President Obama Expands SCRA Protections for Servicemembers

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On August 6, President Obama signed into law the Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012, H.R. 1627. Section 710 of this Act expands foreclosure protections for active duty servicemembers. Currently, under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, 50 U.S.C. app. § 533 (SCRA), an individual is entitled to foreclosure protection during the period of active duty and for nine months thereafter. This extended foreclosure protection was set to expire at the end of calendar year 2012, at which point the foreclosure protection would only last for ninety days after the end of active duty.

This bill signing makes three important changes to the SCRA that expand protections for servicemembers:

  • The SCRA will continue to provide servicemembers with foreclosure protection during the period of active duty and for nine months thereafter past the end of the current calendar year into 2013;
  • One-hundred-and-eighty days from the date of enactment (i.e., February 2, 2013), the mortgage foreclosure protection will extend to one full year after the period of active duty; and
  • On January 1, 2015, the SCRA’s expanded foreclosure protection will sunset, and the protection period will revert to its 2008 level: the period of active duty service plus ninety days.

Additionally, this Act requires the Comptroller General of the United States to report to Congress information related to the use of this expanded foreclosure protection. This report is due a year-and-a-half after enactment-giving Congress several months to review the report prior to the 2015 sunset.

 

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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