Individuals who serve in the U.S. Armed Forces may suffer financial difficulties as a result of their military service, compounded by the fact that they often serve overseas and may be directly involved in combat. For this reason, federal law extends a number of legal protections to military personnel and their dependents to ensure military personnel do not suffer, or have to worry about, severe financial consequences while serving their country. This law is known as the “Servicemember Civil Relief Act” (SCRA). It may also be called “Soldiers & Sailors” referring to an older law called the “Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act.”

The following persons are eligible for SCRA protections:

  • Any person on active duty with the US Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, National Guard called to duty by President/Sec. of Defense/Governor for more than 30 days, and commissioned officers of the Public Health Service or National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration.

SCRA provides the following protections on any loan issued to an eligible person before they entered military service:

  • Interest Rate & payment amount reduction: Interest rates must be reduced to 6% and payment amounts must be reduced based on the new rate. Member may assert this right up to 180 days after they leave military service and the reductions must be retroactive to the date of service.
  • Additionally, we may not repossess a vehicle or foreclose real estate without first obtaining a court order. This action would only be taken in the most extreme of circumstances.
  • Note that these protections are not automatic. It is up to you to contact your financial institution to notify them of your service and to request that they activate the SCRA provisions.

If you, or a family member, would like to invoke protections available to you under SCRA, please call us at 1 (800) 479-7928 to discuss your situation. We will ask you to mail or fax a copy of your active duty paperwork listing the dates of service. Additionally, we may work with you to complete a household budget to identify all areas where we may be of assistance.  Even if your loans were not issued before your active duty, please call us anyway. We will do everything we can to assist you and your family during this time.