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Working Together to Make Homeownership a Reality for Veterans and Active-Duty Personnel

On this Veterans Day, we would like to take this moment to recognize and say “thank you” to all our nation’s veterans and active-duty personnel for your service. Although your duty might have taken you to different parts of the world, away from your families and loved ones, having a home to return to was, and is, foremost on your mind.

We at Ginnie Mae know that having a home is a key goal for many Americans. For more than 50 years, we have worked to make affordable housing a reality for hundreds of millions of people, and we remain steadfastly committed to this mission to this day.

As part of this mission, we are honored to partner with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to support their mortgage and housing initiatives, allowing veterans and military personnel to become homeowners. Since our founding in 1968, Ginnie Mae has helped guarantee mortgages for nearly 18.5 million veterans, service members, and eligible surviving spouses. VA mortgages currently account for approximately 36 percent of all mortgages in our Mortgage-Backed Securities Program.

Ginnie Mae has several transformation initiatives currently under way designed to move the mortgage and lending process into the 21st Century. Our Digital Collateral Program, which uses eMortgages to improve data quality and eliminate errors caused by missing documents or signatures in a loan package and to provide the digital convenience that borrowers expect, is foremost among these.

The Digital Collateral Program is especially helpful for veterans, active-duty personnel, and their families, because it allows for more direct participation in the mortgage process. Now our service members can close a loan on their new home from anywhere in the world. Wherever your service takes you, features of our Digital Collateral Program, such as Remote Online Notarization, make it possible for active service members to participate virtually in their loan closing without preplanned or mailed loan documents. These features create a smoother borrower experience and allow lenders to process the loans more quickly and efficiently to get service members and their families in their new homes. Both service members and VA lenders have seen the value in the Digital Collateral Program, having closed more than 35,000 loans backed by eNotes in just over a year with Ginnie Mae.

Whitney Vogt of Guaranteed Rate, who is a former U.S. Army Captain herself said, "Working on eNotes and digital adoption is personally and professionally rewarding. It’s exciting to be at the forefront of change and rewarding to collaborate with so many partners working to transform the lending industry.”

Ginnie Mae has worked with Issuers and borrowers in the VA loan industry, many of whom understand the benefits of eNotes and Ginnie Mae’s securitization of eNotes.

“One of the challenges that veterans face when purchasing a home is deployment,” said Jennifer Solis, Senior Vice President of Closing with Atlantic Bay Mortgage Group. “Historically, the veteran would have to secure a specific Power of Attorney to complete a mortgage transaction. That can be very difficult depending on their location and adds additional costs. The advancements in technology, which include an electronic closing, really provide a smooth painless transaction for our veterans. It’s an additional benefit to help all those who serve our country.”

It is a team effort. Ginnie Mae, the VA, and the mortgage industry are proud to be working together to make homeownership a reality for America’s veterans and active-duty service members.

“At Veterans United Home Loans, our Veteran customers count on us to deliver timely, secure results,” said Chris Birk, Vice President of Mortgage Insight and Education at Veterans United Home Loans. “Unlike other loan products, the VA home loan is an earned benefit, so using it should be easy and seamless. For this reason, we’ve been proud to work so closely with Ginnie Mae leadership on the eNote process, and we appreciate everything they’re doing to continue to enhance their eNote program.”

Lynne Chandler is Digital Program Director