MReport March 2018

TheMReport — News and strategies for the evolving mortgage marketplace.

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28 | TH E M R EP O RT FEATURE with a new home for their families. Yet too few veterans are taking advantage of the VA loan benefits they have earned, often because they do not fully understand this option or because they have placed their trust in a lender that doesn't believe in VA loans. When it comes to educating veteran borrowers and our industry as a whole about this invaluable VA benefit, we have a long way to go. Myth 4 VA Loans are Difficult to Close M any lenders believe this to be true; however, the truth is that many lenders need to learn the ins and outs of how to do VA loans, to then properly explain them to borrowers who have earned this benefit. According to Ellie Mae's Origination Insights Reports, VA loans have consistently been shown to have one of the high - est closing rates in the mortgage industry. This really shouldn't be surprising, since VA lending guidelines are intended to be flexible in order to give veterans every reasonable opportunity to use their earned benefit. Myth 5 VA Loans Have a High Rate of Default C ustomers of our VA loan products at NewDay USA have a 90-day delinquency rate of just 0.4 percent, which is practically unheard of in our industry. One of the reasons our borrowers perform so well is that we use proprietary analytics to assess the creditworthiness of all applicants and take many factors beyond credit into account when assessing risk and determining someone's ability to pay. These tools not only enable us to make sound underwriting decisions that help borrowers who might not otherwise be able to get conven - tional financing, but they have helped us achieve delinquency and foreclosure rates far below the industry average for all loan types. Of course, not every VA lender does what we do, but they certainly could. Another reason why VA loans rarely go into default is that the VA offers free counseling to veterans who fall behind on their loan payments. If a borrower is really in trouble, the VA can and will intervene directly with the servicer of the loan on the borrower's behalf, so that the bor - rower can avoid foreclosure. Not many lenders are aware that these services exist, however, and as a result; some veterans are steered away from VA loans into more expensive financing. HON. JOSEPH J. MURIN is chairman emeritus of NewDay USA, a nationwide VA mortgage lender, and has over 40 years' experience in the mortgage and banking industries. A veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces, Murin served as President of the Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae) under both the Bush and Obama administrations. He can be reached at

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