VA Recognizes Spousal Income In Same-Sex Marriages
In Circular 26-13-18, the Veterans Benefits Administration of the Department of Veterans Affairs announced new lender processing guidelines that allow the income of same-sex spouses to be considered when qualifying veterans for VA mortgage financing. The purpose of this change is to allow the benefits for same-sex married couples to be consistent with the process used for opposite-sex married couples.
Previously, if a veteran obtained a VA mortgage loan with anyone other than his or her opposite-sex spouse, VA could only guarantee the veteran’s portion of the loan. VA will now review applications for the home loan guaranty benefit submitted by married same-sex couples. Since state laws are not uniform on same-sex, marriages, these reviews will be on a case-by-case basis to determine whether same-sex married couples can use both spouses’ incomes to qualify for a loan.
When processing a mortgage loan application for same-sex married couples, lenders will be required to submit the following information the the VA Regional Loan Center for the state where the subject property is located: (1) date and state of marriage; (2) state of residence at the time of marriage; (3) state where the subject property is located; (4) current state of residence; and (5) estimated date of loan closing. The VA staff will then notify the mortgage lender if both spouses’ incomes may be applied.
Real estate professionals may wish to share these new guidelines with same-sex married couples that wish to use VA mortgage financing for the purchase of a residence.
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