The SCRA deems soldiers on active duty exempt from lawsuits. Even recent retirees are covered. Cases involving repossessions, foreclosures and other debts are common. If you want to recoup your losses, you’ll need a military status affidavit that says the person you’re suing isn’t an active servicemember before you go forward.
As bad as it would be to get your case thrown out of court for lack of documentation, worse would be getting slapped with a countersuit for SCRA violations.
Lincoln Military Housing Settlement
In a California case last month, Lincoln Military Housing agreed to pay a $200,000 fine for illegally evicting servicemembers behind on their rents. But Lincoln didn’t skip filing the affidavits. It filed false affidavits, claiming the tenants were not in the service.
After the Justice Department filed a lawsuit against Lincoln, the housing company, the two came to a settlement. Lincoln agreed to pay the fine as well as make individual payments of $35,000 to each servicemember evicted. Further, Lincoln must forgive each of their debts and have the evictions removed from their credit reports.
HSBC Finance Settlement
Also last month, HSBC Finance Corp. agreed to pay $434,500 for repossessing cars owned by active servicemembers. HSBC, based in Illinois, reclaimed 75 cars between 2008 and 2010 without court orders to do so.
In 2010, HSBC sold its car division to Santander Consumer USA, which had to pay $10.5 million in an SCRA settlement for improper repossessions.
The DoJ said the SCRA was created so that servicemembers would not have to worry about making debt payments while they are deployed.
SCRACVS Is the Source
If you’re planning to sue a debtor who owes you money, get proper military documentation. The SCRA Centralized Verification Service can get you just what you need within 24 hours, guaranteed.
Sure, you can try to get this information yourself from the DMDC, but it can take months to get a response from all five branches, and this is time you don’t have.
All you need to do is provide SCRACVS with identifying information — name, address, date of birth, Social Security number, names and addresses of relatives. Then we deliver your affidavit. The cost is only $36.40. Compare that with the time it would take you to get this information elsewhere.
Plus, the DMDC charges you $5 per inquiry, and you have to write to all five branches of the military separately. See Comparing the DMDC with SCRACVS. If you have more than one debtor, you’re looking at a mountain of paperwork and fees.
Save yourself time and trouble and depend on SCRACVS to provide you with the documentation you need.