Servicemember's Civil Relief Act has been updated to include many modern legal protections for all members of the U.S. military who are on active duty.
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Servicemember's Civil Relief Act Protections

The original Servicemember's Civil Relief Act (SSCRA) was re-written in 2003, and is based on the Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act of 1918. Originally written as a moratorium on civil actions brought against soldiers serving during wartime, it has been updated to include many modern legal protections for all members of the U.S. military who are on active duty- including reservists and members of the National Guard.

Know your legal rights and legal benefits, as military servicemembers.


Under the Servicemember's Civil Relief Act, you are legally allowed to break a current rental lease when called to active duty, if you made the lease agreement before going onto active duty. Residential leases may also be terminated legally if you receive a permanent change of station.

In order to break a rental lease under SSCRA, present your landlord with a written copy of your military orders, and provide the termination date for 30 days after the next rent payment is due.


The Servicemember's Civil Relief Act rules for terminating automobile leases are similar to terminating residential leases. The main difference is active duty or permanent change of station must be for a minimum of 180 continuous days.

Terminating automobile leases for vehicles used by servicemembers or military dependents, for personal or business transportation, are all covered under Servicemember's Civil Relief Act. Your leasing company cannot charge early lease termination fees, but any taxes or damages due may still apply.


Servicemember's Civil Relief Act protects you from eviction under certain circumstances; if for example, your military duties were a cause for eviction. Servicemember's Civil Relief Act will cover you if the leased property was the living space for you and/or your military dependents, and the rent is $2,400 or less (price adjusted yearly for inflation).


Servicemember's Civil Relief Act can offer protections against repossessions of property you may have purchased under installment-based contracts, if the contract and at least one payment had been made before you were called to active duty. This protection keeps the creditor from repossessing the property and terminating the contract without a court order.


If your military commitments have prevented you from being able to fulfill financial obligations such as paying credit card debt or mortgages, the Servicemember's Civil Relief Act provides for your interest rate to be limited to 6% for the time of active duty.

SSCRA, 6% interest capping only applies if the debt was incurred before active duty, and a written statement must be submitted to the creditor. Upon receiving the written proof, the creditor must reduce the interest rate effective on the servicemember's first day of active duty.


If active duty prevents any servicemember from appearing in court, the servicemember may request a 90 day stay. This protection applies if you are called as a defendant in a civil court proceeding, for example civil lawsuits, suits for paternity, child custody suits, bankruptcy or administrative proceedings.

The court is required to grant the 90 day stay if the servicemember submits written documentation regarding the conflicts of active military duties preventing court appearance.


And keep in mind that even up to six months after active duty has ended, a servicemember can still apply to have tax penalties or other liabilities waived that may have been accrued during your military service, thanks for the protection of your Servicemember's Civil Relief Act.


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