38 U.S. Code § 3708 - Authority to buy down interest rates: pilot program

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(a) In order to enable the purchase of housing in areas where the supply of suitable military housing is inadequate, the Secretary may conduct a pilot program under which the Secretary may make periodic or lump sum assistance payments on behalf of an eligible veteran for the purpose of buying down the interest rate on a loan to that veteran that is guaranteed under this chapter for a purpose described in paragraph (1), (6), or (10) of section 3710 (a) of this title.
(b) An individual is an eligible veteran for the purposes of this section if—
(1) the individual is a veteran, as defined in section 3701 (b)(4) of this title;
(2) the individual submits an application for a loan guaranteed under this chapter within one year of an assignment of the individual to duty at a military installation in the United States designated by the Secretary of Defense as a housing shortage area;
(3) at the time the loan referred to in subsection (a) is made, the individual is an enlisted member, warrant officer, or an officer (other than a warrant officer) at a pay grade of O–3 or below;
(4) the individual has not previously used any of the individual’s entitlement to housing loan benefits under this chapter; and
(5) the individual receives comprehensive prepurchase counseling from the Secretary (or the designee of the Secretary) before making application for a loan guaranteed under this chapter.
(c) Loans with respect to which the Secretary may exercise the buy down authority under subsection (a) shall—
(1) provide for a buy down period of not more than three years in duration;
(2) specify the maximum and likely amounts of increases in mortgage payments that the loans would require; and
(3) be subject to such other terms and conditions as the Secretary may prescribe by regulation.
(d) The Secretary shall promulgate underwriting standards for loans for which the interest rate assistance payments may be made under subsection (a). Such standards shall be based on the interest rate for the second year of the loan.
(e) The Secretary or lender shall provide comprehensive prepurchase counseling to eligible veterans explaining the features of interest rate buy downs under subsection (a), including a hypothetical payment schedule that displays the increases in monthly payments to the mortgagor over the first five years of the mortgage term. For the purposes of this subsection, the Secretary may assign personnel to military installations referred to in subsection (b)(2).
(f) There is authorized to be appropriated $3,000,000 annually to carry out this section.
(g) The Secretary may not guarantee a loan under this chapter after September 30, 1998, on which the Secretary is obligated to make payments under this section.

Source

(Added Pub. L. 104–106, div. B, title XXVIII, § 2822(b)(1),Feb. 10, 1996, 110 Stat. 556.)
Authority of Secretary of Defense

Pub. L. 104–106, div. B, title XXVIII, § 2822(c),Feb. 10, 1996, 110 Stat. 557, provided that:
“(1) Reimbursement for buy down costs.—The Secretary of Defense shall reimburse the Secretary of Veterans Affairs for amounts paid by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to mortgagees under section 3708 of title 38, United States Code, as added by subsection (b).
“(2) Designation of housing shortage areas.—For purposes of section 3708 of title 38, United States Code, the Secretary of Defense may designate as a housing shortage area a military installation in the United States at which the Secretary determines there is a shortage of suitable housing to meet the military family needs of members of the Armed Forces and the dependents of such members.
“(3) Report.—Not later than March 30, 1998, the Secretary shall submit to Congress a report regarding the effectiveness of the authority provided in section 3708 of title 38, United States Code, in ensuring that members of the Armed Forces and their dependents have access to suitable housing. The report shall include the recommendations of the Secretary regarding whether the authority provided in this subsection should be extended beyond the date specified in paragraph (5).
“(4) Earmark.—Of the amount provided in section 2405 (a)(11)(B) [110 Stat. 538], $10,000,000 for fiscal year 1996 shall be available to carry out this subsection.
“(5) Sunset.—This subsection shall not apply with respect to housing loans guaranteed after September 30, 1998, for which assistance payments are paid under section 3708 of title 38, United States Code.”

 

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