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Illegal Repossessions Under The Servicemember Civil Relief Act

The word repossession brings to mind an unpleasant picture. Having your home, car or other property repossessed doesn’t only put you into a bad situation, but it can also be extremely embarrassing and humiliating. The last thing any service member wants to worry about while on active service is making it home to discover they no longer have a car. The SCRA laws may prevent any illegal repossessions and allow you to keep what is yours. 

According to, it is illegal for a lender to repossess a car while the owner is on active military service without a court order. Any violations of this law can carry stiff penalties. The lender could be sued by the Attorney General, fined, or have other actions taken against it. 

SCRA Exceptions For Car Repossessions

Although the SCRA lays out several protections for servicemembers and their dependents, it is not bulletproof. A court order may be obtained, for example, that may override the protections and allow a repossession to take place. The law also states that the servicemember must have made either a deposit or the first payment on the vehicle prior to entering active service. The protections may also be waived fully if the servicemember signs a waiver of rights during or after their service. 

Remedies For SCRA Violations

The SCRA laws are serious and breaking them can come with serious consequences. According to, if a creditor repossesses or even attempts to repossess your vehicle while covered under SCRA, that lender may be subject to criminal penalties. You may also be subject to remedies, and could even sue the creditor privately for damages and attorney’s fees. Violating SCRA law is a major no-no, and creditors that choose to do so could find themselves out of business or heavily burdened through fines and remedy payments. 

If you are an active servicemember or are planning on entering active service, make sure you understand your rights under SCRA. The best way to do so may be to have a chat with an attorney that specializes in SCRA and related matters. A knowledgeable attorney can answer any questions you may have and can help make sure you stay on the right path to maintain your deserved protections. Give us a call today to learn more or visit us online at Bell Law, LLC. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff is here to help and will be happy to assist you with your needs.

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