Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA); 50 U.S.C.S. APPX §§ 501 ET SEQ
The SCRA was designed to protect members of the U.S. armed forces from creditors and court judgments while they are on active duty. This includes foreclosures, evictions, enforcement of a mechanic’s lien, enforcement of a storage lien, enforcement of a repair lien, etc.
Who Is Protected?
- Members on active duty: whether you are an active member of the United States Armed forces, including the Air Force, the Coast Guard, the Navy, the Marine Corps, a member of a State’s National Guard or a reservist in any branch, whenever your unit is activated, you are entitled to some protections under the SCRA.
- Dependents: You are also entitled these protections if you are a dependent such as a spouse, child or if you receive more than half of your support from a service member on active duty.
- Co-signers: If you share a debt or obligation with an active duty service member, including as a co-maker, surety or guarantor, you are also entitled to some protections.
A Brief History
- Dating all the way back to the U.S. Civil War, the U.S. Congress has sought to protect service members engaged in the service of their country from the efforts of creditors.
- In 1918, the Soldier’s and Sailor’s Civil Act (SSCRA) was enacted to protect service members, but was allowed to expire 6 months following the end of the war.
- In 1940, the SSCRA was reenacted yet again in anticipation of World War II.
- A series of successive adjustments were made in 1942, 1944, 1948, 1952, 1958, 1962, 1966, 1972, 2003 and 2010, each making changes to protect soldiers.
- In 2003, the U.S. Congress replaced the SSCRA with the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA). The SCRA extends coverage to members of the National Guard called into service by the President.
- Romano Law, P.L.L.C. is one among a select number of firms who specialize in protecting those courageous men and women who leave the U.S. soil to protect our nation’s interests.
- We are the first firm which, along with several partners, tried a case under the SCRA. Early in 2011, we successfully and favorably settled a case in which a service member’s wife and children were evicted from their home while he was on active duty in Iraq. Because of our efforts in that pioneer case, we have set the stage for violations of the SCRA in the nation along with our partners.
- At our firm, we firmly believe that a soldier should not have to fight two battles at the same time: one overseas, and one at home. The law on the SCRA is not settled, yet we have made it our business to familiarize ourselves with every aspect of this issue so that we can defend our soldiers at home as they defend us abroad.
Protections That May Apply To You
- If a service member on active duty notifies credit card merchants, banks or other creditors in writing, and presents them with a copy of his activation orders, interest rates on any debts owed must be reduced to 6% or less.
- If active duty materially affects a service member’s ability to pay his mortgage, his property cannot be seized, foreclosed upon or sold until 90 days after his military service.
- Any lien, including a lien for storage, repair or cleaning of a service member’s property cannot be exercised against a service member on active duty.
- A service member on active duty or his dependents usually cannot be evicted in most cases from their residence, except with a court order.
- Any default on installment contracts, including real property (e.g. homes) or personal property (e.g. cars) cannot lead to repossession if the default occurred after the service member went on active duty.
- An active service member who terminates a motor vehicle lease earlier than scheduled pays no penalty in certain circumstances.
- Service members who possess life insurance policies that were in effect at least 6 months before being placed on active duty are protected from having their coverage reduced or restricted, or their premiums increased.
- Service members are also protected from property tax that become due before or after they are placed on active duty.
Contact Us Today
If you have been foreclosed upon, evicted, or had your property repossessed or are simply not sure if your rights have been violated, contact one of our seasoned attorneys at Romano Law P.L.L.C. We will tell you whether you have a legal remedy, and will employ all our resources to your advantage.