Foreclosure Protections under the SCRA
The Servicemember Civil Relief Act (SCRA) has very broad protections for servicemembers.
If you entered into a mortgage loan before you started active duty, you have certain protections against foreclosure of your home while you are on active duty and for a period of time after active duty.
The SCRA provides that a mortgage lender cannot foreclose on your home while you are on active duty (or within a certain grace period after active duty) without first getting a court order. The grace period is one year after active duty until 1/1/2016, and then reverts to 90 days after active duty.
- If your mortgage lender started foreclosure proceedings while you were on active duty (or within the grace period) without first getting a court order allowing the foreclosure, contact the attorneys at Teske Micko to discuss whether you have a potential claim for monetary damages or other relief.
- If the mortgage lender files a lawsuit to foreclose while you are on active duty or within the grace period, the SCRA gives you the right to ask for a “stay” of the lawsuit until you are more able to defend yourself in court. A “stay” means that the lawsuit is suspended for a specific period of time. The SCRA gives servicemembers an automatic 90-day stay if they ask for one. But you can ask for more time. You will need to let the judge know why you need more time to defend the lawsuit. If you are deployed and you will not be back home for some period of time, that may be reason for additional time. Also, the judge has the power to adjust your loan obligation depending on your situation. It will be up to the judge to decide.
- If a lawsuit to foreclose on your home was started, but you did not receive notice of it, you have the opportunity to undo the foreclosure or sale or get compensation. If the lender obtained a “Default Judgment” from the court, it had to first file an affidavit about your military status. If the affidavit incorrectly states that you were not on active duty, or within the grace period, when in fact you were (or the lender’s lawyer didn’t file an affidavit at all), you may have a claim against the lender for violating the SCRA.
- If the lender foreclosed without first obtaining a court order, and instead used a non-judicial method (also known as foreclosure by advertisement in some states), you may have a claim for a SCRA violation and be able to get monetary damages.
Contact the lawyers at Teske Micko to discuss your potential claim. Under the SCRA, you can recover monetary damages, costs and attorney fees, and possibly obtain other relief if you bring an action to enforce your rights. Teske Micko offers consultations regarding potential SCRA claims.