The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) gives military members a wide range of legal protections not available to the general public.
The SCRA covers all active duty service members, reservists and the members of the National Guard while on active duty. The protection begins on the date of entering active duty and generally terminates within 30 to 90 days after discharge.
What Does the SCRA Cover?
The SCRA can postpone or suspend financial or civil obligations to prevent you from being taken advantage of while on active duty and away from home.
Protections offered by the SCRA include:
- Prevents your landlord from evicting you unless the rent is higher than $3,851.03 per month for 2019 (this amount changes every year)
- Stops foreclosures without a court order
- Your vehicle can’t be repossessed without a court order if you made a deposit, or at least one payment before you joined
- You can’t be taken to court for civil proceedings, this includes divorce and child support hearings
- Keeps the owner of a self-storage facility from selling your belongings for overdue rent without a court order
Benefits offered by the SCRA include:
- Lets you terminate your telecom contracts (telephone, cable, internet etc.) if you relocate for at least 90 days to a location that doesn’t have coverage under your current provider
- Lets you keep your current phone number even if you cancel your service due to a relocation that lasts less than 3 years
- Lets you end a vehicle lease you signed before joining if you are mobilized, PCS OCONUS, or deploy OCONUS for at least 180 days
- Lets you end a housing lease without penalty if you deploy for 90 days or more
- Lets a surviving spouse terminate a lease if their partner dies on active duty
- Lets a military spouse claim either their home of record, the service member’s state of legal residence, or the state they are living in for tax purposes
- Limits interest on all loans taken out before joining the military to 6 percent. This includes auto loans, mortgages, student loans, credit cards, etc.
- Also, it says that if you use any of your SCRA rights and delay payments it won’t reflect on your credit report
The SCRA also gives you other rights regarding property taxes, federal taxes, life insurance, and other financial or legal penalties or proceedings. Check with your unit legal officer for specifics.