By: Roy L. Kaufmann
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.