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Many times we see that our clients are in one of the armed branches of the US’s Military and often they come with questions and we thought it would be great to do a post on this. In December 19, 2003, the President of the United States signed into law H.R. 100, also referred to as the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. This law completely rewrote the Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act of 1940, expanding many of the previous law’s civil protections.

Servicemembers on “active duty” or “active service” or a dependent of such a servicemember may be entitled to certain legal protections and debt relief pursuant to the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act ( 50 USC App. §§ 501-596)(SCRA).

How may be entitled to legal protections under the SCRA?

  • Active duty members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and active service Nation Guard;
  • Active Serivce Members of the commissioned corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric;
  • Active service members of the commissioned corps of the Publich Health Service;
  • United States citizens serving twith the armed forces of a nation with which the United States is allied in the prosecution of a war or military action; and
  • Their Spouses

What legal protections are servicemembers entitled to under the SCRA?

  • The SCRA states that a debt incurred by a servicemember, or servicemember and spouse jointly, prior to entering military service shall not bear interest at a rate above 6 percent during the period of military service.
  • The SCRA states that in a legal action to enforce a debt against real estate that is filed during, or within 90 days after the servicemember’s military service, a court may stop the proceedings for a period of time, or adjust the debt. In addition, the sale, foreclosure, or seizure of real estate shall not be valid if it occurs during, or within 90 days after the service member’s military service unless the creditor has obtained a court order approving the sale, foreclosure, or seizure of the real estate.
  • The SCRA contains many other protections besides those applicable to home loans.
    WASHINGTON, D.C. - JANUARY 20: Marching bands ...
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How does a Servicemember or Dependent Request Relief Under The SCRA?

  • A  servicemember or dependent, or both, may request relief under the SCRA by providing the lender a written notice with a copy of servicemember’s military orders. Contact your lender to find out where they can be sent a written notice.

How does  a servicemember or dependent obtain information about the SCRA?

Servicememvers and dependents with questions about the SCRA should contact hteir unit’s Judge Advocate, or their installation’s Legal Assistance Officer. A military legal assistance officer locator for all branches of the Armed Forces is available at the following website: http://legalassistance.law.af.mil.

The U.S. Department of Defense’s information resource, “Military One Source.” The toll-free telephone numbers for Military One source are: From the United States” 1-800-342-9647. From outside the United States (where available) -800-342-9647. International Collect: 1-484-530-5908.