(a) The purpose of this section is to specify the types of assistance that the Secretary may render pursuant to 38 U.S.C. 3727 to an eligible borrower who has been unable to secure satisfactory correction of structural defects in a dwelling encumbered by a mortgage securing a guaranteed, insured or direct loan, and the terms and conditions under which such assistance will be rendered.
(b) A written application for assistance in the correction of structural defects shall be filed by a borrower under a guaranteed, insured or direct loan with the Director of the Department of Veterans Affairs office having loan jurisdiction over the area in which the dwelling is located. The application must be filed not later than 4 years after the date on which the first direct, guaranteed or insured mortgage loan on the dwelling was made, guaranteed or insured by the Secretary. A borrower under a direct, guaranteed or insured mortgage loan on the same dwelling which was made, guaranteed or insured subsequent to the first such loan shall be entitled to file an application if it is filed not later than 4 years after the date on which such first loan was made, guaranteed or insured by the Secretary.
(c) An applicant for assistance under this section must establish that:
(1) The applicant is the owner of a one- to four-family dwelling which was inspected during construction by the Department of Veterans Affairs or the Federal Housing Administration.
(2) The applicant is an original veteran-borrower on an outstanding guaranteed, insured or direct loan secured by a mortgage on such dwelling which was made, guaranteed or insured on or after May 8, 1968. The Secretary may, however, recognize an applicant who is not the original veteran-borrower but who contracted to assume such borrower's personal obligation thereunder, if the Secretary determines that such recognition would be in the best interests of the Government in the particular case.
(3) There exists in such dwelling a structural defect, not the result of fire, earthquake, flood, windstorm, or waste, which seriously affects the livability of the dwelling.
(4) The applicant has made reasonable efforts to obtain correction of such structural defect by the builder, seller, or other person or firm responsible for the construction of the dwelling.
(d) In those instances in which the Secretary determines that assistance under this section is appropriate and necessary the Secretary may take any of the following actions:
(1) Pay such amount as is reasonably necessary to correct the defect, or
(2) Pay the claim of the borrower for reimbursement of the borrower's expenses for correcting or obtaining correction of the defect, or
(3) Acquire title to the property upon terms acceptable to the borrower and the holder of the guaranteed or insured loan.
(e) To the extent of any expenditure made by the Secretary pursuant to paragraph (d) of this section the Secretary shall be subrogated to any legal rights the borrower or applicant described in paragraph (c)(2) of this section may have against the builder, seller, or other persons arising out of the structural defect or defects.
(f) The borrower shall not be entitled, as a matter of right, to receive the assistance in the correction of structural defects provided in this section. Any determination made by the Secretary in connection with a borrower's application for assistance shall be final and conclusive and shall not be subject to judicial or other review. Authority to act for the Secretary under this section is delegated to the Under Secretary for Benefits.
(g) For the purpose of this section, the term “structural defects seriously affecting livability” shall in no event be deemed to include—
(1) Defects of any nature in a dwelling in respect to which the applicant for assistance under this section was the builder or general contractor, or
(2) Structural features, improvements, amenities, or equipment which were not taken into account in the Secretary's determination of reasonable value.