|19th Special Forces Group (Airborne)|
Servicemember Civil Relief Act (SCRA)
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act
(SCRA) provides protection to anyone called to active duty in the Armed
Forces. Members of the National Guard are covered by SCRA when in active
federal service and while the serving on active duty.
One of the most widely known benefits under the SCRA is the ability to reduce pre-service consumer debt and mortgage interest rates to 6% if military service materially affects your ability to make payments. The SCRA also covers such issues as rental agreements, security deposits, prepaid rent, eviction, installment contracts, interest rate limits on pre-service consumer debt and mortgage loans, mortgage foreclosure, civil judicial proceedings, and income tax payments.
If you believe being called to active military service will impact your ability to meet financial obligations, please contact the nearest legal assistance office to determine if the SCRA offers you protection. Do not wait “until I or they get home”. This only makes the situation worse.
NOTE: If you are eligible for relief under the SCRA, it is your responsibility to inform creditors as soon as possible to inform them of your circumstances. Many businesses and agencies have no way of knowing the duty status and/or special circumstances of their clients unless they are so informed. Likewise, it is your responsibility to inform them when you have returned.
Another key provision under the SCRA protects your dependents from being evicted while you are serving your country. This provision is NOT intended to allow military members to avoid paying rent, but rather to protect families when they cannot pay the rent because military service has affected their ability to do so.
Under SCRA, service members involved in civil litigation can request a delay in proceedings if they can show their military responsibilities preclude their proper representation in court. This provision is most often invoked by service members who are on an extended deployment or stationed overseas. The service member should contact the unit or installation legal office immediately if they receive notice of court proceedings against them. Civil court proceedings can involve very complex issues and no one should do anything, including requesting a stay of proceedings, prior to seeking legal advice.
For additional information on SCRA, contact your state JAG or nearest Legal Assistance Office.