SCRA: The purpose and history of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act

In recent decades, numerous pieces of key legislation have been written and adopted into law that are designed to protect consumers’ rights. One of the biggest pieces of legislation has to be the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA). The act is designed to offer certain protections for servicemembers who are called to active duty. According to the Department of Justice, the SCRA was enacted in 2003 and has since seen multiple revisions. The law revised and expanded the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act of 1940, providing financial relief to those called into active duty. Offering financial protections for active service members, the law covers a variety of financial issues including but not limited to rental agreements, evictions, prepaid rent, installment contracts, interest rates and more. 

The SCRA was originally written into law in 2003. The 2003 law was an expansion, however, of the original act written in 1940. Both the original act and its expansions have been, according to justice.gov, intended to “Provide a wide range of benefits and protections to those in military service.” The SCRA not only provides benefits and protections for servicemembers, but it may also benefit their dependents as well. Servicemember protections begin on the day they enter active military service. For reservists, they begin once certain military orders have been received. 

Benefits and Protections Offered

The SCRA offers a variety of benefits for service members. These benefits are designed to assist military personnel with lending issues and to prevent unnecessary foreclosures and other hardships. There are six primary benefits offered by SCRA. These benefits include:

  • A six percent interest rate cap
  • Protections against default judgment
  • Non-judicial foreclosures
  • Installment contracts and repossessions
  • Residential lease terminations
  • Enforcement of storage liens

The desire of SCRA, according to consumerfinance.gov, is to provide “extra protections for servicemembers in the event that legal or financial transactions adversely affect their rights during military or uniformed service.” The six major issues highlighted above can prevent numerous headaches and major legal issues such as foreclosure, repossession and more. These protections allow the servicemember to focus all of their energy on the task at hand: Protecting this great nation we call home. 

If you are an active service member or about to join the service, learning more about your rights under SCRA may take a simple phone call. Call us today to learn more or visit us online at Bell Law, LLC. We are here to help in any way we can and the first step in doing so is educating you on what your rights are. 

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