SAVANNAH, Ga., May 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Purple Heart Homes entered into an agreement with Peach State Federal Credit Union and its Credit Union Financial Services Organization (CUFS) to provide mortgages to qualified Service Connected Disabled Veterans to help them achieve the dream of home ownership.
Speaking at the Georgia Credit Union League Affiliates annual convention Dale Beatty, Purple Heart Homes co-founder, told attendees 90 percent of returning Iraq and Afghanistan Service Connected Disabled Veterans applying for housing solutions through the non-profit Purple Heart Homes have low FICO scores ─ often times through no fault of their own.
"Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans who cannot work when they return home due to post traumatic stress, amputations and other injuries have an average wait time of 273 days to obtain their benefits due to the back log at the Veterans Administration that over time can destroy the credit rating which is another fallout from the war that we do not hear about," Beatty told attendees.
Britnee Kinard, wife and caregiver to US Army Corporal E-4 Hamilton Douglas Kinard, told attendees about her challenges obtaining VA benefits for the injuries her husband sustained March 15, 2005 while deployed to Iraq. The Kinards ─ through the new program developed by Purple Heart Homes, Peach State Federal Credit Union, CUFS and the Georgia Credit Union Affiliates ─ have one of the first mortgages provided through the pilot program. The Kinards live in their dream home in Claxton, GA, a foreclosed property given to Purple Heart Homes renovated to meet the special needs of Corporal E-4 Hamilton Kinard.
Renovations on foreclosed homes cost on average $70,000 for each acquired property by Purple Heart Homes. The Veteran pays a mortgage of 50 percent of the home market value at the time of closing. Purple Heart Homes obtains foreclosed properties from banks, land banks, cities and municipalities.
Marshall Boutwell, President and CEO of Peach State Federal Program, told delegates how the program works. "It is designed to help the veteran and his or her family become homeowners who might not otherwise obtain a loan," said Boutwell. Peach State obtains the approved documentation from Purple Heart Homes and executes the loan agreement with the veteran. An automatic withdrawal from the veteran's checking account is set up for the mortgage payment. A reserve fund has been established and held in a trust account as a percentage taken from each mortgage processed by CUFS.
Approved Service Connected Disabled Veterans with low FICO scores are placed in a credit repair program. The mortgage is generally for 15 years. If the Veteran makes the mortgage payments on time, after five years a percentage of the equity is released up to year 15, at which point the veteran then owns the home free and clear of any debt.
"This program is truly designed to help benefit the veteran and his or her family," said Boutwell. "It is designed to help the veteran improve their credit rating, achieve the dream of home ownership and be able to have the peace of mind to know they have a roof over their head and are building equity while they rebuild their lives after the service and sacrifice they made on behalf of our country," Boutwell added.
ABOUT PURPLE HEART HOMES
Purple Heart Homes is a non-profit founded in 2008 by two Iraq wounded veterans that remain on a mission to provide for the unmet housing needs of Service Connected Disable Veterans that served in all eras.
Purple Heart Homes co-founders Dale Beatty and John Gallina were deployed to Iraq in late 2003, and on November 15, 2004 their lives would change forever when the vehicle they were riding in hit an anti-tank mine leaving Beatty a double amputee below the knees and Gallina with severe back and head injuries.
ABOUT PEACH STATE FEDERAL CREDIT UNION AND THE CREDIT UNION FINANCIAL SERVICES ORGANIZATION
Credit Union Financial Services (CUFS) was created in 1987 by Georgia credit unions to provide underwriting, selling and servicing of first mortgage residential loans for Georgia credit unions. Today CUFS is still wholly owned by Excel Federal Credit Union, GEMC Credit Union, Members First Credit Union, Peach State Federal Credit Union, and continues to provide mortgage services to the state's credit unions. Mortgage products include FHA loans, Harp Loans, fixed and variable interest rate conventional loans. CUFS maintains a servicing portfolio of approximately $130 million in mortgage loans for area credit unions.
ABOUT THE GEORGIA CREDIT UNION AFFILIATES
Georgia Credit Union Affiliates (GCUA) provides services and support that help credit unions meet the financial services needs of the state's more than 1.9 million credit union members. GCUA offers advocacy, educational, operational and marketing support for Georgia's 139 credit unions, with combined total assets of over $18 billion. More information can be found at www.georgiacreditunions.org.
Vicki Thomas – Purple Heart Homes 203-984-2138
Angi Harben – Georgia Credit Union Affiliates 678-542-3471
Marshall Boutwell – Peach State FCU 770-513-6380
This press release was issued through eReleases® Press Release Distribution. For more information, visit http://www.ereleases.com.
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