Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) Attorney
The Servicemember Civil Relief Act (SCRA) is an act passed by Congress, which protects those entering the military, called to active duty or deployed servicemembers. The act suspends or postpones certain civil obligations of servicemembers so that they can focus their full attention on serving their country and also so that their family members will not have to bear the burden of those civil obligations while their spouse is activated. Some of the civil obligations that the SCRA protects against are mentioned below.
Reduced Interest Rates On Debt
Creditors are required to reduce the interest rate on debts to 6 percent for any liabilities that you incurred before entering active duty. If the debt is a mortgage, then the rate extends for one year after active military service. The cap applies to:
- Credit Car Debts
- Car Loans
- Business Obligations
- Some Student Loans and Other Debts
- Fees, Service Charges & Renewal Fees
The protection of the SCRA does not apply to any debt that was incurred while you were on active duty, federally guaranteed student loans and some other financial obligations. Although it is rare, creditors do have the opportunity to challenge the application of the protection if the creditor believes your ability to pay a higher rate is not "materially affected" by your military service.
Deferred Income Taxes
You must be granted a deferral of income taxes by taxing authorities due before or during your military service if your ability to pay such income tax is "materially affected" by military service. No interest or other penalty can be assessed as a result of this protection.
Protection Against Default Judgments
The SCRA provides a number of protections to active military involved in a civil action, civil proceeding or an administrative proceeding. First, if one of the above is filed against you while on active duty, the judge must appoint an attorney to represent you in your absence. Additionally, the court must grant a stay of atleast 90 days if it determines that there may be a defense to the action and that defense cannot be presented without your attendance.
Postponed Civil Court Matters
The SCRA allows you to request a 90-day delay if your military service will prevent you from participating in a civil court action or an administrative proceeding. If you follow all of the statutory requirements for requesting this delay, you are automatically entitled to it. A further 90-day delay can be awarded to a servicemember at the discretion of the judge. This protection is not available to delay criminal court or criminal administrative hearings.
Small Business Owners
The SCRA protects your nonbusiness assets and military pay from being available to creditors to satisfy debts of your small business while you are serving on active duty.
Postponement Of ForeclosuresNo sale, foreclosure or seizure of property for breaching a pre-service mortgage obligation will be valid if it is made during or within nine months after a period of active duty, unless it is pursuant to a valid court order.
The SCRA protects you and your family from being evicted from housing for nonpayment of rent without a court order regardless of the language contained in the lease agreement or local laws relating to the lease. The SCRA only protects those whose rent is $3,451.20 (2016) or less. If you or your families ability to pay rent is "materially affected" by your active service you may apply to the court for an order granting either a 90-day delay in eviction proceedings or adjusting the obligations under the lease.
Termination Of Lease Agreements
The SCRA allows you to terminate your residential and other types of leases by delivering written notice of termination. This protection applies if you entered into a lease and then started military service or entered into a lease during military service and then received permanent change of station orders. In order to receive this protection, you must provide written notice of termination and a copy of your military orders to the landlord.
Prevention Of Repossession Of Property
Without a court order, property cannot be repossessed for nonpayment or a contract terminated or rescinded for a breach by you prior to or during military service.
Life Insurance Coverage Protection
Life insurance companies are not allowed to terminate coverage or require payment of additional premiums if you undertake military service except for increases in premiums based on age in individual term insurance. Additionally, an insurer may not limit or restrict coverage for any activity required by active military service.
Professional Liability Insurance
If you are a professional in health care, legal services or another professional as determined by the secretary of defense and you are called to active duty, the SCRA allows you to suspend your professional liability insurance policy upon written request to the insurance carrier. You do not have to pay insurance premiums for suspended insurance, and any premiums payed by you while on active duty must be refunded by the insurance carrier. Once released from active duty, you can reinstate your professional liability insurance by submitting a request to the insurance carrier within thirty (30) days.
CALL BRIAN WALKER LAW TODAY!
Attorney Brian Walker understands the challenges that service members and veterans face on a day-to-day basis because he has served his country just as you have. If you are eligible for any of the protections available under the SCRA and need help applying for and receiving such protection, call Brian Walker Law!