Homeowners who have financed their homes with Veterans Administration loan guaranty entitlement must remember that before they sell their homes they must obtain a "release of liability" from the VA.

Unless the loan is paid off or the release obtained, the veteran homeowner is still responsible for loan payments, local officials with the Veterans Administration warned.The office warns of an "equity skimming" fraud scheme that has victimized a number of Utah veterans. A veteran attempting to sell his home is approached by someone offering to buy the house by taking over the loan obligation, said Douglas Wadsworth, director of the VA regional office in Salt Lake City.

"The veteran may receive a small payment in exchange for signing a deed to the property which is the security for the VA guaranteed loan. The buyer asks only that the veteran move out immediately so that the property can be rented as soon as possible."

Unless the deed contains the "VA assumption clause," the veteran owner remains liable for the loan, Wadsworth said.