A WORD FROM THE ASSOCIATION DIRECTOR PAGE 8
PREDATORY LENDING PAGE 12
WORKING WITH HOUSING COUNSELING PAGE 13
RECENT VAREP HOME DONATIONS PAGE 20
JUNE 14 - 16, 2020 WASHINGTON D.C. GRAND HYATT WASHINGTON
VAREP NATIONAL NEWS
A Letter From Our President
ROGER THAT NOVEMBER 2019
Dear VAREP Members, I present you “RT – ROGER THAT – November
2019” E-Zine Newsletter. This is the best way for VAREP National to communicate happenings
PUBLISHER USA Homeownership, Inc. DBA Veterans Association of Real Estate Professionals
within our organization to our membership.
VAREP experienced tremendous growth and
SENIOR DESIGNER Jesus Lopez
recognition in 2019 for the important work that we do. Each of you should be proud and stand tall knowing that your passion to empower veterans to realize the American Dream of homeownership has enabled VAREP
GRAPHIC DESIGNER Nick Preston SENIOR WEB DEVELOPER Francisco Labias
to be recognized by key leaders in the real
WEB DEVELOPER Freddie Lin
estate, financial, and government sectors as the
CO NTAC T VAREP
authority on, and voice of, military and veteran
HEADQUARTERS 951·444·7363 info@VAREP.net 495 E. Rincon St., Suite 110 Corona, CA 92879
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
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
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 .6 million spent on home rehabilitation for mortgage-free donations and veteran first resale
He is frequently called upon as a subject-matter expert
by government agencies, the real estate industry, the lending industry, and real estate trade organizations to
HOW TO EXPLAIN WHO WE ARE AND WHAT WE DO
consult on a variety of veteran housing issues.
I frequently receive phone calls from our membership on how to explain VAREP as an
Mr. Nguyen has more than 19 years’ experience in real
organization. Depending on your audience, you may want to adapt the points listed below to
estate, public speaking, supplier diversity, curriculum development, and non-profit management. His record
introduce VAREP. •
demonstrates innovation and leadership at the highest
VAREP is a 501.c.3 nonprofit organization that was founded to directly educate the 1.4-plus million active military and 22-plus million veterans on sustainable homeownership, financialliteracy 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.
VAREP Comparison to Other Veteran Nonprofits The comparison chart to the right shows that we fill a much needed gap in financial-literacy and
level. 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, one veteran at a time. Mr. Nguyen entered the Navy in 1996 and served as a Radioman on the USS Vincennes (GC-49) and USS
housing components that the other veteran service organizations simply do not offer…In other
Constellation (CV-64). A proud service-connected
words: We complement them and do not compete with them.
disabled veteran, Mr. Nguyen holds a bachelor’s degree
Our organization has only scratched the surface of creating awareness and having people rethink
in Public Relations from of the University of Florida
how to better serve underserved military and veteran housing needs. To a great 2019...Cheers!
and a Master’s in Organizational Management. He currently resides in Corona, CA, with his wife, son, and Labrador.
Son Nguyen VAREP Founder and President
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
Emergency Home Repair
Critical Baby Items
Home and Appliance Repair
Furniture and Household Items
Local Moving Assistance
Apartment Transitional Housing
Permanent Housing Placement
Employment Job Board
Rehabilitation with Recreational Therapy
Family Support Retreats
Information Technology Training Academy
Financial Literacy Education
VA Home Loan Program Education
Credit and Debt Management Education
Credit and Debt Management Counseling
Military and Veteran First Look Affordable Housing Purchase Program
Mortgage Free Donated Homes for Wounded Warrior and Spouses of Deceased Warriors
Live Community Housing, Financial Literacy, and Employment Fair Outreach Events
REALTOR, Housing Professional, and Lender Military and Veteran Certification Course
Military and Veteran Friendly Database
Advocate with a Written Policy Plan
X Military and Veteran Housing Lending Policy
Housing and Lending Policy Conference
Military and Veteran Financial Literacy, Housing, and Employment Resource Center
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.
NOVEMBER 2019 TA B LE O F CO N T E N T S
Deep Sea Therapy..........................................4 VAREP Chapter Map.....................................6 A Word from The Association Director...........8 Predatory Lending........................................12 Working With Housing Counseling...............13 Legislative Corner.......................................16 Recent VAREP Home Donations.................20 VAREP Faces in the Crowd............................................25
2020 NATIONAL EVENTS
VAREP 2020 POLICY CONFERENCE POLICY CONFERENCE
JUNE 14 - 16, 2020 WASHINGTON, DC GRAND HYATT WASHINGTON
REGISTER TODAY! HTTPS://VAREP.NET/POLICYCONFERENCE/
DEEP SEA THERAPY
By: Jessica Morel, Program Director
daily devotionals that provide an reflect. Thank you to the Idaho
Bahamas. Our grant recipient,
Treasure Valley Chapter for
Bruce, was able to attend Valkyrie
helping the SDP Campaign assist
Voyages for a weeklong voyage
Bruce with airfare, lodging and
that offers healing from a holistic
luggage costs so that he could
point of view. The program
attend this amazing retreat.
focuses on three pillars: Mind, Body, Soul. Bruce, along with other Veterans from around the country received over 20 hours of group and individualized counseling sessions.
and scuba diving. Each of these NATIONAL CONVENTION
to sea. A military Chaplain offers
Push flag made its way to Nassau,
experienced swimming, snorkeling
component for healing while out
opportunity for the Veterans to
OCTOBER 11 - 13, 2020 SAN ANTONIO, TX GRAND HYATT SAN ANTONIO
The retreat offers a spiritual
This summer, the Stop, Drop and
Additionally, the participants
Bruce and his fellow Veterans
activities have known positive effects for the body and an amazing way to show healthy alternatives to reduce stress.
To learn more about Deep Sea Valkyries visit www. deepseavalkyries.com
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 Professionalsâ€™ (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
To lower the 22 veteran lives lost each day
released a 59-page report outlining veter-
due to suicide by educating the public about
an suicide. The report states the numbers
veteran reintegration issues; connecting al-
of Veterans who die from suicide each day
ternative veteran therapy providers to those
has remained relatively stable over the
who need treatment; and provide the neces-
past 12 years (varying from 18 -22 per day).
sary 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 | firstname.lastname@example.org
w w w.S TOPDROPPUSH.org
VAREP CURRENTLY HAS
41 CHAPTERS LOCATED IN 21 STATES ACROSS THE UNITED STATES
ACTIVE CHAPTERS Arkansas
VAREP River Valley - Founded on September 18, 2018
VAREP Phoenix Chapter - Founded on September 3, 2013 VAREP Prescott Chapter - Founded on June 27, 2019 VAREP Tucson Chapter - Founded on January 28, 2015
VAREP Coachella Valley Chapter - Founded on August 4, 2016 VAREP East Bay Area Chapter - Founded on August 24, 2017 VAREP Fresno Chapter - Founded on January 30, 2019 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 Sacramento Chapter - Founded on June 4, 2013 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
VAREP Louisville Chapter - Founded on June 14, 2018
VAREP Annapolis Chapter - Founded on August 23, 2018
VAREP Twin Cities Chapter - Founded on March 11, 2018
VAREP St Louis Chapter - Founded on March 10, 2017
VAREP Las Vegas Chapter - Founded on August 30, 2013 VAREP Northern Nevada Chapter - Founded on March 4, 2015
VAREP River Valley Chapter - Founded on January 1, 2018
VAREP Central Oregon Chapter - Founded on February 12, 2019
VAREP Denver Chapter - Founded on August 14, 2014 VAREP Broward Chapter - Founded on July 15, 2015 VAREP Central Florida Chapter - Founded on April 14, 2015 VAREP Miami Chapter - Founded on July 13, 2015 VAREP Pinellas County Chapter - Founded on December 3, 2015 VAREP Treasure Coast Chapter - Founded on June 30, 2017
VAREP Atlanta Chapter - Founded on January 22, 2019
VAREP Honolulu Chapter - Founded on April 04, 2014
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 New Braunfels Chapter - Founded on August 8, 2018 VAREP San Antonio Chapter - Founded on December 10, 2013
VAREP Hampton Roads Chapter - Founded on September 5, 2018 VAREP Northern Virginia Chapter - Founded on May 30, 2018
VAREP Treasure Valley Chapter - Founded on May 17, 2018 VAREP Chicago Chapter - Founded on June 21, 2016
VAREP Des Moines - Founded on October 3, 2017
VAREP Tacoma South Sound Chapter - Founded on December 15, 2014
VAREP D.C. Metropolitan Area Chapter - Founded on June 11, 2014
21 CHAPTERS IN FORMATION California
VAREP Modesto Chapter - Coming 2020 VAREP Oceanside Chapter - Coming 2020 VAREP San Gabriel Chapter - Coming 2020 VAREP Solono County Chapter - Coming 2020
VAREP Denver Chapter - Coming 2020
Florida VAREP Jacksonville Chapter - Coming 2020 VAREP Pensacola Chapter - Coming 2020
VAREP Southern Maryland - Coming 2020
VAREP Boston Chapter - Coming 2020
VAREP Carson City Chapter - Coming 2020 VAREP Elko Chapter - Coming 2020
Washington VAREP Bremerton Chapter - Coming 2020 VAREP Vancouver Chapter - Coming 2020
VAREP Portland Chapter - Coming 2020
VAREP Montgomery County Chapter - Coming 2020 VAREP Philadelphia Chapter - Coming 2020 VAREP Pittsburgh Chapter - Coming 2020
VAREP Guam Chapter - Coming 2020
VAREP Nashville Chapter - Coming 2020
VAREP Augusta Chapter - Coming 2020
VAREP Puerto Rico Chapter - Coming 2020
A Word from the
Association Director Carla Lemon DEAR VAREP CHAPTERS AND MEMBERS: As the VAREP Association Director, I am given the opportunity to learn and see the power that fundraising has at their local level. Local yearly fundraising events bridge the gap between the Veteran based “Boots on the Ground” and “Community at Large” by sharing the mission at these events. The Treasure Valley chapter set a new standard with their Fundraiser earlier this year, raising the bar for chapter guest speakers and also created a friendly competition and challenge for any chapter to do better than they
LOUISVILLE’S STARS AND STRIPES GALA (YEAR TWO)
had done. The Louisville Chapter took the challenge and organized their
Our chapter formed in May 2018, shortly after
fundraiser on 9/11/2019.
formation we set out to plan and host a fundraiser gala. Our chapter was determined to find a date with significance, and we decided it should be September 11th due to the significance 9/11 holds on each of our hearts. Last year we planned an entire event from the ground up in approximately 75 days, the entire board was on deck to make it a success.
We were in a modest venue and we were
We had two news outlets cover the event &
able to capitalize on our personal relationships
lots of social media activity from attendees
with industry professionals in order to fill the
sharing their experience. Over a week later we
room with 120 (142?) Attendees. Most of the
were approached by folks wanting to talk to us
attendees knew, supported, and trusted in each
about furthering our relationship and making a
one of us the board, so they were willing to in
larger impact together, in our community.
turn support VAREP. At the time our chapter was still very new, and they didn’t know our mission or who we were yet.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE FIRST AND SECOND YEAR
Although our event was successful, we vowed
Our venue and speaker had a large impact
to learn and grow from that experience in
on the success of our event this year, they
order to work smarter not harder the next year.
both brought credibility to our chapter as well as sparked interest in the community. Being
When we began planning our 2019 gala,
at Churchill Downs made it easier to gain
we knew that we wanted to have a keynote
local support in the form of sponsorships and
speaker that would garner attention from
donations for the silent auction. Having medal
the entire community not just real estate
of honor recipient “Forrest Gump” made people
professionals. We also wanted to use this
intrigued and interested in attending.
opportunity to showcase our growth over the past year. We were able to book Sammy Lee Davis aka the real Forrest Gump and snag one of the most quintessential Kentucky venues,
NEW LESSONS LEARNED: While we had a gala planning committee
of five that worked their tails off and did a
The venue coupled with the speaker made
improve on going forward.
phenomenal job, we identified areas we can
a huge difference in our ability to secure sponsors and attendees. We were able to almost triple our attendance from the previous year, as well as pull in sponsors from outside the real estate industry. In addition to our huge growth in attendance, we were able to get tons of publicity.
A Word from the Association Director
Carla Lemon We applaud all the chapters in their fundraising efforts this year, and want to congratulate both the Treasure Valley and Louisville chapters for getting out of the “comfort zone” by “Go Big Setup & teardown: we failed to plan out who would handle each part of the set up and tear down process.
or Go Home” attitude. They both were able to work through their “growing pains” to push it to the next level of awareness in their community.
Event timeline & execution:
You ran the race track hard and crossed the finished
while our venue took the heavy lifting of
line with a new standard for the next challenger.
setting up majority of the room, our committee
Thank you to John Miller and Stephen DeMuth
had to work through some confusion and parts
for sharing their experience in writing, and a
of the event lacked organization.
special thanks to the entire Louisville Board and
Silent auction: the biggest take away is how we handle silent auction & payment. Going forward were looking into electrical based bidding/payment system.
volunteers for joining the race to the finish in helping Veterans. Sincerely,
Overall, we were blown away with the support of our community and all of the people we had the opportunity to meet that
evening. The event created an enormous
number of ambassadors for the chapter and provided us with a lot of positive publicity. We are humbled by everyone’s support and dedication to our veteran community and look forward to our third event next year.
It will take an innovated and focused effort from across the industry to enact real change and offer impactful solutions that make homeownership more attainable.
Working Together to Reduce Barriers and Raise Hope
We believe that borrowers need and deserve education, guidance and solutions to help prepare them for the opportunity to become a homeowner. Whether teaching
Freddie Mac recognizes the sacrifices military families
about the importance of credit, homebuyer responsibility,
make including constant moves, deployments and other
or providing resources to help borrowers stay in their
uncertainties that make navigating the economic waters
current homes in the face of financial adversity, Freddie
especially problematic. It’s important for servicemembers
Mac is a trusted partner. Just last year, nearly 200,000
and Veterans to have the information and the tools that
people received homebuyer education while more than
will help them achieve their financial goals and dreams,
320,000 consumers participated in financial literacy
including realizing the American dream of homeownership.
training through our on-the-ground Borrower Help Centers and Borrower Help Center Network. In addition,
Too often today, that dream is being tested. Affordability
we trained over 30,000 housing professionals and
presents a growing crisis across the country. For many
participated in over 350 outreach events to connect
potential homebuyers, – particularly when it comes to starter
with the housing ecosystem, share insights, train clients,
homes – rising home prices and wages that haven’t kept
partners, and communities, and offer information on
pace with housing costs, pose serious challenges. In addition
mortgage and resource options.
to these economic forces, a constant barrier persists: saving for a down payment.
We recently announced our new approach to affordable lending - All For HomeSM - because we believe that we
In fact, today’s renters say that affording a down payment
must all work together to help families realize their dream
is the biggest roadblock to homeownership, according
of homeownership. Through this effort, we will change
to a recent report by the Urban Institute. The report finds
the face of the affordable landscape by expanding
that more than two-thirds of consumers believe that having
opportunities and leveraging new tools and resources
enough money for a down payment will be difficult, further
to make home possible. We’ll help grow business
dissuading them from pursuing homeownership. Making
while strengthening communities with rich insights,
matters worse, many of these potential borrowers have a
education and innovative solutions. And we know that
misperception of how much they are required to put down.
with the collaboration, creativity and focus of the entire ecosystem, we can be successful in building the future of
Given the prevalence of misconceptions about down
payments, it’s critical that all members of the homebuying ecosystem work together to educate the next generation of
Together. All of Us. All For Home.
homebuyers and help them understand that making the leap to owning a home is within their reach. This is especially important for low to moderate income families, who often face additional barriers, including access to information, trusted advisors, and credit and financing solutions to help meet their unique needs.
Predator Lending has begun to reemerge in the Mortgage Industry once again. Being a HUD Housing Counselor, and hearing from homeowners facing foreclosure due to unavoidable situations after Crossing all T’s and Dotting all I’s. Predatory lending is a term typically used to describe unconscionable lending practices where a borrower is provided with an unfair loan. If there was unethical, deceptive, unfair, or fraudulent activity during your loan origination process, your lender may have engaged in predatory lending. Some common examples of predatory loans are negative amortization loans, adjustable rate mortgages, high interest mortgages, and balloon payment loans.
What Constitutes a Predatory Loan? Predatory lending encompasses several different types of abuses that loan originators may engage in. According to the OCC, the fundamental characteristic of predatory lending is “the aggressive marketing of credit to prospective borrowers who simply cannot afford the credit on the terms being offered.” The following are a few situations that may constitute predatory lending: • Packing of excess or hidden fees in the amount financed • Loan flipping (frequent refinancing that result in little or no economic benefit to the borrower but generate loan fees, prepayment penalties, and other fees for the lender) • Refinancing of special subsidized mortgages that results in the loss of loan terms beneficial to the borrower • Loan terms or structures (for example, negative amortization) that make it more difficult or impossible for the borrower to reduce or repay the indebtedness • Marketing inappropriate or excessively expensive products to borrowers who are older, are financially unsophisticated, or qualify for mainstream credit products and terms • Using balloon payments to conceal the true burden of financing and to force borrowers into costly refinancing transactions or foreclosures; and inadequate disclosure of true costs and risks. 12
There are also certain features associated with predatory loans, including: • Higher rates than the borrower qualifies for • Balloon payments in short-term transactions • An interest rate increase triggered when a borrower defaults on the loan • Prepayment penalties that are not limited to the early years of the loan • Financing points, fees, penalties, or other charges • Mandatory arbitration clauses. There is no bright line that a loan must cross to be considered predatory; an assessment must be made on a case by case basis.
What to Do if You know Someone That Has Become a Victim of Predatory Lending. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has funded housing counseling agencies throughout the country to provide free advice regarding foreclosure. If you think you may be a victim of predatory lending and are facing foreclosure, call toll-free (800) 569-4287 or visit the HUD website to find a housing counseling agency near you.
Our Housing Counseling Department is Here to Help You and Your Clients! USA Homeownership Foundation’s Housing Counseling Program is a no cost service open to Service Members and Veterans throughout the United States. Our HUD Housing Counseling Department is based out of VAREP’s Nation headquarters is in Corona but open to any Veteran, Service Member or Patriot living in the United States. Our Housing Counseling Program currently offers prepurchase, home buyer counseling, financial capability, credit and budget counseling, foreclosure prevention and post purchase counseling. If Veterans or Service Members need help accessing their VA Loan Benefits or Certificate of Eligibility, Thomas Griffin, our HUD Housing Counselor who is also a US Marine Veteran can assist them. We’ve successfully assisted over 500 clients this year alone with credit improvement, budgeting, homeownership and foreclosure prevention. Have a client whose credit needs work before buying a home, send them over to our Housing Counseling Department. Check out a few of our success stories on our website at:
GETTING HELP FOR YOUR CLIENTS IS AS EASY AS 1, 2, 3
1. Contact Contact our Housing Counseling Department by visiting our website at www.VetHomeOwnership.com and download the client intake forms.
2. Call Call our toll free number 888. 273.7267
3. Email Email your request to William Reninger, Housing Counseling Administrative Assistant, at email@example.com.
THE PATH TO SUSTAINABLE HOMEOWNERSHIP VAREPâ€™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
306 84 222
GROUP WORKSHOP PARTICIPANTS FROM VHS CHAPTER EVENTS
INQUIRIES FOR SERVICES
1 ON 1 HOUSING COUNSELING CLIENTS
TYPES OF COUNSELING PROVIDED
FINANCIAL HOMEOWNERSHIP SUSTAINABILITY 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
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
Yeimalis Acevedo-Rasmussen Patriot National Board of Director Legislative Committee
William Process U.S. Navy Legislative Committee
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 This NLC Briefing will preview the upcoming year’s legislative undertaking. The entire GAD (Government Affairs Directors) from all of the chapters have done a splendid job over the past year and now it’s time to move the goal post. Now it’s time to turn up the heat. Bi-monthly outreach to congress, at the local level, will be a ‘Must Git-RDone’ for/by ALL GADs. The evolution of the Government Affairs Director position has reached the point where the heavy lifting on the VAREP legislative agenda will and must be, done at the local level. This became extremely evident this past year. The fact that VAREP had several pieces of legislation move through congress and signed into law was a direct result of local office advocating, both in person and via eMail. The trips to the HILL simply codified all of the pre-legwork accomplished by the GADs. GREAT JOB folks!
First a huge shout out to Robbie Grossman a stand out GAD and NLC Co-Chair who is truly my right hand. Without Robbie’s commitment to helping manage the National GAD database and helping me put out messages and information to the Chapter GADs.
CONGRESSIONAL ASSIGNMENTS Congress was on vacation for the last part of July and the entire month of August, thus so no legislation progressed through committees.
Each of the GADs will, if not already, be assigned a number of House and Senate members to interact with. Most of them will be outside of your geographic sphere. You will be responsible for making personal contact with the staffer in each office who has the veteran’s agenda and/or the particular legislative discipline for the particular pieces of legislation that is the topic of discussion at the time of that interaction.
Your NLC POC (Point Of Contract) will reach out to you twice a month for an update. Making our face and voice known and when possible, visible, at the local level will add tremendous credibility when we’re on the HILL in June.
LEGISLATIVE CORNER FAIR HOUSING First up on the agenda for the 2019/2020 agenda is S.1986 - Fair Housing Improvement Act of 2019 and H.R.3516 Fair Housing Improvement Act of 2019. S.1986 has been advanced, the day of introduction by Senator Tim Kaine, to the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. There is only one co-sponsor at the moment, Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV). The senate is going to be the most challenging hill to climb in the 116th Congress. It is very important to remain cognizant that it is tremendously important to urge a bipartisan buy into this piece of legislation. Remember, PURPLE is the name of the game when speaking to your representatives. H.R.3516 has collected 11 co-sponsors. They are ALL Democrats; Rep. Adam Schiff, B. (D-CA-28), Rep. Raul Grijalva, M. (D-AZ-3), Rep. Jose Serrano, E. (D-NY-15), Rep. Ayanna Pressley, (D-MA-7), Rep. Debbie Dingell, (D-MI-12), Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, (D-AZ-2), Rep. Alan Lowenthal, S. (D-CA-47), Rep. Ed Case, (D-HI-1), Rep. Tom O’Halleran, (D-AZ-1), Rep. Earl Blumenauer, (D-OR-3) and Rep. Jimmy Gomez, (D-CA-34) ALL GADs mission is to bear down on their assigned representatives and press on them to sign on as sponsors to these bills.
Informed Consumer Choice Disclosure With the advent of the new URLA, which will be required to be used as of 1 February 2020, it is ever more critical that efforts to introduce necessary legislation that will improve the Informed Consumer Choices Disclosure statute be passed into law. Of course we all know of the upgrade to the URLA to include now, a veteran specific question on the first page of the URLA, “…Military Service - Did you (or your deceased spouse( ever serve, or are you currently serving, in the United States Armed Forces?…” This is the first time, in the ¾ of a century old VA loan product, that this question has ever been a required part of the residential mortgage loan application process. VAREP’s NLC provided Senator Kyrsten Sinema with VAREPs suggested updating language for U.S. Code › Title 12 › Chapter 13 › Subchapter II › § 1709 12 U.S. Code § 1709. Senator Sinema’s staff, in conjunction with the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs are working diligently to either introduce the language as a ‘stand-alone bill’ or find a bill where the revisions to Consumer Choices Disclosure language can be inserted. We will have this done by the end of 2019. You can take that to the bank!
Finally, HMDA (Home Mortgage Disclosure Act) Currently, the CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau( does not consider veterans as a geographic target under the â€œHome Mortgage Disclosure Act (HDMA( and Regulation Câ€?; thus, they do not collect data/monitor the veteran lending experience. This means they cannot provide an identification mechanism for any predatory lending practices and to provide reporting statistics on the mortgage market to paint a clearer picture of the veteran lending and homeownership experience.
CFPB opened HMDA for comment on 2 May 2019. The comment period closed on 2 July 2019. Late in June 2019, CFPB extended the comment period so that it will now close on 15 October 2019. VAREP will be advancing a comment to be entered into the records prior to 15 October 2019. The new URLA (FNMA Form 1003) marks the first time that specific information will be collected at the inception of the loan process. VAREP has asked Congress to endorse VAREPs suggestion to CFPB to include specific detailed data-points specific to the VA application and lending process.
VAREP will specifically suggest and encourage CFPB to expand the definition of data collection for VA loans. VAREP is convinced that, currently FFIEC (Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (does not prescribe adequate guidance on how to collect and report financial data regarding the VA Loan process. FIG (the Filing Instruction Guide) makes only one reference to VA-guaranteed loans. All other references to the data collection is lumped under the general term Ginnie Mae, which of course conflates both the VA and FHA loan into one single data-set. VAREP believes that both the VA and FHA data sets must have their own data collection algorithms.
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.
Sergeant Jennifer Sherrill Des Moines, IA Sept. 26, 2019
James Bassett Las Vegas, NV Nov. 5, 2019
SAV ET HE DAT E
S A N A N T O N I O , T X - O C T O B E R 11 - 13 , 2 0 2 0
The 2020 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.
SEE YOU IN SAN ANTONIO! varep.n et /convention
E! T A D E H T E V A S
JUNE 14-16, 2020 Â· 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.
GRAND HYATT WASHINGTON 1000 H St NW, Washington, DC 20001
SEE YOU IN WASHINGTON D.C.! 24
varep.n e t /p o lic yc onferen c e
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!
WHAT IS UNIQUE ABOUT VAREP? VAREP - St. Louis, MO Chapter We are a non-profit on a mission to help Veterans achieve home ownership.
VAREP - Orange County, CA Chapter Our vision is to help the Vetrans that have risked their lives to protect our freedom and help them get the best use of their benefits.
VAREP - Central Florida Chapter Their dedication in assisting veterans through homeownership, advocacy on veterans behalf in Washington and VAREPâ€™s commitment on educating realtors & veterans! VAREP is the voice for the veteran!
VAREP - Tucson, AZ Chapter They help Veterans understand how to prepare themselves for buying a home and using their VA benefits. They also help out Veterans that have fallen into hardships.
VAREP - Tacoma, WA Chapter Our goal is not focused on one thing....not only do we lobby for actual change with lending practices, but we get educated and bring it back to our communities, we raise funds for so many different reasons such as Stop Drop & Push, mortgage free homes donations and VAREP Cares.
VAREP - Northern, CA State Director We make a difference in helping our veterans with charitable donations, education , and advocacy for change to the VA home loan as well as Veteran home ownership.
VAREP - St. Louis, MO Chapter We are not just addressing the problem of homelessness and the lack of use of the VA guarantee loan program we are attacking the problem from both sides with education. We really do everything from every side of the problem plus what we can for other important issues/problems with our Vets.
WHY DO YOU GIVE YOUR MONEY, TIME, OR ENERGY TO VAREP AND IT’S MISSION? VAREP - Hampton Roads, VA Chapter I don’t want another veteran to be treated the way my father was when he returned home from Vietnam. They are all loved and appreciated at VAREP.
VAREP - Central FLorida Chapter “I believe and desire VAREP to become the standard in ALL that is Veteran based for housing, finance and education for the topic Real Estate. A beacon, a place a Military Veteran can get true fact answers and help.” I want this to come true! To be the subject matter experts in our field and areas!! VAREP is something I enjoy doing, it’s not work! They say do what you love doing and your not working. It has given me a drive to continue with what I do..Thank you VAREP!!!
VAREP - Temecula, CA Chapter Honestly, to prevent veteran suicide by promoting veteran success, health, and wellness. I think lack of mission and financial instability creates lack of hope, which leads to suicide.
VAREP - River Valley, AR Chapter Because everyone, especially those who have have raised their right hand and swore to defend our nation at the possible expense of their life, deserves to own their own home. Veterans and active duty military members are what have given us the right to own a home.
VAREP - Annapolis, MD Chapter It feels good to share all my years of real estate knowledge to help and protect the military community. They deserve to be protected.
VAREP - New Braunfels, TX Chapter I need to serve my veterans in the same way they so unselfishly served our country.
VAREP - Broward, FL Chapter I’ve always been involved in some type of community outreach. I strongly believe in having a well balance business balance and that includes “Giving Back” Why VAREP? It is the least I can do for Men and Women who put their lives at risk, leave their family behind, and sacrifice their future so that I can live my life.
WHAT WOULD GO UNDONE IF VAREP CLOSED TOMORROW? VAREP - Northern Virginia Chapter There would not be a collected voice on capitol hill advocating for veteran housing opportunities.
VAREP - Sacramento, CA Chapter If it closed tomorrow, I feel that VA Loans would lose a major, neutral advocate, leaving VA home buyers at the mercy of what they are being told by their lender (whether it be right or wrong, good or bad).
VAREP - Orange County, CA Chapter There would be no organization focusing on HomeOwnership sustainability. Most other organizations seem more interested in what the Vets/Active Duty can do for them and their companies and their personal success.
VAREP - River Valley, AR Chapter We would not be able to change lives in our community. that is what VAREP is all about. It would be very devastating to our communities if we changed.
VAREP - Tucson, AZ Chapter Training and educating of thousands of agents, lenders and Veterans. Breaking the VA loan myth, is definitely needed in the real estate community .
VAREP - Central Florida Chapter The Veterans Voice would not be heard on Capitol Hill. Realtors would continue to be uneducated on the benefits of a VA loan as well as many veterans!
VAREP - Chicago, IL Chapter I think education would be the biggest loss if VAREP closed tomorrow. The tools & training the board members are given are crucial to getting information to both the veteran consumers and the real estate professionals. The biggest thing we hear every lunch & learn is “how come I never heard this before?” And without VAREP, I think we’d see a huge hole in our industry.
“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
w w w . V A R E P. n e t
951- 444 -7363
RT - Roger That is our quarterly VAREP Newsletter. This is our best way for VAREP National to communicate happening within our organization...
Published on Nov 8, 2019
RT - Roger That is our quarterly VAREP Newsletter. This is our best way for VAREP National to communicate happening within our organization...