Tuesday, October 13, 2009

SSCRA...What It Means To Our Veterans And Our Military Members.

By Doc Schmyz

The Soldier and Sailor Civil Relief Act or SSCRA was signed by President Bush on December 2003. The point for this act was to set new legislation to simplify or ease both legal and economic burdens to military personnel whether active or retired.

What is the SSCRA

SSCRA addresses the inability of military men to meet financial obligations when they are in active duty. Financial obligations to include rentals, leases, mortgages, credit card payments and other similar types of transactions. The SSCRA also stretches to cover the dependents of the military men in question under the same guidelines.

SSCRA covers those under active duty, to include out on basic training exercises or assigned in the field. Often veterans miss the chance to pay their financial obligations since they are unable to do so during the line of duty. The SSCRA aims to provide legislation to these individuals so that they are given consideration regarding deadlines and payment due dates.

One area covered by SSCRA for military personnel/dependents includes leasing/renting of a property for residential purpose (not to exceed more than $1,200 a month.) Also the conditions must be met and the transaction must be first be made before the service man is enlisted into active duty.

Once on active duty, it's almost impossible for them to settle the obligation. On this note, the service man must send a request of being under the protection of the SSCRA to the court when he or she receives an eviction notice. If the judge finds sufficient grounds which merits the protection from SSCRA then the court may postpone the eviction until the term of duty of the personnel expires.

Advantage of SSCRA for veterans on active duty

Often military personnel on active duty will not have the ability to fulfill their financial obligations to various institutions like credit cards, banks, insurance or mortgage lenders. The SSCRA aims to provide a form of security to these men on duty on active duty.

SSCRA will provide enough "elbow room" for military personnel to be given extended deadlines for payments, foreclosures and mortgage transactions when they are in the line of duty. Though not all veterans are given the privilege of being under the protection of the SSCRA; some criteria and requirements must be met for both the transaction and the personnel before they are granted protection.

Interest Rates and SSCRA

Members on active duty who are unable to pay mortgages and who are facing foreclosure may then invoke the protection of the SSCRA to avoid such problems. Qualified debts are those incurred prior to service men coming into the line of duty. Also, the request will only be valid if the personnel are in the line of duty when the request was made which limited them from settling the said obligation.

Once qualified, the service member needs to send a letter to the lender/bank requesting that their interest rate be capped to 6% according to the provision stated in SSCRA. Also, they may should send a photocopy of the military order to the lender as proof that they are on military duty as stated in their letter of request. the process can take up to 3 months to complete.

Foreclosures and the SSCRA

SSCRA can also help cover the military member under the obligation of a mortgage, trust deed or security of property for any financial obligation. The SSCRA simply states that the personnel are valid for protection under the SSCRA if the obligation and the property were done prior to their military service.

The provision states that prohibition of foreclosure or sale of mortgage property without the presence of the borrower, the military personnel in this case, whether in a judicial or a non-judicial foreclosure. It is also stated in the SSCRA that maturity dates and deadlines will be given an extension when the military personnel is in active duty until they are released from their given designation.

Even if the maturity date or the date of foreclosure is extended due to the military personnel's inability to pay, the court will try to achieve a compromise agreement from both parties requiring the mortgage lender to pay at least half of the amount due while the mortgage holder extends the deadline or put a stay on the foreclosure or sale of the property.

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