Veterans owed refunds for incorrect fees

This week, a report was released by the Department of Veterans Affairs that states that disabled veterans have mistakenly been charged fees when taking out home loans. Now, the federal government owes millions of dollars in refunds to those veterans.

According to an article published by abc News, “The Department of Veterans Affairs issued more than $280 million in excessive fess between 2012 and 2017, and took no action despite knowing that veterans were owed refunds, the VA Inspector General report found.” The article continued by saying that “In many cases, third-party lenders rely on the VA to certify that a veteran is exempt from certain fees when applying for a home loan. But its exemption certificates were “outdated, incorrect, or missing exemption status resulting in veterans being incorrectly charged a funding fee,” according to the report. The Under Secretary for Benefits responded to the report by saying the problem would be corrected by the end of July.”

Investigators discovered that although most cases involved veterans becoming exempt from the fees only after they were issued, the VA did not implement its own policy to identify and refund the charges.

In the report, it states that “Requiring a veteran to submit a claim for a refund improperly places the burden and responsibility solely upon the veteran,”. On average, the fees totaled $4,000 with some being considerably higher. One was noted as being nearly $20k.

According to the report, the majority of the 72,900 veterans who are entitled to refunds have yet to be paid by the VA. Originally, the issue was first identified in 2014. An in-depth analysis was conducted and it was estimated that 48,000 veterans were owed as much as $151 million in overpaid fees.

Current and previous representatives of the loan office said that no corrective action was taken at the time because they were “focused on other competing priorities”.

To learn more about this important new, click HERE.