When you do business with military service members, it is important to know whether they are on active duty. If they are, you must adhere to the provisions of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, a United States federal law that provides certain protections to members of the armed forces.
Know SCRA Rules
The SCRA says, for instance, that you cannot charge more than 6% interest on loans to members of the military who are on active duty. You also must get a court order before proceeding with any civil actions against military clients.
Thus, many businesses who deal frequently with veterans and military clients do regular checks of military records. Those who may have been active military when they first became clients may later have gone on military reserve, or may no longer be a service member at all, whether due to discharge or retirement.
Stay in Compliance with Regulations
Regardless of whether your clients have had an honorable discharge, a general discharge under honorable conditions or dishonorable discharges, their military status is critical to how you do business with them. A military discharge review board determines what type of discharge military veterans get, but this generally does not come into play insofar as the SCRA is concerned. The type of discharge a military veteran gets does not affect their protections while they are active.
However, if a veteran signs a contract while they are still in the military, they are entitled to certain protections during that time that they don’t get to continue to enjoy after an honorable discharge, such as a lowered interest rate. That is one reason it is important to check military records frequently.
How to Search for Veterans’ Records
You may be able to get information about a veteran’s military service or discharge records from the Department of Veterans Affairs, but it is not always quick or easy to get hold of military records.
First, you need the veteran’s Social Security number. If you don’t have this, it makes the task of securing military records even more difficult.
That’s why the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act Centralized Verification Service is so important to banks, lenders and others who do business with members of the military.
How SCRACVS Works for You
We are able to determine military service status for our clients, usually within 24 hours.
And you don’t even need a Social Security number. If you provide us with a full name and other identifying information, such as an address, telephone number, names of relatives, etc., we can usually get a definitive answer that you can use to take to court. And if we can’t, you get a full refund.
Many businesses extend certain privileges to military veterans as a way of saying thank you for their service to our country. And while this is a benevolent act, it is not required by law if the veteran is no longer serving in the military.
Turn to SCRACVS for the Help You Need
As a lender or business owner, it is important for you to stay abreast of the laws as they pertain to military clients and veterans. Regular searches of veterans’ military records are critical when doing business with service members. Rely on the SCRACVS for all your military records search needs. Contact us today.