SCRA – Legislative History of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act

Note: There have been changes since the publication of this Blog Article. See supplement also at:

Also see the footnotes at the bottom of this page for changes in the length of time after military service that foreclosure protections extend and for the maximum housing rental dollar amounts to which SCRA protections apply.

legislative-historyThe Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (the “Act”) replaced the former Soldiers and Sailors Act.

The legislative history is as follows:

Statute, What Was Affected, Effective Date
P.L. 108-189,First Edition of SCRA,December 19 2003

P.L. 108-454,Added 50 U.S.C. App. §511(9) and amendment to §517, December 10 2004

P.L. 109-163, Added   50 U.S.C. App. §515(a),January 6 2006

P.L. 109-233,Amended 50 U.S.C. App. §594,June 16 2006

P.L. 110-181, Amended 50 U.S.C. App. §§521 and 522,January 28 2008

P.L. 110-289,Amended 50 U.S.C. App. §§527 and 533,July 30 2008

P.L. 110-389, Amended 50 U.S.C. App. §§527 and 535 and added §535a,October 10, 2008

P.L. 111-97,Amended 50 U.S.C. App. §§568 and 571,November 11 2009

P.L. 111-275, Amended 50 U.S.C. App. §§535 and 535a and added §§597 and 597a and 597b),October 13 2010

P.L. 111-289, Amended by S.4508 to extend the “sunset” provision of 50 U.S.C. App. §533(b) to December 31 2014,November 30 2010

Some of the changes to the legislative were designed to enlarge the protections of servicemembers and their families under the Act. While some of these changes are permanent, others are temporary with “sunset” clauses that revert the law to an earlier version upon a specific date.  For example, 50 U.S.C. App §533 **************** has a provision that protects servicemembers from some foreclosure and similar activity for a period of up to one year after the end of active duty.

Permanent changes to the Act include provisions that attach civil penalties for failure to comply, increase some protections of dependents of servicemembers, and provisions concerning the termination of contracts, such as car rental agreements.

No changes have been made in the mandate that certain actions are tolled, and may not proceed, during a servicemember’s active duty.  The Courts have uniformly required some form of military affidavit wherein the collecting party must swear that a proper military verification has been undertaken to determine whether the party against whom relief is sought is or is not on active military duty.  The Courts usually further require that the military affidavit be conclusive and not contain disclaimers.

Attorney Roy Kaufmann serves as the Director of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act Centralized Verification Service, located in Washington, D.C. As a recognized authority on the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, Mr. Kaufmann has published hundreds of articles and hosted many webinars. His teachings help law firms and businesses to remain compliant with the SCRA rules and regulations so as to avoid costly fines.