Managing home finances while your spouse is deployed can be a challenge. But you don’t have to wait until he returns to take advantage of VA loan benefits and historic low rates. Zero-down purchase loans and up to 100% cash-out refinancing can help eliminate monthly high rent or give you extra money for expenses. Fact is, you can sign VA purchase or refinance loan documents on your service member spouse’s behalf.
As Power of Attorney (POA), a spouse or other person close to the military member can handle legal or business matters. In a VA loan transaction, a POA helps protect a veteran who is unable to be there for important steps in the loan process.
Throughout the loan process, a POA does many things like verify the veteran’s intent for VA home loan entitlement to be used for the purchase or refinance of the home. The veteran’s spouse as POA is even permitted to apply for a Certificate of Eligibility and initiate the processing of a loan.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs encourages field station commanders to be extra sensitive and flexible with military members deployed overseas who wish to use their VA home loan benefits through the help of a POA.
Once a military member indicates the desire to purchase or refinance a home with VA home loan entitlement, then a specific POA can be designated. This is, more often than not, a spouse. A military spouse has regular communication via Skype and email and can show proof of a VA-eligible military member’s objectives.
The spouse acting as POA in a VA loan transaction should keep written correspondence or print out emails discussing the real estate transaction and use of loan benefits.
To complete the loan transaction using a spouse as POA, the VA also requires a veteran’s written consent to the specifics of the transaction. This is where the copies of emails and letters will come in handy. This requirement can be satisfied by either:
- the veteran’s signature on both the sales contract and the loan application, as long as the veteran’s intention to obtain a VA loan on the particular property is expressed somewhere in those documents, or
- a specific power of attorney or other document(s) signed by the veteran, which encompasses entitlement, purpose, property identification, price and terms, and occupancy.
Other written certifications may be needed that have to do with the veteran’s military status and whether he or she is alive during the closing, on active duty, or missing in action.
If the VA has information that the veteran is MIA or deceased as a result of service, then the spouse may be eligible for a VA loan on her own.
In order for a POA to act on a veteran’s behalf, the lender must ensure that the POA complies with state law in respect to:
- The mortgage can legally be enforced in that jurisdiction, and
- Clear title can be conveyed in the event of foreclosure.
Spouses of active duty members overseas can learn more about VA mortgages by contacting a VA Loan Professional.
Ashleigh Downing is the Social Media Director for iFreedom Direct. She has been working with and writing about veteran’s benefits and issues for the past three years.
iFreedom Direct is a top national VA lender that specializes in assisting active members and retired veterans of the Armed Forces with VA loans.