Mortgage, counseling options available to veterans

Published 3:24 pm Tuesday, December 12, 2023

By Tom Mastaglio

Contributing writer

Warm holiday greetings to all veterans in our community. If you are a veteran, family of a veteran, or know of either that could use some extra cheer this Christmas, please let our respective organizations know. We have programs to provide meals and gifts.  

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On that note, the paper is pleased that Laurie Clay, with VFW Post 8545 and a state VA service officer, is joining me as a co-contributor for this feature. Feel free to email either of us with your feedback and suggestions. My email is and Laurie’s is

This month we discuss a couple of lesser-known services available to all veterans and information about home loans that could assist a veteran having an issue with their mortgage.

The Commonwealth of Virginia has a Department of Veterans Services. One of its key missions is outreach and support for veterans and families. 

The VVFS service provides assistance to veterans as well as National Guard and reservists, with a focus on helping their clients cope especially with stress related conditions, to include traumatic brain injuries and PTSD.  

If you are a veteran, or know of a veteran, needing such assistance call 877-285-1299 or visit

The VET Center is an outreach program of the US Department of Veterans Affairs.  Located at 3132 Lynnhurst Blvd in Chesapeake, the office offers readjustment counseling services to veterans and their families to assist them in dealing with mental and emotional issues through individual and group therapy and recreational programs at no cost.

The center can also assist with medical, disability, and employment referrals. Veterans and their families are welcome to personally visit the center or can call 757-623-7584. Its crisis line is available 24/7 at 800-273-8255 or online at

Any veteran or family member who feels the need can also call 988, option one, at any time to speak with someone confidentially about thoughts of suicide.

The Veterans Administration has released official guidance to mortgage servicers calling for a pause on foreclosures on VA-backed loans. VA expects that any foreclosures filed since Nov. 17, will be put on hold, along with any other in-process or upcoming foreclosures on VA-backed loans. The foreclosure process will be paused for these Veterans through May 31, 2024, giving additional time to these veterans to find solutions to stay in their homes.

Veterans who are struggling with VA-backed mortgage payments can visit the VA Housing Assistance website


Tom Mastaglio is media and publicity coordinator for American Legion Post 49, 818 South Church St., in Smithfield.