State Law Update: Illinois Enacts Servicemember Protections

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On August 9, Illinois enacted SB 3287, a bill to expand and create various new protections for servicemembers. The bill clarifies the scope of coverage of servicemember protections by amending the definition of “military service” to include any full-time training or duty, no matter how described and no matter which state, federal, or other authority ordered the service. The bill provides new relief for covered servicemembers with regard to (i) default judgments, (ii) mortgage foreclosures, and (iii) installment sales contracts. For example, the bill provides that any mortgagor who is a covered servicemember, or a family member who resides with a covered servicemember, may seek a stay of foreclosure proceedings and an adjustment of the monthly payment obligation for ninety days after the servicemember returns from service. Similarly, a covered servicemember may seek a stay of any repossession of goods subject to an installment sales contract and an adjustment of the obligation. Other protections added or expanded by the bill relate to (i) limitations on interest rates, (ii) termination of motor vehicle and property leases, (iii) cellular phone and long distance contracts, and (iv) utility services. These changes take effect on January 1, 2013.