VA loans

VA Loans For Ex-Spouses? A Reader Question

July 16, 2014

VA Loans For Ex-Spouses? A Reader Question

014-logoA reader asks, “My ex-husband was active duty and I am remarried can I get a home mortgage off his retirement now?”

This question is a bit unclear, and we can’t address any other issue aside from those that pertain directly to VA home loans. Certain states may have joint property laws that would affect certain transactions including home loans depending on the legal marital status of the loan applicant. For such questions, borrowers and potential borrowers may need to consult a legal expert in their state who can help.

An implied question here might be, “Can I get a VA loan because my ex-spouse was active duty?” We can address that issue directly for new purchase VA loans and for refinancing loans because the VA has specific guidance for lenders in such cases. That information is found in VA Pamphlet 26-7, Chapter Three.

VA home loans are basically intended for someone who has qualifying military service–the length of which depends on the nature of your service (Active, Guard, or Reserve) and the era when you joined up. However, some spouses are eligible for VA home loans. Chapter Three explains who is eligible:

“Some spouses of veterans may have home loan eligibility. They are:

• The unmarried surviving spouse of a veteran who died as a result of service or service-connected causes,

• The surviving spouse of a veteran who dies on active duty or from service-connected causes, who remarries on or after age 57 and on or after December 16, 2003, and

• The spouse of an active duty member who is listed as MIA or a POW for at least 90 days. Eligibility under this MIA/POW provision is limited to one- time use only.

• Surviving spouses of veterans who died from non-service connected causes may also be eligible if certain conditions are met.”

Any spouse interested in applying for a VA home loan without the participation of a veteran, and who does not meet the above criteria is considered ineligible for a VA home loan.

The reader question may well be asking if the spouse is entitled to use the ex-husband’s income as qualification for a home loan, but this would likely depend on the legal arrangements made in the divorce, and again the reader would need to consult legal help to see what is possible in such cases.

Do you have questions about VA home loans or refinance loans? Ask us in the comments section.

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