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Servicemembers Civil Relief Act

Active duty servicemembers and dependents may be entitled to legal protections and debt relief pursuant to the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (50 USC App. 501-596)  ("SCRA").

Who is covered?

  • Active duty military (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, National Guard)
  • Active servicemembers of the commissioned corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • Active servicemembers of the commissioned corps of the Public Health Service
  • US citizens serving with the armed forces of a nation with which the US is allied in the prosecution of war or military action
  • Spouses of the above-referenced servicemembers

What are they entitled to?

  • Debt incurred by a servicemember (or servicemember and spouse jointly) prior to entering military service shall not bear interest at a rate above 6% during the period of military service and one year thereafter, in the case of an obligation or liability consisting of a mortgage, trust deed, or other security in the nature of a mortgage, or during the period of military service in the case of any other obligation or liability.
  • In a legal action to enforce a debt against real estate that is filed during or within 1 year after the servicemember's military service, a court may stop the proceedings for a period of time, or adjust the debt. In addition, the sale, foreclosure, or seizure of real estate shall not be valid if it occurs during or within 1 year after the servicemember's military service unless the creditor has obtained a court order approving the sale, foreclosure or seizure of rel estate.
  • Additional protections for non-mortgage related debt.

How do they request relief?

Servicemember, spouse or both must make a written request along with a copy of the servicemember's orders to the military family department of the servicer of the debt.

How can additional information be obtained?

  • US Department of Defense's Military OneSource: 

       (follow the country-specific OCONUS instructions)

                800-342-9647 (inside US)

                484-530-5908 (international collect)

  • Local JAG office or legal assistance officer


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