The challenges of maintaining a secure hold on one’s financial responsibilities are heightened during periods of active duty.
Mortgage payments in particular can become a significant hurdle. But active duty and recently discharged service members are protected from a host of civil and financial penalties thanks to a unique law.
The Service Member’s Civil Relief Act was established to insulate active duty service members from foreclosure and help them maintain solid financial standing after serving our country. Formerly known as the Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act, the SCRA extended protection to Reservists and members of the National Guard.
There are certain housing provisions that apply to deployed military members:
A service member’s inability to meet a mortgage obligation must be related to military service in order to be eligible for SCRA protections. Also, the protection is not automatic; service members must invoke the act. In addition, all mortgages must be prior to the serviceman’s call to active duty.
The program’s benefits may be invoked once orders to active duty have been received. The SCRA, to ease the transition back into civil life, grants servicemen an additional three months of protection against foreclosure at the end of their service.
Service members who wish to utilize their protection must send to their lender:
But it’s not just homeowners who benefit from the SCRA. Service members who rent are protected against eviction while on active duty, provided their rent falls under a certain threshold.
Those who receive permanent change of station orders or who are deployed to a new locale for at least 90 days also have the right to terminate a housing lease.
Military members and their dependents who desire more information about the SCRA should contact their installation legal assistance office.