CFPB tackles veteran complaints about VA refis

by Ryan Smith11 Nov 2016
Veterans are complaining that promises made to them by VA lenders are often misleading, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The CFPB has received about 12,500 mortgage complaints from servicemembers, veterans and their families since it started accepting complaints in 2012. In observance of Veterans Day, the agency has released a “snapshot” review of about 1,800 of those complaints, all related to mortgage refinancing.

The CFPB noted that there was an increased interest in refinancing by veterans, likely due to current low interest rates.
“However, as we often see with financial products and services, what could benefit a borrower may also have the potential for financial harm,” the agency said.

For lenders, a VA refinance can be quicker and easier than other types of refi because it may not require an appraisal or conventional underwriting. “This may lead some lenders to aggressively pursue veterans with offers to refinance their VA mortgage – but those offers may have hidden features or not be in the veteran’s best interest financially,” the CFPB said.
According to the agency, many veterans have complained that lenders soliciting them aggressively and not taking no for an answer.

“I have been contacted multiple times by my mortgage company … in reference to refinancing,” one veteran complained. “I have advised them multiple times that I have recently refinanced, but the calls continue. I have also advised them that I no longer wish to be contacted about the issue, but the calls still are occurring on a daily basis.”

Veterans have also complained that lenders are soliciting them with misleading advertising, and failing to deliver on promises made during the application process.