Kerry Housing Legislation Would Protect Military, Veterans from Foreclosure
Extending 6% Cap on Mortgage Interest and Protections from Foreclosure Will Help Military families Endure Housing Crisis, Sluggish Economy
Facing a growing housing problem and a sub-prime mortgage crisis, Senator John Kerry introduced legislation today to help active duty service members and their families pay their home mortgages and avoid foreclosure.
The legislation would expand Service Member Civil Relief Act by extending the existing cap on mortgage interest rates of 6% from the current 90 days to one year after active duty service members return home. It would also extend the existing protections from foreclosure from the current 90 days to one year after active duty service members return home.
"There's a tragic disconnect in Washington between words spoken about keeping faith with veterans, and the actions taken to make those words count. We know that nearly 200,000 veterans are homeless on any given night and that the unemployment rate for young veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan has been as high as triple the national average. We need to act immediately to insure that our men and women in uniform who have sacrificed in Iraq and Afghanistan don't lose their home to foreclosure or face skyrocketing mortgage interest rates," said Kerry. "Helping military families avoid foreclosure helps keep America's promise to our military, protecting those who protect us."
The Service members Civil Relief Act (SCRA) helps members of the military and their families deal with the special financial burdens associated with serving their country. Current law caps interest at an annual rate of 6% from when a service member is called up to active duty to 90 days after they return home. Current law also stops foreclosure proceedings against military families while the service member is called to active duty until 90 days after they return home. Unfortunately, even with these protections, too many of our brave soldiers fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan are returning to find that their homes are in danger of foreclosure due to the subprime crisis.
Senator Kerry's legislation would amend SCRA by extending the limit on foreclosure from 90 days to 1 year after service members have returned from active duty. The bill would also extend the existing cap on mortgage interest at 6% for one year. These changes will provide service members and their families with the protections they need to insure they do not lose their home due to their service to our nation.
The recent report by the Commission on the National Guard and Reserves suggested that amending SCRA to extending the interest rate cap and protections against foreclosure would help service members and their families devote their full attention to serving our nation.