SERVICEMEMBERS CIVIL RELIEF ACT

The servicemembers civil relief act was signed into law in 2003.

Yet protections were already in place as it replaced the Soldier and Sailor civil relief act of 1940.

Of course anything as old as 1940 would need updating.

The present rewriting was designed with those now in Iraq and Afghanistan. My inclusion of this act in this web site has to do with it being a feature of many financial situations including foreclosure which can be part of a bankruptcy.

AND a resource listed for those who have sacrificed their own life and liberty to protect that of others.


WHO IS PROTECTED IN THE SERVICEMEMBERS CIVIL RELIEF ACT





All servicemembers in active Federal duty including Reservists and National Guards. There are instances when the National Guard is in state duty but for a federal emergency. This situation is included.

The time frame is from the day duty is started (Boot camp or training) to 30 to 90 days after the discharge or release date.


THE PROTECTIONS

termination of leases

The SCRA provides termination of lease of premises occupied or intended to occupy premises of a servicemember or dependents of servicemembers. This includes residential, professional, business, or agricultural property and.....

The lease was in effect during the time the servicemember entered military service

If during the lease period the servicemember receives permanent change of station (PCS) orders for a period of time no less than 90 days.

The procedure to activate the termination is to give written notice accompanied by a copy of the orders either for active duty start or PCS. The termination will be effective one month from the nearest 1st of next month.

Conversely this law also protects servicemembers from eviction for nonpayment of rent. Formerly the law read for rents of not more than 1200.00 per month, that has been adjusted to meet current demands and is adjusted yearly. Military.com puts that figure over 2900.00.

A court hearing will decide upon either a 90 day stay or in its opinion a longer period of time considered just and equitable.

Mortgages and credit card debt

In this area credit card debt and mortgages assumed before the military duty started will be limited to a 6% cap.The excess interest must be permanently forgiven and cannot be made due upon the servicemember leaving active duty.

The monthly payment must be reduced according to the interest saved. This only covers debt previously incurred and does not cover new debt made while active.


Automobile Leases

This is the same under the servicemembers civil relief act as housing leases. As long as the lease was already in affect when the servicemember took active duty and the term of active duty must be at least 180 days.The lease can be terminated and additionally no fees associated with early termination can be applied.

If the servicemembers vehicle is part of a contract such as a loan, the same rules as for all other debt rule. There can be a 6% cap on the interest and if the servicemember cannot make the payments of the contract the property cannot be repossessed without court action.

Other important protections under the servicemembers civil relief act

Judicial hearings and civil actions

Servicemembers called to court proceedings for civil actions cannot usually be physically present.
The servicemembers civil relief act orders an automatic 90 day stay in the proceedings in this instance.
Subsequently the servicemember may request for an additional stay yet if the court denies that request the SCRA allows that the court appoint legal counsel to represent that servicemember to protect his rights while on duty.

Insurance protection

Servicemembers are entitled to reinstate health insurance that they had in effect the day before their service started.

They are also entitled to no exclusions or waiting periods applied unless they were being imposed at the time the coverage ended due to the active duty.

The application for reinstatement must occur no later than 120 days after termination of active duty.

Servicemembers privately held life insurance policies are also protected under the servicemembers civil relief act from termination, lapse or forfeiture due to non payment of premiums during the military service and one year thereafter without a court order.

Another insurance the servicemembers civil relief act protects members with is professional liability insurance.

This can be suspended during the military service and reinstated after the service is terminated. The cost of the insurance can not be increased unless there was an overall increase issued during the suspension.

Another protection allowed by the servicemembers civil relief act is a type of double taxation.

This can occur when a spouse is temporarily living in the state that the servicemember is currently serving duty.
The spouse works in the state and will be taxed in that state yet the SCRA will block the state from using the servicemembers income to determine the tax rate in that state which is not their legal residence.



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