Military affidavits are important documents that you need as a lender or debt collector. Having a military affidavit on hand helps you stay compliant with the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA).
But what are these affidavits, how do you get them and what happens if you don’t have one?
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act is a federal law that offers protections to active-duty military members who may be unable to meet some of their financial obligations. Any lender who is unaware of the law or refuses to grant these rights to qualified soldiers is violating the SCRA.
But how are mortgage lenders, car loan providers, storage proprietors and other businesses that collect payments from soldiers supposed to know whether they are on active duty?
This is where military affidavits come into play. They confirm a soldier’s active-duty status. This is critical for any company that must navigate the SCRA.
What Is a Military Affidavit, and Why Is it Important?
Military affidavits can look different, depending on where you’re located and what jurisdiction you’re in. But all of them do the same thing: confirm or deny active-duty status.
Technically, a military affidavit is a court document that legally determines someone’s active-duty status. This form will typically contain information such as name and date of birth. It also has a section confirming or denying active-duty status.
The courts also offer a third option if the military status can’t be proven. There is a space on the form to explain what you known about the person’s military status and how you know it.
Why Do You Need to Confirm Military Status?
Lenders typically submit military affidavits to court during processes such as a foreclosure or default judgment. For example, if the defendant doesn’t show up for a court case, a military affidavit confirming their active-duty status would protect them from negative consequences, since servicemembers don’t to show up if they are deployed.
Additionally, lenders cannot start a foreclosure if a homeowner who is behind on their mortgage is on active duty. Lender must first get a military affidavit proving that the debtor is not on active duty.
Any legal action against a servicemember regarding their financial obligations will typically require a military affidavit to move forward smoothly. The SCRA simply offers too many protections to servicemembers for lenders and debt collectors to skip the military verification step, dragging out what would have been a simpler legal process.
“Military affidavits confirm or deny active service.”
Why and How Do You Need to Acquire a Military Affidavit?
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act Centralized Verification Service accesses the Defense Department’s Defense Manpower Data Center to determine whether someone is on active duty. SCRACVS then provides users with a military verification. SCRACVS also provides military affidavits. This makes the process easier for lenders and debt collectors who have enough to worry about with payment issues.