Oops, VA Deletes 464,000 Home Loan Files

Sen. Ron Portman, R-Ohio, wants to know why.

…and Sen. Ron Portman, R-Ohio, wants to know why.

Portman sent a letter to Eric Shinseki yesterday saying his office “has received news that the Cleveland Regional Office of the Department of Veterans Affairs has deleted almost half a million electronic records which contain active loans, grants as well as applications. While I understand the VA has taken steps to remedy the situation, the limited communication and delayed incident reporting are particularly concerning.”

Portman had a lot of questions for Shinseki, including whether or not the VA had backup systems in place and how often backups were performed.

VA spokeswoman Jo Schuda said that on May 24, 2013, there was a disruption to the deparment's Home Loan program’s online application resulting in the deletion of approximately 464,000 digital documents and images. 
She said the  application is used by lenders, appraisers, and internal VA staff.  The incident was caused by human error and staff are being retrained to prevent this error in the future. No personal information was compromised. 

As a result of the May 24 loss, all files from April 25 to May 24 are non-recoverable and about 50 percent of the files from March 18 to April 24 are non-recoverable, Schuda said. 

VA has hired a contractor to determine the best strategy to ensure disaster recovery is effective in the future, she said.

This post has been updated with VA comment.