Home Purchase Most Popular Articles

VA Loan Resources

  • Home Loans
    VA Loan Guide
    The VA program is one of the few remaining no-down payment programs in the market. Learn all about using your VA loan benefit.
  • Suburban brick house.
    VA Home Loan: Do You Have What it Takes?
    Military.com
    There are five categories for eligibility. Your eligibility is based on you military service. Do you meet the criteria?
  • Home loan signature line.
    Starting the Loan Application Process
    Military.com
    Once you've determined that you are eligible for a VA home loan, you can begin the loan application process, which includes six...
  • Suburban homes.
    Updated: VA Loan Limits for High-Cost Counties
    Military.com
    The VA loan limit for 2016 is $417K. But it could actually be substantially more if you buy a home in a “high-cost” county.
  • Family outside suburban house.
    VA Financing & Mortgages Options
    Military.com
    The VA guarantees a variety of home loans. There are two basic types of loans with two additional options that are appealing to...
  • White suburban home.
    IRRRL Facts for Veterans
    Military.com
    IRRRL stands for Interest Rate Reduction Refinancing Loan,also known as a "Streamline" or a "VA to VA" loan.
  • gray home
    What Is a VA Guaranteed Home Loan?
    Military.com
    If you want to purchase or refinance a home, condominium or manufactured home, the VA can guarantee up to $417,000 of the total...
  • military family in front of house
    Top 3 VA Home Loan Tips
    Military.com
    We've scoured the Internet to find the 3 most helpful tips to help you take advantage of this exclusive benefit.
  • Business writing
    VA Loan Forms
    Military.com
    In order to receive your Certificate of Eligibility for VA loan benefits, you will need to submit your request for a Certificat...
  • big gray house
    6 Unbeatable Benefits of VA Loans
    Veterans United Home Loans|
    Here's a look at six of the biggest, most unbeatable benefits of the VA home loan.

Lawsuit: Banks Cheated Vets With Fees

ATLANTA -- A whistleblower lawsuit launched in 2006 and unsealed Tuesday in federal court in Atlanta claims several large banks and mortgage companies defrauded military veterans and taxpayers out of hundreds of millions of dollars in a "brazen scheme" to hide illegal fees.

The lawsuit, brought under the Federal Claims Act by two mortgage brokers, claims the 13 banks and mortgage firms overcharged veterans who were applying for special home loans guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Federal rules allow the lenders to charge "reasonable and customary" fees and taxes, the lawsuit said, but they are barred from charging them attorneys' fees and settlement closing costs for the loans. The firms skirted the rules by charging attorneys' fees by hiding them as "title examination" or "title search" fees, it said.

Veterans were ultimately saddled with "excessive and illegal fees at closing," the complaint said.

The lawsuit targets several firms, including Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase &; Co. and Bank of America. Several of the firms did not immediately return messages late Tuesday seeking comment on the lawsuit. A Bank of America spokesman and a Wells Fargo Home Mortgage spokeswoman declined to comment. The banks have denied the allegations in related court documents.

The lawsuit was initially filed in 2006, but attorneys say it's common for these types of complaints to remain sealed for years while they are being investigated. It seeks to recover damages and penalties on behalf of the federal government, which said in court records that it wouldn't intervene.

More than 1.2 million of the refinanced loans have been made to veterans and their families over the past decade, and up to 90 percent of them were tainted with the alleged fraud, plaintiff's attorneys said. The firms collected $300 to $1,000 with each deal, which could amount to "massive damages" to the federal government, the complaint said.

"This is a massive fraud on the American taxpayers and American veterans," said James E. Butler Jr., one of the attorneys who brought the case.

"Knowing they weren't allowed to charge the fees, the banks and mortgage companies inflated allowable charges to hide these illegal fees without telling the veterans who were the borrowers or the VA they were doing so."

Sound Off...What do you think? Join the discussion...

Military News App by Military.com

Download the new Military.com News App for Android on Google Play or for Apple devices on iTunes!

© 2016 Military Advantage