What Military Service Members Need To Know – Hometown Station | KHTS FM 98.1 & AM 1220 – Radio Santa Clarita
Members of the military service looking to purchase homes while on active duty may enjoy special protections under the Servicemember’s Civilian Relief Act (SCRA). These protections, which include a 6% interest rate cap for pre-service mortgages and a stay in foreclosure while on active duty, aim to make homeownership more affordable and accessible for military families.
What does SCRA mean for the military?
The SCRA allows the military to postpone or suspend certain civilian obligations so that they can devote their full attention to their military responsibilities. It is designed to protect military personnel from creditors’ harassment and seizure, deportation, and even arrest while on active duty by suspending or temporarily reducing the number of financial obligations. Here are some examples :
- Charge interest on consumer credit at 6% per annum instead of the standard contractual rate – typically 10-18%;
- Offer a stay of proceedings – including seizures – against the property belonging to the member of the service;
- Postpone legal proceedings if they cause you difficulties because of your military duties;
- Keep court martial proceedings confidential until the accused discloses information about himself.
What does SCRA cover?
Under the SCRA, lenders cannot “execute or withdraw from any real or personal property owned by [a service member] which is not exempt from execution. This includes home equity loans, mortgages and lines of credit.
What does SCRA not do?
- The SCRA cannot waive child support, alimony, federal taxes, or student loans.
- The SCRA does not allow the military to ignore court orders.
- SCRA does not make things “easy”; it only makes the process easier for those who qualify.
What actions should the military take?
To ensure their protection under SCRA, the program requires military customers to provide outstanding orders or other proof of active service within 90 days of receiving their mortgage.
What about existing homeowners with variable rate loans who are now on active duty?
Those who are already mortgaged will not be subject to foreclosure proceedings until 120 days after an interest rate adjustment takes effect, but must still certify their military status each year by providing orders or proof of active service within 90 days of receipt.
What if a person fails to report their change of status?
Basic legal protections apply under the SCRA to all military personnel who submit a letter from a commanding officer verifying or providing proof of current service, or if the mortgagee fails to provide 90 days annual notice.
What happens to people who are already in foreclosure proceedings?
If a service member is already subject to foreclosure proceedings when receiving active duty orders, that person may be able to use the SCRA’s military clause, which protects all debts incurred before d ‘enter active service.
This is an informative article on how military personnel stationed in the United States should know their rights under the 2003 Civilian Relief Act. What military personnel need to know answers the question of what military personnel can do if they have problems with SCRA.
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