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Daily Real Estate News  |  May 25, 2011  |   Military Members Seek Housing Help
Many military members are finding themselves in a predicament when it comes to real estate: The homes they own are worth less than what they paid for, but they have orders from the government that are forcing them to relocate and take on a big loss.

For example, in Las Vegas about 14 percent of military personnel at Nellis Air Force Base own properties that are worth less than what they paid. Plus, 263 have received relocation orders and have been unable to sell their homes at a break-even price.

"We've heard from service members from across the nation who are underwater and they are not sure what they are going to do," Katie Savant, government relations deputy director for the National Military Family Association, told MSNBC. "Military families are being caught in this situation where they can't afford to sell their home but they have orders to relocate."

While military members know moving is part of the job, they didn’t foresee the drop in housing prices. Defaulting or walking away from the home is not an option either: A foreclosure can cost a military member their security clearance.

The Department of Defense and Congress is trying to help. Military members forced to relocate can apply to a mortgage assistance program, which was started in 2009. But the program has been bogged down with requests and faces a $400 million budget deficit by the end of this year. Also, some may not be eligible to apply for the program. As of now, the only military members who qualify must have purchased a home before July 2006 and were required to permanently relocate between 2006 and September 2010. A proposed bill seeks to expand the program's eligibility requirements.

Source: “Service Members Grapple With Housing Market,” (May 23, 2011)

Read more:
Sending Soldiers a Piece of Home

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