Conditions Placed on the Certificate of Commitment, Deciphering the VA Lender’s Handbook Chapter 5 Part 3

In the last article, we talked about the Certificate of Commitment that the VA provides lenders who submit VA loans for prior approval. We went into depth about what the VA requires in order honor the COC and how lenders can handle different changes to the loan after the COC is issued but before closing. The VA will often issue conditional commitments; a COC that lists one or more conditions that must be met in order for the Certificate to be considered valid. The Handbook itself has a very well-explained table that covers each condition quite clearly, so the bulk of this article will be the table below.

Case Condition/Notation on Certificate
Loan is to the spouse of a serviceperson missing in action or prisoner of war (MIA/POW) “Prior to closing the subject loan, the lendershould obtain assurance from the borrower that official notice of any change in the

servicemember’s status has not been received and that the applicant is still the spouse of the service member.”


Reference: See section 6 of this chapter for

required documentation.

Loan is to the unmarried surviving spouse of an eligible, deceased veteran “Conditioned on borrower’s certification that status as an unmarried surviving spouse has not changed since the Certificate of Eligibility was issued.”

Reference: See section 6 of this chapter for required documentation.

Loan is to a serviceperson who has not received an honorable discharge and must certify to continuous active duty “Certification of active duty status as of date of note required.”

To ensure compliance, check the active duty box in Section III, Veteran’s Certifications, on VA Form 26-1820, Report and Certification of Loan Disbursement. Ensure that the veteran signs the form.

Loan is to a veteran and fiance/fiancee who intend to marry prior to loan closing – title is to be taken in the name of veteran and spouse “Conditioned on proof of marriage prior to loan closing.”

A copy of the applicant’s marriage certificate or other proof of marriage must be submitted with the closing package. A marriage license is inadequate.

Loan involves use of attorney in fact “No evidence of guaranty with respect to the loan to which this commitment relates will be issued by the Secretary unless the lender makes the certification specified by the Department of Veterans Affairs at the time the lender requests a certificate of guaranty to the effect that the veteran was alive and, if the veteran is on active military duty, not in a “missing in action” status on the date the note and security instruments were executed on the veteran’s behalf by the attorney-in-fact.”

Reference: See section 6 of this chapter for required documentation

Veteran intends to sell property on which he/she has an existing VA loan prior to closing on the new VA loan, in order to have entitlement restored “This commitment is conditioned upon submission of evidence of disposal of the property which the veteran now owns and previously purchased using VA entitlement and evidence that the loan has been paid in full or that an eligible veteran has substituted his or her entitlement for that used by the original veteran.”

Reference: See section 6 of this chapter for required documentation.

Veteran intends to sell property in order to have sufficient income and/or assets to qualify for the loan. “This commitment is conditioned upon the consummation of the sale of residential real property now owned by the veteran, as proposed in the loan application.”

Reference: See section 6 of this chapter for required documentation.


The conditions above are the only ones you should see on a Certificate of Commitment that has come back from the VA. As you can see, only certain situations warrant a conditional commitment, and you’ll definitely know if you’re in one of those situations. If you are going to be in one of the situations mentioned above, it is best to expect that the VA will have the corresponding condition on your COC, and you should have the appropriate documentation ready when it’s asked for. We’ll go over the individual conditions and their related documentation in a future article.

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