Lenders and those who operate businesses that work with members of the military need to know who is on active duty in order to stay compliant with the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.
What is the SCRA?
This United States federal law provides protection to active-duty servicemembers from certain court actions.
These actions include foreclosure, eviction, and repossession, as well as guaranteeing men and women in the service an interest rate of no higher than 6 percent on loans, including personal loans, student loans, car loans, and credit cards.
Options for Businesses
But these protections do not mean basic military service members are exempt from these actions, or immune to civil prosecution. It means merchants, lenders and others doing business with servicemembers must follow certain rules regarding how to initiate court cases against them.
Court Orders Required
If you want to file suit against a client for nonpayment and they are active-duty military, you must first obtain a court order. Proceeding with a case against a servicemember without a court order is a violation of the SCRA, and is punishable by fines, penalties, and even imprisonment.
Reservists Usually Not Covered
The purpose of the SCRA’s requirement to obtain a court order is to protect servicemembers from unfair default judgments. After all, if they are active duty, they may not be able to appear in court due to their obligations, whether they are deployed or not. (Reserve officers are not covered by the SCRA unless they are called to active duty by the president and serve at least 30 consecutive days.)
SCRA Violations Are Costly
Thus, diligent lenders and merchants check military status before proceeding with any claims against clients defaulting on payments. Even one mistake can cost thousands. Repeat or big-time offenders can be targets of the Justice Department, which has sued major banks, property managers and others, reaching agreements in the tens of millions of dollars.
Rely on SCRACVS
The easiest way to find out if someone is in the military is to use a trusted third-party service such as the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act Centralized Verification Service. While it is theoretically possible to obtain the information on your own by searching military service records, it can be onerous and time-consuming.
Time = Money
Any businessperson knows that recouping losses takes time, and the losses grow during this time. The longer your tenant doesn’t pay rent, the longer your client doesn’t make car payments, the more money you lose.
Requirements for Search
SCRACVS is quick and thorough. We provide fast results — usually in 24 hours. When you do the search on your own, you need a Social Security number. If you don’t have it, your results will be invalid.
How SCRACVS Searches
When you work with SCRACVS, you don’t need a Social Security number. It’s helpful, but if you don’t have it, you can provide other kinds of data, such as full name, birth date, address, driver’s license number, family members’ names, etc. Armed with this information, we can usually find the person’s Social Security number and get the results you need to move forward with your claim.
Dates of Service
Further, when you do searches of this nature, it is critical to have the military service dates of the client in question. We collect this information and supply it to you as well because the determination regarding whether the SCRA applies is reliant on when and whether the service member was on active duty relative to your contract.
Depend on SCRACVS whenever you need an accurate, affordable military service verification. Your competitors use our service — you should too.