Monday, January 24, 2011

The Servicemember's Civil Relief Act (SCRA)

The Servicemember's Civil Relief Act (SCRA) is the body of law that helps insure your family's legal rights. The law covers all active-duty servicemembers, activated Guard and Reserve, and their dependent family members. A lot of family members don't know much about this so here are some highlights of the SCRA...

*Limit on interest rates: Interest rates that you must pay on any loan or debt that you had prior to going on active duty are limited to no more than 6% a year. This cap is not automatic. You must notify your lender in writing requesting this benefit.

*Stay of proceedings: If you're involved in a lawsuit you can request a delay, if the delay is necessary due to your servicemember's service.

*Statute of limitations: Your active-duty servicemember's service to our country will not be taken into account when determining the statute of limitations on legal proceedings brought by or against you.

*Health insurance reinstatement: If you have health insurance prior to reporting to active duty, SCRA requires your civilian health insurance company to reinstate your coverage when your servicemember completes their service.

*Home foreclosure protection: Your mortgage company can't foreclose on you if you have a mortgage prior to active duty and you can illustrate that military service is the reason you can't afford to make your mortgage payment.

*Eviction protection: Your landlord also has to be more flexible if you are renting your home and can't keep up with your rent payments because of your servicemember's duty.

*Business lease termination: You can terminate a business lease contract that you or your spouse had prior to active duty if reporting to duty would make continuing that lease unreasonable.

That doesn't mean you can walk away from back payments or that you're off the hook the day active duty orders are issued. You're still responsible for all past, and in most cases, through the end of the next month.

And be sure the lease holder gives written notice to the landlord!!

*Eliminates double taxation: If you work in one state, but your legal residence is in a different state, SCRA prevents the state in which you're employed from taxing your income. Only your state of residence may tax your income.

**in addition to the protections provided under SCRA, Guard and Reserve families and servicemembers receive additional protections under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA. One major provision here is that employers are required to reemploy Guard and Reserve members when they return from deployment.

For more info:

Servicemembers Civil Relief Act Overview -on

Public Law 108-189
- PDF link

Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA)

(USERRA) - PDF link

-from "A family's guide to the Military" (a "for dummies" book)


No comments:

Post a Comment