News

By: Roy L. Kaufmann

Is Verifying Military Service Required for Landlords?

The eviction protections granted to servicemembers under the SCRA are extremely serious, as landlord Randall McLeod found out.

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By: Roy L. Kaufmann

Hole in SCRA Allows Lender to Prey on Servicemembers

The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act exists to protect military personnel, who are often among the most vulnerable to shady financial practices, from exploitation and unfair penalties resulting from their service.

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By: Roy L. Kaufmann

SCRA Case Underscores Importance of Adherence to Law

In a recent case that highlights the importance of following the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act to the letter, a federal judge ruled against Miami-Dade County after officials demolished a house belonging to U.S. Army Sergeant First Class Jesus Jimenez.

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By: Roy L. Kaufmann

DOJ Increases Vigilance Over SCRA Violations

Violators of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act beware: The Department of Justice, ever a formidable foe, has been relentlessly increasing its vigilance over SCRA violations, filing lawsuits from coast to coast that cost millions to settle. Targets include banks, moneylenders,...

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By: Roy L. Kaufmann

Does Reenlistment Restart SCRA Protections?

Section 527 of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act ("SCRA") generally requires that interest rates on obligations that pre-date active duty be rolled back to 6% upon request of the servicemember and adequate demonstration that the servicemember is eligible for this and other protections. Other protections deal with foreclosure proceedings, insurance, and default judgments in court. The logic behind this benefit is that, after a servicemember is called to duty, his income may be reduced and the reduction in interest rate is to soften the financial impact upon the servicemember and his family. A lender has a right to ask the court to determine that, notwithstanding the new military service, the servicemember has not been disadvantaged to the point where he merits the reduction to 6%. Such might be the case if the servicemember is particularly wealthy, has other sources of income, or is at a particularly high grade level.

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By: Roy L. Kaufmann

Is it an SCRA Violation to Attempt to Collect Fees on an Aborted Foreclosure?

In Brewster v. Sun Trust Mortgage Inc., No. 12-56560, ___ F.3d ___ (9th Cir., Feb. 7, 2014) , the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed and remanded a case wherein two foreclosure proceedings were instituted. The first of the two proceedings imposed charges and fees that covered a five-month period during with the borrower was on active military duty and subject to the protections of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (“SCRA”). The SCRA is quite specific at Section 533(c) where is prohibits “"sale, foreclosure, or seizure of property for a breach of [a mortgage that originated before the servicemember's military service]...if made during, or within one year after, the period of the servicemember's military service”.The only time a lender is permitted to institute or continue such a proceeding is when a court has given specific approval.

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By: Roy L. Kaufmann

Firm Fined $1.49M for Unlawful Attempted Evictions of Servicemembers

A Virginia real estate management company reached a $1.49 million settlement with the Department of Justice over unlawful attempted evictions of servicemembers. The DOJ clamped down on the company when it learned the company had violated the Servicemembers Civil Relief...

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By: Roy L. Kaufmann

Lender to Pay $9M for Student Loan SCRA Violations

A federal student loan servicer has agreed to pay $9 million to settle a fraud claim with the New York Attorney General’s office for Student Loan SCRA Violations that deceived borrowers with student loans. The student loan debt crises has...

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