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Title 38: Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief
§36.4286 Partial or total loss of guaranty.
(a) There shall be no guaranty liability on the part of the Secretary in respect to any loan as to which a signature to the note, the mortgage or other security instrument is a forgery. Except as to a holder who acquired the loan instrument before maturity, for value, and without notice, and who has not directly or by agent participated in the fraud, or in the misrepresentation hereinafter specified, any willful and material misrepresentation or fraud by the lender, or by a holder, or the agent of either, in procuring the guaranty shall relieve the Secretary of liability, or shall constitute a defense against liability on account of the guaranty of the loan in respect to which the willful misrepresentation, or the fraud, is practiced: Provided, That if a misrepresentation, although material, is not made willfully, or with fraudulent intent, it shall have only the consequences prescribed in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section.
(b) In taking security required by 38 U.S.C. 3712 and the §36.4200 series, a holder shall obtain the required lien on real property the title to which is such as to be acceptable to prudent lending institutions, informed buyers, title companies, and attorneys, generally in the community in which the property is situated: Provided, That a title will not be unacceptable by reason of any of the limitations on the quantum or quality of the property or title stated in §36.4253. If such holder fails in this respect or fails to comply with any of the requirements of 38 U.S.C. 3712 and the §36.4200 series with respect to:
(1) Obtaining and retaining a lien of the dignity prescribed on all property upon which a lien is required by 38 U.S.C. 3712 or the §36.4200 series,
(2) Inclusion of power to substitute trustees,
(3) The procurement and maintenance of insurance coverage,
(4) Advice to Secretary as to default,
(5) Notice of intention to begin action,
(6) Notice to the Secretary in any suit or action, or notice of sale,
(7) The release, conveyance, substitution, or exchange of security,
(8) Lack of legal capacity of a party to the transaction incident to which the guaranty is granted,
(9) Failure of the lender to see that any escrowed or earmarked account is expended in accordance with the agreement,
(10) The taking into consideration of limitations upon the quantum or quality of the estate or property,
(11) Any other requirement of 38 U.S.C. 3712 or the §36.4200 series which does not by the terms of said section or regulations result in relieving the Secretary of all liability with respect to the loan,
no claim on the guaranty shall be paid on account of the loan with respect to which such failure occurred, or in respect to which an unwillful misrepresentation occurred, until the amount by which the ultimate liability of the Secretary would thereby be increased has been ascertained. The burden of proof shall be upon the holder to establish that no increase of ultimate liability is attributable to such failure or misrepresentation. The amount of increased liability of the Secretary shall be offset by deduction from the amount of the guaranty otherwise payable, or if consequent upon loss of security shall be offset by crediting to the indebtedness the amount of the impairment as proceeds of the sale of security in the final accounting to the Secretary. To the extent the loss resultant from the failure of misrepresentation prejudices the Secretary's right of subrogation acceptance by the holder of the guaranty payment shall subordinate the holder's right to those of the Secretary.
(c) If after the payment of a guaranty, or after a loan is transferred pursuant to §36.4281, the fraud, misrepresentation, or failure to comply with the regulations concerning guaranty of loans to veterans as provided in this section is discovered and the Secretary determines that an increased loss to the Government resulted therefrom, the transferee or person to whom such payment was made shall be liable to the Secretary for the amount of the loss caused by such misrepresentation or failure.