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• There is no evidence that Congress established a program that would substantially reduce veterans’ mortgage payments.
• Veterans are advised to be wary of offers to refinance VA home loans that promise the ability to skip a mortgage payment, offer extremely low interest rates or otherwise seem too good to be true.
• If you follow the links provided in the Facebook posts, LowerMyBills includes disclaimers indicating that they do not provide calculations for a “new house payment” as the post claims.
With Memorial Day just around the corner, social media posts targeting veterans and their loved ones are cropping up online.
"Congress gives veteran homeowners a generous mortgage relief program," claims one May 7 Facebook post. "You'll be happy when you see how much you could save."
Next, the post — which originated from a Facebook account called "Veterans Loans Online" — goes on to encourage people to "Select military branch to start calculating new house payment," before listing different branches and providing a separate link for each one. It also includes a video with a caption that says "Biden approves billions in mortgage financial assistance for struggling U.S. homeowners."
The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
There is no evidence that Congress established "a generous mortgage relief program" for veterans that would qualify those who served to significantly reduce their house payments.
The Facebook page responsible for the post is managed by LowerMyBills, according to Facebook’s page transparency information. It’s not the first time the company’s online promotion strategy has been called into question.
A quick look at old posts on the "Veterans Loans Online" page shows that Facebook users have called out their practices in the past.
The people behind the Facebook page did not respond to PolitiFact’s request for comment, and LowerMyBills’ website provides no contact information — for media or otherwise.
In January 2020, Lead Stories debunked an ad paid for by LowerMyBills (that was also shared on Facebook by the "Veterans Loans Online" page). Similar to the Facebook post we are examining, the ad claimed veterans could utilize "an ample mortgage relief program" established by Congress to "pay off a house rapidly." Lead Stories ultimately concluded it was "misleading" and a "fake ad."
When Lead Stories contacted LowerMyBills for comment, the company pointed to the "Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan Program," which is available through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The program was established more than 40 years ago as part of the Veterans’ Disability Compensation and Housing Benefits Amendments of 1980.
According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s Affordable Mortgage Lending Guide, the program "generally lowers the interest rate by refinancing an existing VA home loan. By obtaining a lower interest rate, the monthly mortgage payment should decrease."
On its website, LowerMyBills says the benefits of this refinance program include "very little paperwork" and "almost no" out-of-pocket costs. The website doesn’t mention significant or "generous" savings for homeowners.
Organizations such as the VA, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, AARP and MilitaryBenefits.info warn veterans against offers to refinance VA loans, particularly when terms seem too good to be true.
A few red flags to watch out for include: offers to skip a mortgage payment or two (VA-approved loan lenders are prohibited from offering this), extremely low interest rate offers or promises that there will be no wait time and no out-of-pocket costs.
In responses to complaints on the Better Business Bureau’s page for LowerMyBills, the company repeatedly explains that it is an "online financial services marketing platform" that "operates an online lead generation service whereby consumers interested in comparing mortgage or financial services products, rates and services can fill out a form online to be matched with up to five different mortgage brokers and/or lenders."
If you follow the links provided in the Facebook posts, LowerMyBills includes disclaimers indicating that they do not, in fact, provide calculations for a "new house payment" as the post claims.
"LowerMyBills is not acting as a lender or broker," the disclaimer at the bottom of veteranloansonline.com reads. "The information provided by you to LowerMyBills is not an application for a mortgage loan, nor is it used to pre-qualify you with any lender."
In reality, LowerMyBills provides information to loan companies, which can then contact veterans.
A Facebook post claims that "Congress gives veteran homeowners a generous mortgage relief program," which could help veterans lower their house payments.
There is no evidence that Congress established a program that would substantially reduce veterans’ mortgage payments.
In the past, the company making the claim has said it was referring to a program that allows veterans to lower their interest rate by refinancing their existing VA home loan. While legitimate options to refinance VA home loans exist, veterans are advised to be cautious and remain on the lookout for predatory lenders.
We rate this claim Mostly False.
Facebook post, May 7, 2021
Lead Stories, "Fake Ad: Congress Does NOT Give Veteran Homeowners A Generous Mortgage Relief Program," Jan. 9, 2020
Better Business Bureau, "Lower My Bills: complaints," accessed May 28, 2021
FDIC.gov, "Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan," accessed May 28, 2021
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, "Interest rate reduction refinance loan," accessed May 28, 2021
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau "CFPB and VA WARNO: VA refinancing offers that sound too good to be true," Nov. 20, 2017
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, "VA and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau warn against home loan refinancing offers that sound too good to be true," Nov. 21, 2017
MilitaryBenefits.info, "VA Refinance Loan Scam Warning," accessed May 28, 2021
AARP, "Feds Crack Down on Refinancing Abuses Against Veterans," Dec. 19, 2017
Retirement Living, "How to Avoid VA Loan Scams," Jan. 7, 2021
Facebook post, Sept. 26, 2017
Facebook post, Sept. 26, 2017
LowerMyBills, "How Do Veteran Home Loans Work?" Dec. 23, 2019
Veteranloansonline.com, accessed May 28, 2021
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