The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act offers protection for military officers and personnel. Since then, it has been amended to protect military members. SCRA deals with issues relating to housing, incomes, insurance, and tax payments.
Persons protected by SCRA include full-time active duty members, reservists on federal active duty, members of National Guard on federal orders for a period of over 30 days, service members absent from active duty lawfully, and commissioned officers in active service.
Benefit and Protection No. 1 – The six percent interest rate cap.
This enables the creditors of the person active in the military or the person dependent on the person to not charge more than a 6% interest rate. The militant must provide well-written documents within 180 days after the service member’s military service.
The creditor must forgive accumulative interest to the debtor. This, however, only applies to persons present in the military.
Benefit and Protection No. 2 – Protections against default judgments
In case of a civil court hearing, the defendant service member has to make an appearance escorted by an attorney. If this is not the case, the court has to be in default judgment until an attorney is appointed to present the interests of the defendant.
In case the appointed attorney is unable to reach the defendant, the court must keep the civil case open for 90 days if the defendant is needed to be present.
Benefit and Protection No. 3 – Non-judicial foreclosures
To gain protection under this act, the service member needs to take out the obligation on real and personal property. One year after leaving the military, a mortgage creditor has to present documents that allow them to reclaim the property. If this rule is defiled, the creditor can be fined up to 1 year.
Under certain circumstances, the court has the ability to adjust the payments if the service member is unable to meet up the requirements due to negative effects that may occur when on duty.
Benefit and Protection No. 4 – Installment contracts and repossessions
SCRA states a creditor may not repossess a vehicle loaned to the service member if they are still active in service or had made a one-year installment before joining the military. However, with a court order, the creditor under the right procedures can repossess the vehicle.
Benefit and Protection No. 5 – Residential (apartment) lease terminations
This mainly deals with a residential lease where the person in the military or intending to join the military should lease the property and their dependents occupy the house.
To end the lease, a proper letter from the commander must be given to the landlord or landlady.
If the lessee dies, the spouse can end the lease within one year.
Benefit and Protection No. 6 – Enforcement of Storage Liens
States that any person managing the property of someone active in the military cannot dispose of the property without a court order if the person is still active in the military.