Levin, Pappas Press VA Over Return of Erroneous Loan Fees Charged To Vets
Freshmen Get It Done Series

July 11, 2019 by Elin Johnson

In our new series, Freshmen Get it Done, The Well News will be highlighting legislative accomplishments by freshman Members of Congress from both parties.

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Representatives Mike Levin, D-Calif., and Chris Pappas, D-N.H., are pressing Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie to reveal the agency’s plan to return more than $286 million in home loan fees erroneously charged to exempted veterans.

In a report released in June, the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General said the home loan fees were incorrectly applied to about 72,900 veterans who participated in the VA Home Loan Program.

In a letter to the secretary, Levin and Pappas ask to be apprised of the procedures and policies that will be adopted to prevent such charges from happening again and the department’s plan to repay the money.

According to the letter, the Office of the Inspector General established that the Veterans Benefits Administration’s Loan Guaranty Service had been aware of the possibility of the problem since October 2014. Why nothing was done five years ago was not uncovered.

“It is totally unacceptable that tens of thousands of our nation’s heroes were charged enormous sums of money that they didn’t owe because of negligence at the VA,” Representative Levin said. “The men and women who have served our country deserve better, and the VA must correct this situation immediately.”

Levin is the chair of the House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity; Pappas serves as the Chair of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.

“It is extremely alarming that the VA did not have adequate safeguards in place to ensure our veterans receive their earned benefits, leading to more than $280 million in improper payments,” Representative Pappas said. “We look forward to hearing from the VA on how they plan to remedy this immediately so veterans do not continue to face undue financial burdens.“

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