By: Randy Newman, President, Total Lender Solutions
The Service Members Civil Relief Act (SCRA) was enacted in 2003 in order to update the Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act of 1940 (the “1940 Act”) which, in turn, had updated the Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act of 1918. The SCRA significantly expanded the rights of active military members and the obligations of those who do business with them, including lenders, servicers, and trustees.
Both the 1940 Act and the SCRA were enacted, in part, to protect those in the military who were called to active duty (whether voluntarily or involuntarily) and who, because of their absence and lower pay, could not meet their contractual obligations in a timely manner. The purpose of the SCRA is “to provide for the temporary suspension of judicial and administrative proceedings and transactions that may adversely affect the civil rights of servicemembers during their military service.” Although the SCRA prevents many civil proceedings from moving forward (including child custody and divorce actions), this article will focus on how the SCRA affects loans secured by real property.
The SCRA protects active duty members of the armed forces (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard) and their dependents (spouses, children and anyone for whom the servicemember has provided at least half of that person’s support for the 180 days preceding an application for relief under the act), as well as members of the National Guard who are called to duty for more than 30 consecutive days, and commissioned members of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Public Health Service. A reservist called to active duty is also afforded the protections under the SCRA.
For more information please read our next article more on the SCRA, or call our office 866-535-3736!