Share:

Servicemembers Civil Relief Act

Reprinted from PN April 2011

Enacted in 2003, SCRA provides military members certain rights upon being activated for service or upon receiving notice of a permanent change of station.

View Forum | Print Article | Font Size + / - | Back

On February 9, 2011, the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs held its first oversight hearing of the 112th Congress to discuss violations of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA). The hearing focused on J.P. Morgan Chase Bank’s mortgage violations of SCRA provisions.

Enacted in 2003, SCRA provides military members certain rights upon being activated for service or upon receiving notice of a permanent change of station. These protections allow options such as the ability to reduce interest rates on home loans to a maximum of 6% and to terminate preservice home and automobile leases. In addition, it requires landlords to obtain court authorization before evicting servicemembers’ families for nonpayment of rent.

The first witness was an attorney representing three servicemembers in a class-action complaint against one of several lending institutions, including specifically J.P. Morgan Chase, that have disregarded the federal law in their lending practices. He was accompanied by one of his clients, a captain in the Marine Corps Reserve and his wife, who have been pursuing correction of their home loan since 2006. They repeatedly provided all re­quired paperwork and supporting documents from the military to correct their home loan account. Their home loan should have been locked-in at a rate of 6% while the Marine served on active duty. Their loan was never adjusted, and the lending institution continued harassing the military family for payment of funds that were not owed. As a result, the captain’s credit rating was seriously damaged, placing his security clearance—and, by extension, his military career—in jeopardy.

A representative from J.P. Morgan Chase said the bank violated SCRA. She also admitted improperly charging interest on 4,500 loans to active-duty servicemembers and foreclosing on 18 servicemembers’ homes while they were deployed.

Committee Chairman Jeff Mille said the Department of Defense must review their training program for SCRA to ensure servicemembers and their families are educated about the protections af­forded them under the law.  

The class action suit is now in federal court. It calls for significant financial penalties and legal fees to be paid by violators of SCRA.

 

 

To order the April 2011 PN, Click Here.
To Subscribe, Click Here.

Article Forum

PN Forum discussions are intended to provide a place for free-flowing exchange of information, opinions, and comments and are designed to provide an enjoyable and informative expression for all participants.
Please review our Forum Rules for complete details.

Login with username and password (Forgot Password?)
New Post

Servicemembers Civil Relief Act

0 Comments


Be the first to comment on this article.
(Register or login to add comments.)