Military relocation may put you in a tough spot due to declining home values. Service members who owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth are stuck when they receive Permanent Change of Station orders. With a house underwater, you can't sell and pay off the mortgage.
Before they were famous, many truly influential men and women started by serving their country in the US military or grew up in military families.

Does the Military Protect You From Foreclosure?

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You already know that military family life for members can be difficult.

Military families face the inherent dangers of combat deployments, as well as they absentee parents and frequent relocations.

Many thousands of American service members have died in Iraq and Afghanistan or suffered life-altering injuries; all have missed important family moments while deployed.

Yet when our troops return home from Iraq and Afghanistan, they are not fully protected against another kind of harm: abusive financial practices.

In fact, military service members are often targets of financial scams or illegal foreclosures on their homes.

Learn how to protect your home and your finances while you are away serving your country, and when you return back home to safety.

A MILITARY MORTGAGE SCAM

No one serving their country should return home to find their homes foreclosed. Military service members deserve the utmost respect and appreciation for their many sacrifices.

Yet service members have often been targeted for predatory mortgages. In addition, military relocation may put you in a tough spot due to declining home values.

Service members who owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth are stuck when they receive Permanent Change of Station orders. With a house "underwater," you can't sell and pay off the mortgage. You often can't rent their home for enough to cover its inflated mortgage payments. But you also can't refinance at a lower rate, because the home is no longer their principal residence.

How do you maintain your mortgage payments and your military focus?

STRESSFUL MILITARY FINANCES

Service members' second biggest source of stress is their personal finances, according to a Defense Department survey, behind only career concerns.

You may worry more about finances than about being deployed to combat zones. Financial strains have forced many to lose their security clearance - destroying many military careers.

Yet, there is financial relief in place for you and your family.

THE SERVICEMEMBERS CIVIL RELIEF ACT

Fortunately, the law protects your financial rights while in harm's way.

The Service members Civil Relief Act exists so that service members can devote all their attention to their military service, rather than worry about losing their homes.

This law (SCRA) requires that service members receive actual notice of a foreclosure proceeding and have the chance to defend themselves, rather than come home from Iraq or Afghanistan to learn that they've lost their homes.

BIG BANKS IGNORING OUR MILITARY?

Yet the biggest banks appear to have routinely ignored the law. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the regulator for the biggest banks, ordered "independent" reviews of foreclosures by 10 major banks.

The reviews found almost 5,000 foreclosures on active-duty service members in possible violation of the SCRA. Banks may have actually foreclosed on many more of our troops, in violation of the act.

HAVE YOU BEEN WRONGLY FORECLOSED?

Mortgage foreclosure settlements includes compensation for any service member wrongfully foreclosed on; relief for redeployed service members with underwater mortgages on homes near their former post; and some protections for service members facing foreclosure.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau plans to adopt tougher rules to protect vulnerable military men and women from predatory lending practices, and to more aggressively enforce those rules.



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