Purple Heart recipients could save thousands in home loan fees after the passage of a law to benefit veterans exposed to Agent Orange.
Tucked away in the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act passed by Congress and signed into law in June, is language that makes Purple Heart recipients exempt from paying the funding fee the Department of Veterans Affairs charges on its guaranteed home loans.
The funding fee can reach as high as 2.4 percent of the total loan value for first-time buyers — thousands of dollars, depending on the cost of the home.
Disabled veterans already have been exempt from the fee, though as Connecting Vets previously reported, VA has wrongly charged thousands of them fees and many have yet to see their refunds.
But under the Blue Water Act, beginning Jan. 1, 2020, Purple Heart recipients are added to the list of exempt veterans.
Most of that law deals with its namesake — expanding VA disability benefits to the veterans who served in ships off the coast of Vietnam and were exposed to Agent Orange but have so far been denied the same benefits ground troops qualify for for the same exposure.
The new law also includes a directive to VA to use the money collected by the funding fee from non-disabled or Purple Heart vets to pay for the Blue Water benefits. The fees were previously used to cover VA home loan administrative costs.
To qualify to have your home loan fee waived, you have to provide proof of your Purple Heart to both the VA and the lender before the closing date of the loan, according to the law.