The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) is a program that provides certain protections from civil actions against servicemembers who are called to Active Duty. It restricts or limits actions against these personnel in the areas of financial management, such as rental agreements, security deposits, evictions, installment contracts, credit card interest rates, mortgages, civil judicial proceedings, income tax payments, and more.
Here are frequently asked questions and answers on some rights and benefits available under the Servicemember's Civil Relief Act (SCRA). This information is for personnel in the Active Duty and Reserves or National Guard who are activated to serve on active duty for 30 days or more under section 502(f) of title 32, U.S. Code for purposes of responding to a national emergency declared by the President and supported by Federal funds.
A: Most SCRA protection begins the day you receive your orders to active duty or deployment. As a practical matter, you should be ready, and expect to present a copy of those orders to whomever you ask for some right or benefit under the Act.
A: You may be entitled to have the interest rate on some of your loans reduced to 6% for the time you are on active duty. There are a number of special requirements. You need to talk to a Legal Assistance Attorney to ensure you are eligible. You may be eligible if you and your loan meet the following conditions:
A: I live alone and I will not be there. I want to let my apartment go and put my furniture in storage. Can I get out of my lease? Generally - yes. If you have a lease for a house, apartment, or even a business location, you may be able to get out of the lease when you come on active duty. Here are the requirements:
A: Pre-service automobile leases may be cancelled if the servicemember receives orders to active duty for a period of 180 days or more. Automobile leases entered into while on active duty may be terminated if you are PSC'ed OCONUS or deployed OCONUS for 180 days or more.
A: If you are a party (one of the people suing or being sued) in a civil case (not a criminal case), your commander can ask the judge to stay or temporarily delay the proceedings until you can appear. Generally, your commander will have to show that military duty is keeping you from going to court. This is a tricky legal area - it is recommended that you have your civilian lawyer contact a Military Legal Assistance Attorney to discuss the best way to proceed in your case.
A: If your home state taxes military pay, you will have to pay those taxes. If you get assigned to another state, you will still legally be a "domiciliary" of your home state. The state to which the military assigns you cannot tax your military pay. If you moonlight, they can tax that pay - just your military pay is exempt.