38 CFR § 36.4516 - Lien requirements.
(a) Loans for the purchase of a dwelling or for the purchase of a farm on which there is a farm residence shall be secured by a first lien on the property or estate. Loans for the construction of a farm residence or other dwelling shall also be secured by a first lien.
(1) Loans for $1,500 or less need not be secured, and in lieu of the title examination a statement may be accepted from the borrower that he or she has an interest in the property not less than that prescribed in § 36.4515(a).
(2) Loans for more than $1,500 but 40 percent or less of the prior to the improved reasonable value of the property shall be secured by a lien reasonable and customary in the community for the type of alteration, improvement, or repair financed.
(3) Loans for more than $1,500 and for more than 40 percent of the prior to the improved reasonable value of such property shall be secured by a first lien on the property or estate. However, such a home improvement loan may be secured by a lien immediately subordinate to the lien securing the previous loan extended by the Secretary, if the Department of Veterans Affairs is the holder of all liens of superior priority on the property.
(c) Tax liens, special assessment liens, and ground rent shall be disregarded with respect to any requirement that loans shall be secured by a lien of specified dignity. With the prior approval of the Secretary, Under Secretary for Benefits, or Director, Loan Guaranty Service, liens retained by nongovernmental entities to secure assessments or charges for municipal type services and facilities clearly within the public purpose doctrine may be disregarded. In determining whether a loan for the purchase or construction of a home is secured by a first lien the Secretary may also disregard a superior lien created by a duly recorded covenant running with the realty in favor of a private entity to secure an obligation to such entity for the homeowner's share of the costs of the management, operation, or maintenance of property, services or programs within and for the benefit of the development or community in which the veteran's realty is located, if the Secretary determines that the interests of the veteran-borrower and of the Government will not be prejudiced by the operation of such covenant. In respect to any such superior lien to be created after June 6, 1969, the Secretary's determination must have been made prior to the recordation of the covenant.
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