Until recently, military veterans were not fully eligible for their earned Veterans Affairs home purchasing benefit, but a ruling from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has cleared a path for veterans in Michigan to have full access to affordable financing on all types of homes. 

The ruling is an outcome of strong efforts on behalf of military veterans by s U.S. Rep.Jack Bergman, R-Michigan, and the Home Builders Association of Michigan (HBAM).

“We applaud the VA for their willingness to take a closer look at our Michigan marketplace and modify their financing guidelines for single-family homes that are built in site-condo developments,” said Lynne Pratt, HBAM president and Auburn Hills homebuilder. “We are also thankful to Congressman Bergman for interceding and helping our state’s veterans.”

As a veteran himself, Bergman said he understands the challenges veterans face while trying to navigate the system.

“This issue is about fairness and equity. Veterans have made immense sacrifices in service to our country and our freedom,” he said. “They’ve earned the right to use their veterans’ benefits to pursue the dream of home ownership. Veterans in Michigan were being denied access to a tool that, for many, is the only way to make their dream a reality. I’m proud of the work that has been done to finally correct this roadblock for Michigan veterans.”

Several factors have stymied the efforts of Michigan military veterans to get approved for financing – many have lost out to other bidders because sellers don’t want to wait for VA approvals when others are ready to purchase with conventional financing or cash.

In early 2017, state Rep. Jason Wentworth, R-Clare, a veteran himself, asked HBAM about the challenges he faced in getting a VA loan approved. That triggers HBAM’s inquiry and Chemical Bank, the state’s largest Michigan-based bank, quickly stepped up to provide case studies to help petition the VA.

“This change would have not happened without Chemical Bank’s commitment to veterans,” noted Robert Filka, HBAM CEO. “At every point of our dialogue with the VA, they were there to help illustrate the unfair circumstances veterans were facing. I can’t say enough about their team and the work that they’ve done helping our state’s veterans.”


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