Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA)
In 1940, Congress passed the Soldiers' and Sailors' Civil Relief Act (SSCRA) to provide protection to those called to military service in the armed forces. The SSCRA was updated after the Gulf War in 1991 but remained largely unchanged as of 2003. In December 2003, President Bush signed into law the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA). The SCRA was written to clarify the language of the SSCRA and to update the SSCRA to reflect new developments in American life since 1940. This law is a complete revision and provides a number of significant protections to servicemembers. It also provides protection to Reservists and members of the National Guard (when activated under Title 10 orders).
The most common forms of protection and relief are listed, below:
- Mortgage Relief
- Termination of Leases
- Protection From Eviction
- 6% Cap on Interest Rates
- Stay of Proceedings
- Reopening Default Judgments
The SCRA actually provides many more protections than these, and the Supreme Court has ruled the SCRA must be read with "an eye friendly to those who dropped their affairs to answer their country's call." Military legal assistance attorneys are available to provide guidance on the SCRA. For more information on locating a legal assistance attorney, see http://legalassistance.law.af.mil/content/locator.php.