The federal Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) has come back into prominence as the country welcomes home veterans from two wars against the backdrop of the foreclosure crisis. The purpose of the SCRA is to strengthen the protections afforded to those serving in the U.S. Armed Forces so that they may “devote their entire energy to the defense needs of the nation.”
The law provides members of the military in active service with protection regarding a wide range of financial matters including repossession, eviction, early lease termination, taxation and insurance. It also provides relief from installment and cellular phone contracts and stipulates interest rate ceilings for members of the military. The SCRA applies in every state and territory of the U.S. and to all civil and administrative proceedings in federal, state or municipal venues. It does not apply, however, to criminal proceedings.