Summary: H.R.939 — 102nd Congress (1991-1992)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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House agreed to Senate amendment with amendment (10/06/1992)

Veterans Home Loan Program Amendments of 1992 - Provides eligibility for the veterans' home loan program (whereby home loans are made, insured, or guaranteed to veterans through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)) for individuals who have completed at least six years of service in the Selected Reserve and who: (1) were discharged honorably, were placed on the retired list, or were transferred to an element of the Ready Reserve other than the Selected Reserve; or (2) continue to serve in the Selected Reserve.

Prescribes the amounts of home loan fees to be paid to the VA by such individuals.

Directs the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to report to the House and Senate Veterans' Affairs committees (the committees) by December 31, 1994, and annually thereafter, on: (1) a declaration of the number of veterans who receive mortgage loans guaranteed by the Secretary as a result of this Act; (2) a comparison of the default rate of such veterans with the default rate for all other veterans who have received loans guaranteed or insured by the Secretary; and (3) a comparison of the proportion of veterans who receive mortgage loans guaranteed by the Secretary as a result of this Act who are first time home buyers with the proportion of all other veterans who receive mortgage loans guaranteed or insured by the Secretary and who are first time home buyers.

Directs the Secretary to carry out a demonstration project during FY 1993-95 for the purpose of guaranteeing loans in a manner similar to that in which the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development insures adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) under the National Housing Act. Specifies that interest rate adjustment provisions of a mortgage guaranteed under this provision shall: (1) correspond to a specified national interest rate index approved by the Secretary, information on which is readily accessible to mortgagors from generally available published sources; (2) be made by adjusting the monthly payment on an annual basis on the anniversary of the date on which the loan was closed; (3) be limited, with respect to any single annual interest rate adjustment, to a maximum increase or decrease of one percentage point; and (4) be limited, over the term of the mortgage, to a maximum increase of five percentage points above the initial contract interest rate.

Requires the Secretary to promulgate underwriting standards for loans guaranteed under this section, taking into account: (1) the status of the interest rate index and available at the time an underwriting decision is made, regardless of the actual initial rate offered by the lender; (2) the maximum and likely amounts of increases in mortgage payments that the loans would require; (3) the underwriting standards applicable to ARMs insured under the National Housing Act; and (4) such other factors as the Secretary finds appropriate.

Directs the Secretary to require that the mortgagee make available to the mortgagor, at the time of loan application, a written explanation of the features of the ARM, including a hypothetical payment schedule that displays the maximum potential increases in monthly payments to the mortgagor over the first five years of the mortgage term.

Requires the Secretary to: (1) transmit a report to the committees by December 31, 1993, containing a description of the project carried out; and (2) continue to make annual reports to the committees with respect to the default rate and other information concerning the loans guaranteed.

Extends the VA's authority to guarantee timely payment of principal and interest on securities backed by VA vendee loans (i.e., direct loans that the VA makes to those who purchase houses that the VA acquired through the foreclosure of a VA-guaranteed loan) to December 31, 1995 (currently, 1992).

Reduces the VA loan fee for VA-guaranteed interest-rate-reduction refinancing loans to .5 percent (currently, the fee generally is 1.25 percent) of the loan.

Prohibits the VA guaranty on interest-rate-reduction refinancing loans from exceeding the greater of: (1) the original guaranty amount of the loan being refinanced; or (2) 25 percent of the new loan.

Extends the lender appraisal processing program through December 31, 1995 (currently, 1992).

Directs the Secretary: (1) to establish and implement a pilot program under which the Secretary may make direct housing loans to Native American veterans; and (2) in carrying out such program, to the extent practicable, to direct loans to veterans located in a variety of geographic areas and in areas experiencing a variety of economic circumstances. Specifies that no such loans may be made after September 30, 1997.

Limits the principal amount of any direct housing loan made to a Native American to $80,000 unless the Secretary determines that housing costs in the geographic area are significantly higher than average housing costs nationwide. Directs the Secretary to establish credit underwriting standards to be used in evaluating loans under the program. Sets forth further requirements regarding such loans.

Establishes in the U.S. Treasury the Native American Veteran Housing Loan Program Account.

Sets forth reporting requirements. Authorizes appropriations.

Directs the Secretary to carry out a program to demonstrate the feasibility of guaranteeing loans for the acquisition of an existing dwelling and the cost of making energy efficiency improvements to a dwelling owned and occupied by a veteran, subject to specified requirements. Limits the cost of energy efficiency measures under the program to: (1) the cost of such improvements, up to $3,000; or (2) $6,000, if the increase in the monthly payment for principal and interest does not exceed the likely reduction in monthly utility costs resulting from such improvements.

Provides that any such loan shall be guaranteed in an amount equal to the sum of: (1) the guaranty that would be provided for the dwelling without the energy efficiency improvements; and (2) an amount that bears the same relation to the cost of such improvements as such guaranty bears to the amount of the loan minus the cost of such improvements. Specifies that the amount of the veteran's entitlement shall not be affected by the amount of the guaranty.

Directs the Secretary to take appropriate actions to notify eligible veterans, participating lenders, and interested realtors of the availability of such loan guarantees and the procedures and requirements that apply to obtaining such guarantees. Specifies that a loan under the program may not be guaranteed after December 31, 1995.

Includes loans to improve a dwelling of farm residence owned by a veteran and occupied by the veteran as the veteran's home through energy efficiency improvements among the purposes for which a loan to a veteran is automatically guaranteed, subject to specified requirements.

Sets forth reporting requirements.

Allows the Secretary to require VA-guaranteed loans to bear interest at a rate that is: (1) agreed upon by the veteran and the mortgagee; or (2) an established maximum rate. Authorizes the Secretary to change between maximum rates and negotiated rates at any time.

Allows a borrower to pay reasonable discount points on the loan if the Secretary allows negotiated interest rates. Prohibits veterans from financing the discount points as part of the VA-guaranteed loan.

Requires the Secretary to notify the committees of the election, together with an explanation of the reasons therefor, within ten days after such election. Specifies that the pilot program shall expire on December 31, 1995. Sets forth reporting requirements.

Makes eligible for a headstone or grave marker, and a flag to drape the casket of, a person who, at the time of death, was entitled to armed forces retired pay or would have been entitled to such pay but for the fact that the person was under age 60.