Page 1

A WORD FROM THE ASSOCIATION DIRECTOR PAGE 8

VA LOAN POPULARITY SKYROCKETS PAGE 10

HUD COUNSELING SUCCESS STORIES PAGE 13

FACES IN THE CROWD PAGE 21

SAVE THE DATES

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JUNE 16 - 18, 2019 | WASHINGTON D.C.

OCTOBER 13 - 15, 2019 | ORLANDO, FL


VAREP NATIONAL NEWS

A Letter From Our President

ROGER THAT MAY 2019

Dear VAREP Members, I present you “RT – ROGER THAT – May 2019”

EDITORIAL

E-Zine Newsletter. This is the best way for

PUBLISHER USA Homeownership, Inc. DBA Veterans Association of Real Estate Professionals

VAREP National to communicate happenings within our organization to our membership. VAREP experienced tremendous growth and

EDITOR Tori Sydow

recognition in 2019 for the important work

CRE ATIVE

that we do. Each of you should be proud

SENIOR DESIGNER Jesus Lopez

and stand tall knowing that your passion to empower veterans to realize the American Dream of homeownership has enabled VAREP to be recognized by key leaders in the real estate, financial, and government sectors as the authority on, and voice of, military and veteran financial-literacy and homeownership. VAREP ACCOMPLISHMENTS FROM 2014 - 2019 •

34 homes donated mortgage-free to deserving heroes across America.

1,000 military and veteran families realized the American Dream of homeownership through

GRAPHIC DESIGNER Nick Preston WEB DEVELOPER Francisco Labias CO NTAC T VAREP HEADQUARTERS 951·444·7363 info@VAREP.net 495 E. Rincon St., Suite 110 Corona, CA 92879 w w w . V A R E P. n e t

our programs and services. •

10,000 real estate and lending professional were trained as a result of the 80 live events and online membership training.

• •

3,100 military and veteran families educated about homeownership, financial literacy, and

ABOUT SON

the VA loan program through the live Veteran Housing Summits events hosted by VAREP

Son Nguyen is the founder and president of the

local chapters across the country.

Veterans Association of Real Estate Professionals

361 military and veteran families were provided food, utilities payment, rent back payment,

(VAREP). Mr. Nguyen creates, implements, and

basic supplies, clothing, and blankets during the 2018 holiday season. This was made possible

overseas the programs within VAREP including

through our VAREP Cares program implemented by the VAREP local chapters.

working with government agencies and policy makers

$70,000 in the form of housing assistance grants for down-payment, closing costs, and adaptive

to create and reform veteran housing policy to remove

needs. This was in partnership with the Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA).

barriers to homeownership.

$5 million spent on home rehabilitation for mortgage-free donations and veteran first resale program.

He is frequently called upon as a subject-matter expert by government agencies, the real estate industry, the

HOW TO EXPLAIN WHO WE ARE AND WHAT WE DO I frequently receive phone calls from our membership on how to explain VAREP as an

lending industry, and real estate trade organizations to consult on a variety of veteran housing issues.

organization. Depending on your audience, you may want to adapt the points listed below to

Mr. Nguyen has more than 19 years’ experience in real

introduce VAREP.

estate, public speaking, supplier diversity, curriculum development, and non-profit management. His record

VAREP is a 501.c.3 nonprofit organization that was founded to directly educate the 1.4-plus

demonstrates innovation and leadership at the highest

million active military and 22-plus million veterans on sustainable homeownership, financial-

level.

literacy education, VA loan awareness, and economic opportunity. •

VAREP is the only organization that educates military and veteran families on the importance of financial health on the road to homeownership.

VAREP is the only organization that educates the real estate practitioner on the important housing-policy and lending initiatives that affect the military and veteran communities.

Mr. Nguyen established VAREP as a housing non-profit for vets, by vets. He believes VAREP’s proactive stance of providing financial-literacy education and advocating homeownership can greatly impact homelessness among the veteran community, by both reducing the current epidemic and preventing future occurrences,

VAREP Comparison to Other Veteran Nonprofits

one veteran at a time.

The comparison chart to the right shows that we fill a much needed gap in financial-literacy and

Mr. Nguyen entered the Navy in 1996 and served as

housing components that the other veteran service organizations simply do not offer…In other

a Radioman on the USS Vincennes (GC-49) and USS

words: We complement them and do not compete with them.

Constellation (CV-64). A proud service-connected

Our organization has only scratched the surface of creating awareness and having people rethink how to better serve underserved military and veteran housing needs. To a great 2019...Cheers!

disabled veteran, Mr. Nguyen holds a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations from of the University of Florida and a Master’s in Organizational Management. He currently resides in Corona, CA, with his wife, son, and

Son Nguyen VAREP Founder and President

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Labrador.


VE TER AN NON-PROFIT COMPARISON CHART Target Audience

VAREP Veterans = 22+ Million Active Duty = 1.4+ Million

MILITARY WARRIORS FOUNDATION Wounded Warriors OEF, OIF, ND = 51,849

OPER ATION HOMEFRONT Active Dut y Family of E1 - E6 = 1.1 Million

WOUNDED WARRIOR PROJECT Wounded Warriors OEF, OIF, ND = 51,849

USA CARES Post 9/11 Servicemembers & Family

Financial Assistance

X

X

Emergency Food

X

X

Emergency Home Repair

X

X

Critical Baby Items

X

X

Home and Appliance Repair

X

Furniture and Household Items

X

Local Moving Assistance

X

Apartment Transitional Housing

X

X

Permanent Housing Placement

X

X

Employment Job Board

X

Rehabilitation with Recreational Therapy

X

X

X

X

Peer-to-Peer Counseling

X

Family Support Retreats

X

Peer Mentoring

X

Information Technology Training Academy

X

Financial Literacy Education

X

VA Home Loan Program Education

X

Housing Education

X

Housing Counseling

X

Credit and Debt Management Education

X

Credit and Debt Management Counseling

X

Military and Veteran First Look Affordable Housing Purchase Program

X

Mortgage Free Donated Homes for Wounded Warrior and Spouses of Deceased Warriors

X

X

X

X

X

Community Outreach

X

X

X

Live Community Housing, Financial Literacy, and Employment Fair Outreach Events

X

REALTOR, Housing Professional, and Lender Military and Veteran Certification Course

X

Military and Veteran Friendly Database

X

Advocate with a Written Policy Plan

X Military and Veteran Housing Lending Policy

Housing and Lending Policy Conference

X

Military and Veteran Financial Literacy, Housing, and Employment Resource Center

X

X

X

X Wounded Warriors

NOTE: The no n-profit comparison chart does not list the national minority real estate trade organizations including AREAA, NAHREP, and NAREB because we are not structurally set up as a trade organization. We have our membership whom we educate to better serve the military housing needs, but ultimately we are all here to serve the military and veteran communities.

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STOP, DROP, AND RUN

MAY 2019 TA B LE O F CO N T E N T S

Stop, Drop and Run.......................................4 VAREP Chapter Map.....................................6 A Word from The Association Director...........8 VA Loan Popularity Skyrockets.....................10 VAREP Housing Counseling Corner..............12 The Path to Sustainable Homeownership....14

T

he Stop, Drop and Push

servicemembers, veterans and

Campaign participated in

their spouses with academic

the 15th Annual Pat Tillman

scholarships through the

Legislative Corner.......................................16

Run. Tillman played out the

Tillman Scholars program.

VAREP Faces in the Crowd...........................................21

2001 season as a safety for the Cardinals before turning down a new contract and enlisting in the U.S. Army. Tillman was the only NFL

2019 NATIONAL EVENTS

player to enlist in the armed forces in the wake of the September 11th terrorist attacks. “At times like this you stop and think about just how good we

Policy Conference JUNE 16-18, 2019 · WASHINGTON D.C.

have it, what kind of system we live in, and the freedoms we are allowed. A lot of my family has gone and fought in wars and I really haven’t done a damn thing,” Tillman said of his decision. Tillman’s family started the Pat

NATIONAL CONVENTION OCTOBER 13-15, 2019 · ORLANDO, FL 4

Tillman Foundation after his death and it provides active-duty

The program has invested over $16 million and has 580 scholars in its network. One of the signature fundraising events of the foundation is Pat’s Run in Tempe, AZ. The 4.2-mile run has raised over $1 million and all 28,000 spots in this year’s run on April 27 have already been filled.


PROMOTING VETERAN STABILITY TO PREVENT VETERAN SUICIDE WHO WE ARE The Stop, Drop and Push Campaign (SDPC) is part of the Veterans Association of Real Estate Professionals’ (VAREP) philanthropic platform of giving back (VAREP is a 501c.3 non-profit focused on housing for veterans). Although our focus may be on veteran housing, we cannot stand idle while our brothers and sisters are part of the 22 veteran suicide statistic.

HISTORY OF THE NUMBER 22

STOP, DROP & PUSH MISSION

In 2012 the Department of Veterans Affairs released a 59-page report outlining veteran suicide. The report states the numbers of Veterans who die from suicide each day has remained relatively stable over the past 12 years (varying from 18 -22 per day).

To lower the 22 veteran lives lost each day due to suicide by educating the public about veteran reintegration issues; connecting alternative veteran therapy providers to those who need treatment; and provide the necessary funding to ensure treatment is possible so our heroes will rediscover purpose and lead productive lives.

ALTERNATIVE THERAPY Research has determined in addition to medication and traditional therapy, a holistic approach including alternatives therapies such as existential/transpersonal, animal-assisted psychotherapy and play therapy (examples include martial arts, fly fishing, mountain climbing and rafting) are important as part of the road to recovery for many veterans.

951-268-1517 | info@stopdroppush.org

w w w.S TOPDROPPUSH.org

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VAREP CURRENTLY HAS

45 CHAPTERS LOCATED IN 21 STATES ACROSS THE UNITED STATES

ACTIVE CHAPTERS Arkansas

VAREP River Valley - Founded on September 18, 2018

Arizona

VAREP Phoenix Chapter - Founded on September 3, 2013 VAREP Tucson Chapter - Founded on January 28, 2015

California

VAREP Coachella Valley Chapter - Founded on August 4, 2016 VAREP East Bay Area Chapter - Founded on August 24, 2017 VAREP Los Angeles Chapter - Founded on April 23, 2014 VAREP Orange County Chapter - Founded on March 11, 2013 VAREP Riverside Chapter - Founded on June 17, 2013 VAREP Temecula Chapter - Founded on January 22, 2019 VAREP Sacramento Chapter - Founded on June 4, 2013 VAREP Fresno Chapter - Founded on January 30, 2019 VAREP San Bernardino Chapter- Founded on August 14, 2014 VAREP San Diego Chapter - Founded on July 29, 2013 VAREP Yuba-Sutter Chapter - Founded on January 11, 2018

Colorado

VAREP Denver Chapter - Founded on August 14, 2014

Florida

VAREP Miami Chapter - Founded on July 13, 2015 VAREP Central Florida Chapter - Founded on April 14, 2015 VAREP Pinellas County Chapter - Founded on December 3, 2015 VAREP Broward Chapter - Founded on July 15, 2015 VAREP Treasure Coast Chapter - Founded on June 30, 2017 VAREP Jacksonville Chapter - Founded on August 28, 2018

Georgia

VAREP Atlanta Chapter - Founded on January 22, 2019

Hawaii

VAREP Honolulu Chapter - Founded on April 04, 2014

Idaho

VAREP Des Moines - Founded on October 3, 2017

Kentucky

VAREP Louisville Chapter - Founded on June 14, 2018

Maryland

VAREP Annapolis Chapter - Founded on August 23, 2018

Michigan

VAREP Mid-Michigan City Chapter - Founded on November 14, 2017

Minnesota

VAREP Twin Cities Chapter - Founded on March 11, 2018

Missouri

VAREP St Louis Chapter - Founded on March 10, 2017

Nevada

VAREP Las Vegas Chapter - Founded on August 30, 2013 VAREP Northern Nevada Chapter - Founded on March 4, 2015

Oklahoma

VAREP River Valley Chapter - Founded on January 1, 2018

Oregon

VAREP Central Oregon Chapter - Founded on February 12, 2019

Texas

VAREP Austin Chapter - Founded on July 2017 VAREP DFW Chapter - Founded on December, 2015 VAREP El Paso Chapter - Founded on April 6, 2017 VAREP Houston Chapter - Founded on March 30, 2015 VAREP San Antonio Chapter - Founded on December 10, 2013 VAREP New Braunfels Chapter - Founded on August 8, 2018

Virginia

VAREP Treasure Valley Chapter - Founded on May 17, 2018

VAREP Hampton Roads Chapter - Founded on September 5, 2018 VAREP Northern Virginia Chapter - Founded on May 30, 2018

Illinois

Washington

VAREP Chicago Chapter - Founded on June 21, 2016 6

Iowa

VAREP Tacoma South Sound Chapter - Founded on December 15, 2014

Washington D.C.

VAREP D.C. Metropolitan Area Chapter - Founded on June 11, 2014


25 CHAPTERS IN FORMATION Alaska

VAREP Alaska Chapter - Coming 2020

Arizona

Hawaii

VAREP Big Island Chapter - Coming 2019 VAREP Maui Chapter - Coming 2019

Pennsylvania VAREP Philadelphia Chapter - Coming 2019 VAREP Pittsburgh Chapter - Coming 2019

VAREP Chandler Chapter - Coming 2020 VAREP Prescott Chapter - Coming 2019

Kansas

VAREP Wichita - Coming 2020

California

South Carolina

Maryland

VAREP Florence Chapter - Coming 2019

VAREP Silicon Valley Chapter - Coming 2019 VAREP Modesto Chapter - Coming 2019 VAREP Oceanside Chapter - Coming 2019 VAREP San Gabriel Chapter - Coming 2019

Colorado

VAREP Colorado Springs Chapter - Coming 2019

Florida

VAREP Pensacola Chapter - Coming 2019

Georgia

VAREP Augusta Chapter - Coming 2019

VAREP Southern Maryland - Coming 2019

Massachusetts

VAREP Boston Chapter - Coming 2020

Michigan

VAREP Detroit Chapter - Coming 2019

New Jersey

VAREP New Jersey Chapter - Coming 2019

North Carolina

VAREP Wilmington Chapter - Coming 2019

Tennessee VAREP Nashville Chapter - Coming 2019

Washington VAREP Vancouver Chapter - Coming 2019 VAREP Bremerton Chapter - Coming 2019 VAREP Seattle Chapter - Coming 2019

Wisconsin VAREP Milwaukee Chapter - Coming 2020

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A Word from the

Association Director Carla Lemon DEAR VAREP CHAPTERS AND MEMBERS:

A

s the VAREP Association Director, it is an honor to help chapters develop and grow. The regular interaction provides me opportunities to share their failing forward examples and how they rebound from their challenges with each event. I asked Rachel Frangos, VAREP Chicago Chapter President, to share her experience with the chapter’s first Veteran’s Housing Summit (VHS). Below is a heartfelt and honest briefing of the event.

8

VAREP Chicago’s First VHS Experience Like many chapters, Chicago has its unique challenges. We don’t have the power of 8 just yet, and our membership numbers are not where we’d like them to be. Some days it can feel discouraging and disappointing to work so hard and not always see the results that we want to see. I found myself falling into that track of mind the closer we got to our first Veteran Housing Summit. As a board, we were anxious and unsure that our sponsors would feel the value, that the veterans wouldn’t attend, and that we’d be able to deliver the information at the high level we had set for ourselves. Literally up until the day of the actual VHS, all 5 of us had doubts and were already in the “damage control” mindset where our sponsorships were concerned. We ended up having such an unexpectedly successful VHS that I felt so foolish for ever doubting that our board could pull this off. That day, I learned two important lessons. One: our job is to deliver the resources, education and support to the veteran and military community, no matter the


attendance numbers, and two: your attitude towards an event is 90% of the battle, the rest will fall into place if you’ve prepared and followed the National plan. Going into the VHS, we were concerned that our attendance numbers would be too low and that our sponsors would feel that their time and money were not worth it. After talking with Carla about my worries on the matter, I worked hard to adjust my attitude from being apologetic to sponsors to being firm in our ask and confident in our programming. That truly made all the difference. When our sponsors arrived, I was ready to offer the best program we could no matter the attendance number. We greeted each sponsor with thanks and the order of the day, and encouraged them to be active participants. We had 10 veterans arrive, which at the start seemed discouraging but each veteran was so engaged with our programing. We had so many questions, many that we were able to have our sponsors jump in and answer with us which gave huge value to them.

“Your attitude towards an event is 90% of the battle.”

As each veteran was leaving, they made a point to find me or one of my board members to thank us for not only the programming, but also the resources of our sponsors. Every single veteran attendee told us that no one had ever taken the time to

explain the home buying process to them, their VA home loan benefit and the credit repair options available to them. Our board and sponsors quickly realized that our presence there, the information we were providing and the support for the community we were offering was something that this group of veterans sorely needed and have not been given. In fact, one of the veterans is very engaged with several other veteran organizations and is currently working on getting us introduced as a nonprofit housing resource to those groups. It can be stressful and overwhelming to provide the level of service and programming that we at VAREP hold ourselves to, but I can say with sincerity that whether it’s one veteran or 100, if you lead with our mission first, if you follow the programming, if you stay true to our cause, you will be making a difference! Thank you to Rachel and the Chicago board for being part of the VAREP Family! Sincerely,

Carla Lemon 9


VA loans skyrocket in popularity for first-time homebuyers VA loans for first-time home buying servicemembers far more prevalent than in 2006

Servicemembers are far more likely to opt for

servicemembers was part of a larger shift

a Department of Veterans Affairs mortgage

away from conventional to government-

than any other type of loan when buying

guaranteed mortgages between 2006 and

their first home, a new report from the

2009 for both servicemembers and non-

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau shows.

servicemembers,” the CFPB noted in its report.

The CFPB report, the first of its kind, looks

According to the CFPB, conventional

at mortgages for first-time home buying

mortgages made up approximately 60%

servicemembers, shows that in 2007,

of all loans among first-time home buying

servicemembers buying their first home used

servicemembers in 2006 and 2007, but this

VA loans approximately 30% of the time. By

share fell all the way to 13% by 2016.

2016, that figure had risen to 78%, meaning more than three out of four servicemembers

As for why the shift has taken place, the

bought their first home using a VA loan.

CFPB said that the features of the VA loan, namely “allowing a purchase with no down

10

Conversely, with servicemembers increasingly

payment and without mortgage insurance

preferring VA loans, their share of

and providing stronger loan-servicing

conventional mortgages fell precipitously (as

protections than many other mortgages,”

seen in the graph on the next page).

make the loan far more attractive than other

“The greater share of VA loans among

options among first-time buyers.


Beyond the frequency at which

As the CFPB notes, among non-prime

servicemembers are buying their first houses

borrowers, VA loan delinquency rates

with a VA loan, the median loan amount on

for servicemembers peaked in 2007 at

those loans is also rising.

approximately 7% before falling to just over 3% in 2016.

According to the CFPB report, the median servicemember first-time homebuyer VA loan

Delinquency rates for prime borrowers using

amount increased in nominal dollars from

VA loans also fell from 2006 through 2016

$156,000 in 2006 to $212,000 in 2016,

as the market improved.

which closely tracks with the median value of conventional home loans taken out by nonservicemembers during that same time. Additionally, early delinquency rates (the share of loans 60 days or more delinquent within one year of origination) have fallen for both prime and non-prime first-time homebuyers using VA loans. 11


The American Dream for All

By: Connie Der Torossian, HUD Housing Counseling Program Manager

USA Homeownership Foundation Housing Counseling Department has been super busy this year, and has already counseled and educated 416 individuals on credit improvement, financial fitness, VA Loans, the Home Buying process and Foreclosure Prevention. Last year, we were able to assist a total of 975 clients and this year we are on track to surpass that number. One successful client is Adam Siler, who outreached to us in August 2017 for help improving his Credit and helping him prepare to become a home owner. Thomas Griffin, our HUD Housing Counselor, reviewed Adam’s credit with him and provided him an assessment and action plan. Adam’s credit score was in the low 400’s and he was ready to give up any hope for being a homeowner in the coming years. Thomas created a counseling plan with action items and deadlines and counseled him that everything would start once he accepted he needed to change his behavior with money starting immediately. Adam’s wife joined in the counseling process and they both agreed to follow Thomas’ action plan was agreed to and although it seems unlikely to turn around the many years of poor money management, the prospect of seeing the light at the end of the tunnel began to happen. Adam and his wife followed their counselor’s advice of creating and sticking to their monthly budget, tracking expenses and learning the difference between wants and needs when it came to spending money. They paid their monthly obligations on time, negotiated with their collection accounts and got their credit back on track. The counseling 12

has given them the hope to realizing his dream of homeownership for his family. Adam and his wife are now debt free as of March 2019 and his credit score went from the low 400 to the 600s. Adam and his wife are now saving for their first home and are well on their way to make that dream a reality in 2019. Housing Counseling works and we are so excited to help our clients make their dream of homeownership come true. In other news, we received a generous grant from Wells Fargo National Housing Foundation to support the Housing Counseling Department and its efforts to implement a national 10 city Veteran Housing Summit effort to enhance our efforts to educate Veterans and Active Military on their VA Loan benefit, credit and homeownership. So far, we’ve completed 3 of the 10 events and they have been a huge success. Thomas Griffin our HUD Housing Counselor recently passed his HUD Certification test, a recent requirement initiated by US Department of HUD to elevate the level of housing counselors. Congratulations Thomas and keep up the great work! We’ve also added a new staff member, Monique Brenklin, as our new Program Coordinator, a big Welcome to Monique! If you have clients who need help with credit, budgeting, homeownership or foreclosure prevention, please contact the Housing Counseling department at www.VetHomeOwnership.com or by calling 888-273-7267.


HUD COUNSELING SUCCESS STORIES Lydia Mawhinney’s story:

Sash Matten’s story:

Lydia was referred to VAREP Counseling Department because she was facing a foreclosure date in 2 weeks. It is unlikely the servicer will suspend the sale of a property being that close. Thomas was able to speak with the servicers and promptly had Lydia submit a loan modification packet. She was denied, however was not given a reason for the denial. Her file was escalated to the servicers consumers department. Lydia was being shuffled back and forth during this process and her time line was running out with another foreclosure sale date in 3 weeks. A quick decision to file bankruptcy stopped the foreclosure sale and permitted VAREP more time to assist her in getting a loan modification. Her file was sent to CFPB and Thomas was successful in getting her into a trial period for the loan modification. Lydia has completed the trial period and is current on her mortgage. Thomas is following up with new Action Plan & Budget Counseling to prevent future financial problems.

Sash fell behind with mortgage payment due to deployment.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW VIDEO

The servicer would not do a loan modification and told the client they would have to short sale the property. Sash contacted VAREP Counseling Department for assistance. Once Thomas spoke with the servicer, he asked them if they were aware of SCRA which prohibits them from foreclosure and that Sash did qualify for a forbearance due to being deployed. Representative did not want to grant the military forbearance, so a claim was escalated to the President of the company office. The V.P. contacted Thomas directly and reviewed the information submitted regarding client delinquency. Sash received a 6 months forbearance which bought the mortgage current and provided 2 additional months of no payment which helped him get up to date with other bills that were in arrears. Sash is back from deployment and making mortgage payment with no issues.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW VIDEO

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THE PATH TO SUSTAINABLE HOMEOWNERSHIP VAREP’s Housing Counseling Department is a HUD Approved Housing Counseling Agency providing home buying, credit, budget, post purchase and foreclosure prevention counseling services to Veterans, Active Military and the community nationwide. Over the past year, from January to December 2018, we provided the following housing counseling services:

2018 COUNSELING & OUTREACH STATISTICS

416

306 84 222

GROUP WORKSHOP PARTICIPANTS FROM VHS CHAPTER EVENTS

INQUIRIES FOR SERVICES

CLIENTS COUNSELED

1 ON 1 HOUSING COUNSELING CLIENTS

TYPES OF COUNSELING PROVIDED

124 27

PRE-PURCHASE HOMEOWNERSHIP

14

POST PURCHASE

29

FORECLOSURE PREVENTION

16

FINANCIAL HOMEOWNERSHIP SUSTAINABILITY COUNSELING

26

CREDIT COUNSELING

VISIT W W W.VE THOMEOW NERSHIP.COM OR CALL : 8 8 8. 27 3.72 6 7


5,500 LMI HOUSING INQUIRIES INTERNET, TELEPHONE & COMMUNITY EVENTS

1,500 LMI FAMILIES RECEIVED PRE-PURCHASE, CREDIT & HOUSING COUNSELING

850 VETERAN FAMILIES SUCCESSFULLY PLACED IN HOMES THROUGH OUR PROGRAMS

350 VETERANS WERE REFERRED TO HUD VASH PROGRAM

600 VETERANS ENGAGED IN CREDIT COUNSELING TO IMPROVE FINANCIAL READINESS

3,100 VETERANS & SERVICEMEMBERS

* Statistics from 2014-2018

EDUCATED ON VA HOME LOAN BENEFIT, IMPORTANCE OF GOOD CREDIT & HOME BUYING PROCESS THROUGH COUNSELING & OUTREACH EVENTS

VISIT W W W.VE THOMEOW NERSHIP.COM OR CALL : 8 8 8. 27 3.72 6 7

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LEGISLATIVE CORNER “To maintain the momentum from the Policy Conference, I have appointed G-II Varrato, AZ State Director; Yeimalis Acevedo-Rasmussen, National Board of Director; William Process, Former Northern Nevada Chapter President; Gary Johnson, Former VAREP Sacramento Chapter President; Robbie Grossman, VAREP Twin Cities Vice-President; and Jeff Wilson, to form VAREP’s National Legislative Committee (NLC). The NLC’s task is to do the background and heavy-lifting work necessary to move our mission and the bill forward.” - Son Nguyen, VAREP Founder & President

G-II Varrato II U.S. Air Force Arizona State Director Legislative Committee Chairman

16

Yeimalis Acevedo-Rasmussen Patriot National Board of Director Legislative Committee

William Process U.S. Navy Legislative Committee

Gary Johnson

Robbie Grossman

Jeff Wilson

U.S. Air Force U.S. Coast Guard Legislative Committee

Patriot Legislative Committee

U.S. Navy Legislative Committee


VAREP’S NOTABLE FOOTPRINTS ON CAPITOL HILL Over the past 6 years, VAREP has successfully established a very notable footprint presence on Capitol Hill. Our first major accomplishment was to successfully change the Uniform Residential Loan Application (URLA aka FNMA 1003) so that now the URLA prompts the loan officer to ask the loan applicant are you, “…Currently serving on active duty…”, are you “…Currently retired, discharged, or separated from service…, and are you a, “…Surviving spouse…?” The new URLA is required to be used for all loans as of July 2019. In mid-March 2019, Son Nguyen, Dustin Luce, Robbie Grossman and G2 Varrato traveled to DC to meet with members of congress and their staff to speak about several items of importance. The topics covered included fixes and corrections to H.R.299 Blue Water Vietnam Navy, HMDA (Home Mortgage Disclosure Act), reconfiguring the former H.R.2777, legislation that will center on financial literacy concerns of our military family and Fair Housing Improvements Act I.E. Veteran Discrimination Protection. Meeting with Congressman Takano’s office we discussed the need to ensure that the VA loan, which is the proposed financial vehicle to fund H.R.299 Blue Water Vietnam Navy Bill, does not include any elements that would compromise either the Funding Fee Waiver for all veterans to include, this with less than 100% VA Rated Service Connected disabilities and to insure that the ‘remainder entitlement’ element of the VA loan remains untouched. VAREP was given a commitment that we would have an opportunity to review any legislation that is created and have an opportunity to weigh in and/or testify to congress on the subject. On a side note, in late January a federal court ruled that the Department of Veterans Affairs cannot deny disability benefits to thousands of Vietnam veterans who claim exposure to cancer-causing chemical defoliants simply because those vets served in the waters off the country’s coastline, and not inland. That is GREAT news because this court ruling will dramatically impact how congress decides to implement a funding mechanism to pay for H.R.299. We’ll keep you posted as plans to fund Blue Water begin to emerge and for certain, VAREP will be right in the middle of efforts to protect the VA Loan. Son & Dustin met with upper management at CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau) to discuss the Bureaus upcoming expectation to issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in Spring 2019 to address some or all of the issues related to these HM DA projects and the need to add veteran status to the information financial institutions are required to collect and report under HMDA. Because VAREP’s successful efforts to revise the URLA (Universal Residential Loan Application) AKA FNMA form 1003, Son & Dustin were able make a successful case that this new mortgage document will be a huge assist in data collection, thus help

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LEGISLATIVE CORNER the veteran community to make the turn toward a more profound use of the VA loan, vs. the current veteran community usage that hovers just under 10% of over 24 million servicemembers. VAREP will be right in the middle of these efforts with the assistance of several members of congress, to include, Senator Sinema, Senator McSally, Congressman Takano, Senator Warren, Congresswoman Waters and many more. In just 5 short years, VAREP has made a significant impression on Capitol Hill and an even bigger foot print. Job well done to ALL of the VAREP Chapters. G2 met with Congressman Veasey’s office and Senator Sinema’s office to discuss plans to rebuild H.R.2777. The upcoming legislation will end up with a new bill number, as yet to be created. The new efforts will center on the Informed Consumer Choice Disclosure portion of the former bill. Recall that current law only requires a loan officer to disclose, in writing, the differences between a conventional loan and FHA loan. There are no statutory requirements to include a similar VA loan disclosure. The changes proposed by VAREP to the law would include a mandatory 3rd disclosure, that of the VA loan, in a side by side comparison. Additionally, the new version of this piece of legislation will include a deeper dive into the financial literacy aspect of the military’s ongoing education during active duty and to be included as they transmission from active duty into civilian life. VAREP is in close communication with Congressman Grijalva’s staff who is assisting VAREP by sending letters to both CFPB and FHFA on both points. More to come on this at the DC Policy Conference. And… finally, VAREP has been very involved and intimately engaged in the re-introduction of the Fair Housing Improvements Act I.E. Veteran Discrimination Protection mission. The new bill will be introduced in the Senate by the end of April 2019. VAREP members will have an actual copy of this piece of legislation in their June 2019 DC Policy Conference. This subject is one of the four Policy Points in this year’s DC efforts. VAREP continues to lead the way in home ownership advocacy, community outreach, veteran job creation and affordable housing for our military family through the professional membership of all industry professionals who have made a commitment to our military family. G-II Varrato II is the VAREP Arizona State Director, VAREP National Legislative Committee Chair and a Diversity Committee Member at NAR.

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JUNE 16-18, 2019 · WASHINGTON D.C.

The conference is filled with educational sessions and town halls to educate attendees on important housing policy, lending initiatives, and economic development affecting the military and veteran communities.

HYATT REGENCY WASHINGTON ON CAPITOL HILL 400 New Jersey Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001

SEE YOU IN WASHINGTON D.C.! varep.n e t /p o lic yc onferen c e

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SAV ET HE DAT E

The 2019 VAREP National Convention will educate, develop, and empower current and future leaders within the VAREP organization. The National Convention equips VAREP leaders with the necessary tools to serve the military and veteran housing needs.

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SEE YOU IN ORLANDO! varep.n et /convention


FACES IN THE CROWD “Faces in the Crowd” is a handful of responses to an intriguing question... VAREP Members share their stories of all things VAREP related!

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WHAT IS UNIQUE ABOUT VAREP? VAREP - Broward, FL Chapter VAREP teaches realtors and real estate professionals to be great in their field for veterans.

VAREP - San Antonio, TX Chapter VAREP is the only organization of which I’m aware that actively advocates for veterans throughout the year using it’s membership to get things done rather than doing mail out marketing campaigns for contributions.

VAREP - Tacoma, WA Chapter It’s ability to provide specific housing information and resources for Veterans, help for struggling Veterans including suicide prevention, and a lobbying voice for a class of people who otherwise are overlooked at both the State and Federal level.

VAREP - Annapolis, MD Chapter The level of care and commitment from VAREP leadership that trickles down to local chapter board members.

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VAREP - Temecula, CA Chapter The mission is to set veterans up for success vs. greeting them on the other end of tragedy. In addition to that, the national presence and advocacy on a political level is unique as well.

VAREP - Treasure Valley, ID Chapter The structure - I LOVE IT! VAREP makes it easy to be successful. Love the educational opportunities and networking. I Also love the ability to impact lives of our military vets.

VAREP - Fresno,CA Chapter The make up of the board members is I believe, the most unique feature of VAREP. The fact that the culture behind the board members whether they are Veterans or Patriots they are already intimate with the culture of the individuals that they are reaching out to help.

VAREP - Jacksonville, FL Chapter Its a way for multiple realtors/lenders etc. to join together for a purpose of giving back to all the veterans.

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WHY DO YOU GIVE YOUR MONEY, TIME, OR ENERGY TO VAREP AND IT’S MISSION? VAREP - Northern Virginia Chapter I believe that the American Dream is still viable and Military have a special need that needs to be met. Homelessness is a national disgrace for veterans and media seems to put illegals before our Veterans.

VAREP - Honolulu, HI Chapter Active military and veterans are still unaware of their VA benefits and are being steered from using their VA Loan. I believe Lenders should be held accountable. I give my time, energy to this org because no one educated me on my benefits and I want to do all I can to help every service member possible.

VAREP - Tacoma, WA Chapter Because without VAREP, there is not another organization as forthcoming with information in support of veterans. And it’s the only organization that I know of capable of giving mortgage free homes!

VAREP - Phoenix, AZ Chapter I believe in the mission and the people that we have helped. I’ve be very fortunate to meet like minded people and have been able to create business relationships with. Experience fantastic conferences, hear amazing presenters and advocating on Capitol Hill.

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VAREP - Prescott, AZ Chapter As a 20 year Veteran, it is important to me to give back to my fellow comrades in arms, and to help them feel respected and supported.

VAREP - Temecula, CA Chapter I’m a Navy vet and know that I had zero knowledge of my housing benefits exiting the service. I want to ensure my shipmates and other veterans don’t miss out on any opportunity they have earned.

VAREP - Treasure Valley, ID Chapter Vets need people around them that just do the right thing, no matter what. This organization promotes that selfless, heart of a teacher type of mentality. Our vets give so much, they need support that is just as selfless.

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WHAT WOULD GO UNDONE IF VAREP CLOSED TOMORROW? VAREP - DFW, TX Chapter A champion/voice of the veteran and service member in relation to delivering and understanding benefits which accompany veteran status.

VAREP - San Antonio, TX Chapter First of all, I would be disappointed. Then I’m reasonably sure that the voice of veterans would be weakened and the information on available resources veterans are now getting informed about would go away because that’s not the focus of other organizations.

VAREP - Orlando, FL Chapter Oh my... This is a huge “pipeline” to all veterans by reaching out to the storm communities. If this shuts down a huge percentage of veterans could miss the window of being educated and awarded mortgage free homes

VAREP - Temecula, CA Chapter The never ending push to make sure that Veterans are educated on their benefits, and to change legislation to ensure they see those benefits.

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VAREP - Miami, FL Chapter More veterans will remain homeless, even more veterans will not completely understand how to use their VA loan and realtors will go on and push veterans from using their benefits.

VAREP - San Bernardino, CA Chapter I think if this were to happen, we would hurt a lot of Veterans in the future as they would continue to be discouraged from using their VA benefits. No more education or advocacy.

VAREP - Treasure Valley, ID Chapter Because of VAREP’s National and State organization structure. VAREP fulfills many vital functions with in the Veteran Help Environment. One of the many vital functions is the Congressional presence that influences legislation that is critical to veterans and active duty military populations. VAREP provides awareness of essential veteran needs for housing and education, the level of audience within real estate and business community that VAREP touches provides exposure and awareness to the veteran need for education, veteran homelessness, financial literacy than only VAREP can provide.

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“The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive veterans of early wars were treated and appreciated by our nation.” - George Washington

VETERANS ASSOCIATION OF REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONALS info@VAREP.net 28

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