(a) Pursuant to 38 U.S.C. 3710(a)(8), (a)(9)(B)(i), and (a)(11), a veteran may refinance an existing VA guaranteed, insured, or direct loan to reduce the interest rate payable on the existing loan provided that all of the following requirements are met:
(1) The new loan must be secured by the same dwelling or farm residence as the loan being refinanced.
(2) The veteran owns the dwelling or farm residence securing the loan and
(i) Occupies the dwelling or residence as his or her home; or
(ii) Previously occupied the dwelling or residence as his or her home and certifies, in such form as the Secretary shall require, that he or she has previously occupied the dwelling or residence as a home; or
(iii) In a case in which the veteran is or was unable to occupy the residence or dwelling as a home because the veteran was on active duty status as a member of the Armed Forces, the spouse of the veteran occupies, or previously occupied, the dwelling or residence as the spouse's home and certifies to that occupancy in such form as the Secretary shall require.
(3) The monthly principal and interest payment on the new loan is lower than the principal and interest payment on the loan being refinanced; or the term of the new loan is shorter than the term of the loan being refinanced; or the new loan is a fixed-rate loan that refinances a VA-guaranteed adjustable rate mortgage; or the increase in the monthly payments on the loan results from the inclusion of energy efficient improvements, as provided by § 36.4339(a)(4); or the Secretary approves the loan in advance after determining that the new loan is necessary to prevent imminent foreclosure and the veteran qualifies for the new loan under the credit standards contained in § 36.4340.
(4) The amount of the refinancing loan does not exceed:
(i) An amount equal to the balance of the loan being refinanced, which is not delinquent, except as provided in paragraph (a)(5) of this section, plus closing costs authorized by § 36.4313(d) and a discount not to exceed 2 percent of the loan amount; or
(ii) In the case of a loan to refinance an existing VA-guaranteed or direct loan and to improve the dwelling securing such loan through energy efficient improvements, the amount referred to with respect to the loan under paragraph (a)(4)(i) of this section, plus the amount authorized by § 36.4339(a)(4).
(5) If the loan being refinanced is delinquent (delinquent means that a scheduled monthly payment of principal and interest is more than 30 days past due), the new loan will be guaranteed only if the Secretary approves it in advance after determining that the borrower, through the lender, has provided reasons for the loan deficiency, has provided information to establish that the cause of the delinquency has been corrected, and qualifies for the loan under the credit standards contained in § 36.4340. In such cases, the term “balance of the loan being refinanced” shall include any past due installments, plus allowable late charges.
(6) The dollar amount of guaranty on the 38 U.S.C. 3710(a)(8) or (a)(9)(B)(i) loan does not exceed the greater of the original guaranty amount of the loan being refinanced or 25 percent of the new loan.
(b) Notwithstanding any other regulatory provision, the interest rate reduction refinancing loan may be guaranteed without regard to the amount of guaranty entitlement available for use by the veteran, and the amount of the veteran's remaining guaranty entitlement, if any, shall not be charged for an interest rate reduction refinancing loan. The interest rate reduction refinancing loan will be guaranteed with the lesser of the entitlement used by the veteran to obtain the loan being refinanced or the amount of the guaranty as calculated under § 36.4302(a). The veteran's loan guaranty entitlement originally used for a purpose as enumerated in 38 U.S.C. 3710(a)(1) through (7) and (a)(9)(A)(i) and (ii) and subsequently transferred to an interest rate reduction refinancing loan (38 U.S.C. 3710(a)(8) or (a)(9)(B)(i)) shall be eligible for restoration when the interest rate reduction refinancing loan or subsequent interest rate reduction refinancing loans on the same property meets the requirements of § 36.4302(h).