Over the last few months I’ve had the privilege to speak with Lt. Col Meredith, featured in this video (***UPDATE VIDEO LINK NO LONGER ACTIVE AT FOX NEWS), about the time-frame restrictions on the current Department of Defense Homeowners Assistance Benefits. Currently the program allows for home purchases or ratified contracts prior to July 1, 2006.
Last year, for example I had two homes in the Port Potomac neighborhood of Prince William County to sell for military families. One family closed before July 1, 2006 and the other closed on July 22, 2006. One used DoD HAP benefits to sell their home. The other had to do a short sale and deal with the financial impact of a lower credit rating. When I had to process the short sale for the family in Port Potomac the lender was far from sympathetic. It was a disgrace the hoops the lender made the family jump through.
A bill was introduced in Congress by Virginia Congressman Gerry Connolly to allow the Secretary of Defense to expand the dates for the Dod HAP program based on his discretion. As you see the numbers Lt. Col. Meredith quotes the percentage of military families who need assistance is small. Had this bill been in place or additional funding available to assist in expanding the program, no military family who purchased a home during the market downturn would be left with the difficult decision of what to do when PCS orders arrive.
If you are interested in seeing more help for our troops caught in the housing downturn look at H.R. 237 and ask your Congressman for support. You can see a few comments from military families about expanding the timeline on my post H.R. 237-Bill to Amend DoD HAP Timeline and even more comments from military families with questions about DoD HAP benefits on Homeowners Assistance Program Working for Military Families.