White House, Major Lenders Partner To Verify Military Status
The White House made an announcement Aug. 26 in which President Barack Obama mentioned an upcoming partnership that will help big lenders to verify military status.
The announcement noted that, though Congress passed the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act in 2003 to ensure the protection of servicemembers' domestic interests, many do not exercise these rights. Whether this is due to a lack of education concerning the law or other reasons, the White House has made it a priority to ensure that these protections are observed.
Banks and servicers working with the president
A number of large banks, including Wells Fargo bank, N.A., CitiMortgage Inc., Bank of America, N.A., Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC and Quicken Loans, are partnering with the federal government to ensure that the rate and monthly payment reductions owed to servicemembers under the SCRA are being implemented. This is a turnaround from the current system that requires servicemembers to jump through a number of bureaucratic loops to receive these benefits.
"Under the law, our servicemembers are entitled to reduced mortgage rates, but the burden is on them to ask for it and prove they're eligible, which means a lot of folks don't get the low rates they deserve," said Obama on Aug. 26, according to The Wall Street Journal. "Today, we're turning that around."
The partnership is voluntary, prompting Jeff Zients, director of the White House's National Economic Council, to say that these organizations are going above and beyond the requirements of the law to help servicemembers, the news source reported.
Provisions of the partnership
Under this partnership, participating servicers will agree to proactively verify military status at least every quarter. They will then reach out to servicemembers who qualify for benefits to inform them of their rights under the SCRA. The organizations are to use multiple marketing and communication tactics to get in touch with servicemembers. Finally, servicers will work together to simplify the application process, making it easier to enroll in programs and satisfy the SCRA written notice requirement.
The heightened focus on the SCRA in politics and the public eye highlights the need for all organizations and individuals that have a responsibility to comply with this act to regularly verify military service. The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act Centralized Verification Service can help by streamlining this process. For lenders who need to process 750 or more searches per month, SCRACVS also offers an unparalleled Military Status Verification Batch Processing service.