The SCRA has special provisions with regard to mortgages and deeds of trust. These provisions only apply to obligations on real or personal property owned by a servicemember which began before military service and is secured by a mortgage, trust deed, or something similar. If a servicemember has an obligation to which these provisions apply, the SCRA offers protections against actions on the mortgage or trust deed and sale or foreclosure.
If a party files an action to enforce an obligation under a mortgage or deed of trust during or within one year of a servicemember’s military service, the court may either stay (put on hold) the proceedings or adjust the obligation, such as a change in payment amount. If the servicemember can show that his or her ability to comply with the obligation is materially affected by military service, the court is required to enter a stay or adjust the obligation.
The SCRA offers stringent protections against the sale, foreclosure, or seizure of property for a breach of an obligation against the property. The SCRA provides that no sale, foreclosure, or seizure is valid if made during or within one year of military service. There are two exceptions to this rule. The first is when a court grants an order before the sale, foreclosure, or seizure with a return made and approved by the court. The second is when the parties execute a valid waiver under the waiver provisions of the SCRA in Section 3918.
What if my creditor doesn’t comply?
When lenders don’t properly comply with the SCRA, you can take action, and you may be entitled to compensation. Often times, an experienced military justice attorney can have the issue resolved without going to court. Lenders who don’t comply with the SCRA risk paying for your losses and damages resulting from their non-compliance, paying your attorney’s fees, and paying fines. They can even be prosecuted for a federal misdemeanor.
If you or someone you know needs help navigating the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, please contact Military Justice Attorneys today to speak with an experienced military justice lawyer.