Federal Law Protects Rights of Servicemembers and Dependents
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today announced a revised Notice of Disclosure form that emphasizes the rights of the active duty military and their dependents who are protected under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.
The Act mandates that military personnel on active duty in wartime are entitled to mortgage relief, including a lower interest rate (not more than six percent) on their mortgages and foreclosure protection. It states that a foreclosure proceeding against certain military personnel, who are recalled to active duty, is not valid unless the creditor has obtained a court order approving it and further states that the courts may stop the proceedings for a time or adjust the debt.
"We all stand behind the men and women of our military when they are called upon to serve," said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. "The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act enables our armed forces to focus on their mission abroad, without worrying about their families at home."
The form explains:
* Who May Be Entitled to Legal Protections Under the SCRA?
* What Legal Protections are Servicemembers Entitled to Under the SCRA?
* How Does a Servicemember or Dependent Request Relief Under the SCRA?
* How Does a Servicemember or Dependent Obtain Information About the SCRA?
A written request and a copy of military orders must be sent to a lender in order for a servicememeber to get interest rate relief and foreclosure protection under the Act. In its revised form, however, the Notice of Disclosure emphasizes that there is no requirement thereafter for servicemembers to alert their lenders of their military status in connection with a foreclosure. It is the lenders responsibility to make that determination and to send a copy of the Notice of Disclosure to homeowners, who are in default on a mortgage.
The Notice advises servicemembers seeking relief to call 1 (800) 342-9647 or visit www.militaryonesource.com/scra for additional information and guidance. It also provides guidance on obtaining military legal assistance.