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Jaime Herrera Beutler Legislation to Help Active Duty Purple Heart Recipients Afford Home Mortgages Scheduled for House Vote Today

Bill waives funding fee on VA home loans for active duty service members wounded in combat, helping more military heroes achieve home ownership

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Washington, D.C. , June 25, 2018 | comments
U.S. Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler introduced legislation last week to make home mortgages more affordable for active duty service members wounded in combat, and the bill is scheduled for a vote on the U.S. House floor today. Her legislation waives a fee for Purple Heart recipients serving on active duty for loans guaranteed under the home loan program of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
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U.S. Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler introduced legislation last week to make home mortgages more affordable for active duty service members wounded in combat, and the bill is scheduled for a vote on the U.S. House floor today. Her legislation waives a fee for Purple Heart recipients serving on active duty for loans guaranteed under the home loan program of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Currently, the home loan fee is only waived for veterans, or their surviving spouse, who are receiving VA compensation for a service-connected disability. Jaime’s bill would expand that waiver to include active duty service members who have been awarded a Purple Heart, saving them between $4,000 - $10,000 over the life of a $300,000 home loan.

There are more than 7,000 men and women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces who have been awarded a Purple Heart that could now be eligible for the home loan funding fee waiver.

“As our military service members fight for our freedom on the frontlines, it’s an honor to be able to assist them and their families in achieving the dream of home ownership and I’m pleased the House is taking up this important bill today,” Jaime said.For those still wearing our nation’s uniform who have received a Purple Heart, our nation owes them a debt of gratitude – and making it a little easier for their family to have a home of their own is one way to say ‘thanks.’”

Why this legislative solution is needed:

·         U.S. Marine Corps Major Byron Owen, who was wounded twice in Iraq and once in Afghanistan, spoke out about this problem:

“I think they (VA) unfairly punish active duty personnel who choose to remain in uniform instead of accept medical separation or retirement. I was medevaced out of Iraq in 2006 and had to undergo months of therapy to return to service. Why should I have to pay 20 grand to get a VA loan when someone with a noncombat related disability gets to waive it? Some of my friends are amputees in uniform. They’re paying the funding fee. Does that seem right? I think someone should advocate on the behalf of active duty Purple Heart recipients who would almost certainly receive service connected disability payments if we were out.”

·         The Military Order of the Purple Heart National Commander Neil Van Ess supports Jaime’s bill:

“Veterans who were disabled during their service are eligible to have their VA Home Loan funding fees waived, and rightly so. However, those who continue to serve in uniform after they were wounded in combat against the enemy must still pay the fee. To MOPH, this makes no sense. Congresswoman Herrera Beutler's bill would finally correct this injustice by extending the waiver to all active duty Purple Heart recipients, providing a significant benefit to those who have already paid the price on the battlefield.”

·         U.S. House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Phil Roe, MD also added his support for the bill:

“The men and women injured in combat who receive a Purple Heart deserve access to every benefit the Department of Veterans Affairs has to offer. This important bill will allow for active duty Purple Heart recipients to receive waivers for home loan funding fees, and I am thankful to Rep. Herrera Beutler for her hard work on this important issue.”

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Tags: Veterans