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SCRA: Servicemembers Civil Relief Act Overview

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The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) gives military members a wide range of legal protections not available to the general public.

SCRA Eligibility

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 $3,451.20 per month (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 to terminate your current cell phone contract if you relocate for at least 90 days to a location that doesn't have coverage under your current cell phone provider
  • 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 
  • 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.

For detailed information on specific SCRA protections and benefits check our our Frequently Asked Questions or related pages:

Interest Rate Limits
Installment Contract Rights
Insurance Rights
Judicial Proceedings Protection
Lease Termination Rights
Storage Rental & Eviction Protection
Tax Rights

 

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