Last year saw the most military foreclosures since 2003, despite efforts from Veterans Affairs to counsel and assist floundering servicemen. More than 20,000 active-duty troops, reservists, and veterans who’d taken out special government-backed mortgages lost their homes last year, the USA Today reports, and foreclosure filings in the zip codes surrounding US military bases shot up 32% over 2008—compared to 23% for the rest of the country.
Military families have been hit hard by the housing crisis, since they must relocate so often. Reservists have also found civilian jobs hard to come by when they return from service. VA mortgage counselors say they helped 66,000 more families stave off foreclosure last year. “The 20,000 could have been much higher without that help,” one official says. (Read more foreclosures stories.)