3OYS: Vet says VA loan let him down

Posted: Updated:
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

PHOENIX -- A Valley man qualified for a VA loan to buy his house. But a mistake made by the VA is making that home purchase impossible.

Dennis Metzler is proud, and he should be. He served his country. “In 1996, I enlisted in United States Army Reserve, and I did that until 2004 when I got out.”

He was in the reserves for eight years. And although he's out of the military now, Dennis continues to serve his community. "I'm local law enforcement; I've been doing that for about 10 years now in the east Valley and I really enjoy the job," he says.

Just recently, Dennis and his wife decided it was time to improve their home life, so they bought and upgraded to a new home. "We were getting ready to move out of our house, getting the kids into better school systems in a better area," he says.

As for financing their new home, Dennis wasn't worried. Remember, he was in the Army reserves and he had a document indicating he honorably served. "We obtained a certificate of eligibility through the VA," he says.

The VA certificate is crucial because it can be used for many different benefits, including getting a VA loan for a house. "We were told once you're eligible for the VA certificate of eligibility, it carries over and you don't lose that certification."

The certificate was supposed to ensure VA financing. Dennis even used the certificate back in 2005 when he purchased another home. But right before Dennis and his wife could close on their new house they got bad news.

"They told us at that point that well, guess what, we may have made a mistake. You're not eligible," he says he was told.

According to Dennis, the VA said it made a mistake by initially giving him a VA certificate for the first home he bought. And, it's invalid for the house he's getting ready to move into. And if the certificate is invalid, Dennis doesn’t qualify for a VA loan.

So how did all this happen? 3 On Your Side contacted Veterans Affairs, which investigated. In an email to us, the agency says: "Yes, VA made an error with the 2005 issuance of a Certificate of Eligibility." The email went on to say: "His records unfortunately did not support the time in service required for this benefit."

The VA also stated that there is nothing more they can do. That's horrible news for Dennis and his family, because they have to move out of the house they just sold and now he and his family are packed with nowhere to go.

"To be able to look them in the eyes and say hey I'm sorry, Daddy did his best and we just have to survive somehow, I can't accept that," he says.  Dennis says he's pretty much out of options, unless he tries to go through traditional financing, which means he'll need to put a down payment of about $50k, which he says is no option at all because he doesn't have it.