provide the VA loan applicant with the actual terms, conditions and requirements of a VA mortgage loan or any other instrument of credit before the applicant commits to it.

RESPA is another major federal law anyone interested in buying a home should know about. The Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act was passed in 1974, but recent updates to the act passed in 2008 and took effect starting in 2010. RESPA requires lenders to provide VA-guaranteed loan applicants or any other type of home buyer with general information about settlement costs, an estimate of closing costs and monthly payments, and other important details that can help a borrower determine what needs to be paid and when.

RESPA guidelines also include language designed to prevent kickbacks between lenders and real estate agents, brokers and other parties with financial interest in a particular real estate deal. These rules keep VA borrowers from being steered toward properties they don’t really want, can’t afford, or might purchase only because they don’t know about other sales in the area thanks to collusion between a lender and an agent.

All of these laws are designed to protect home buyers regardless of what type of loan they choose to buy a home with; VA borrowers should understand their rights and responsibilities specifically under VA programs but also in a larger sense, should they one day choose to get a conventional home loan or refinancing with a conventional note.

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