Servicemembers Civil Relief Act

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The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) of 2003, previously known as the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act, is a federal law that protects active duty military service personnel as they enter active duty. It covers issues such as credit cards interest rates, personal loans, mortgage interest rates, mortgage foreclosure, civil judicial proceedings, automotive leases, life insurance, health insurance and more.

Legal Rights and Protections Under the SCRA
Servicemembers on “active duty” or “active service” or a spouse or dependent of such a servicemember may be entitled to certain legal protections and debt relief pursuant to the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (50 USC App. §§ 3901-4043) (SCRA).

Who May be Entitled to Legal Protections Under the SCRA?

  • Regular members of the U.S. Armed Forces (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard).
  • Reserve and National Guard personnel who have been activated and are on Federal active duty.
  • National Guard personnel under a call or order to active duty for more than 30 consecutive days under section 502(f) of title 32, United States Code, for purposes of responding to a national emergency declared by the President and supported by Federal funds.
  • Active service members of the commissioned corps of the Public Health Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
  • Certain United States citizens serving with the armed forces of a nation with which the United States is allied in the prosecution of a war or military action.

What Legal Protections are Servicemembers Entitled To Under the SCRA?

  • The SCRA states that a debt incurred by a servicemember, or servicemember and spouse jointly, prior to entering military service shall not bear interest at a rate above 6 percent during the period of military service and one year thereafter, in the case of an obligation or liability consisting of a mortgage, trust deed, or other security in the nature of a mortgage, or during the period of military service in the case of any other obligation or liability.
  • The SCRA states that in a legal action to enforce a debt against real estate that is filed during, or within one year after the servicemember's military service, a court may stop the proceedings for a period of time, or adjust the debt. In addition, the sale, foreclosure, or seizure of real estate shall not be valid if it occurs during, or within one year after the servicemember's military service unless the creditor has obtained a valid court order approving the sale, foreclosure, or seizure of the real estate.
  • The SCRA contains many other protections besides those applicable to home loans.

How Does A Servicemember or Dependent Request Relief Under the SCRA?

  • In order to request relief under the SCRA from loans with interest rates above 6 percent a servicemember or spouse must provide a written request to the lender, together with a copy of the servicemember’s military orders.

Loans, Lines of Credit and Credit Cards

Regions Bank
ATTN: SCRA
P.O. Box 1984
Birmingham, AL 35201

Or Fax them to (205) 261-7048. Include "ATTN SCRA" on the cover sheet.

Regions Mortgage

Mortgage Customer Service
ATTN: SCRA
P.O. Box 18001
Hattiesburg, MS 39401-8001

Or Fax them to (601) 554-2385. Include "ATTN SCRA" on the cover sheet.

  • There is no requirement under the SCRA, however, for a servicemember to provide a written notice or a copy of a servicemember’s military orders to the lender in connection with a foreclosure or other debt enforcement action against real estate. Under these circumstances, lenders should inquire about the military status of a person by searching the Department of Defense’s Defense Manpower Data Center’s website, contacting the servicemember, and examining their files for indicia of military service. Although there is no requirement for servicemembers to alert the lender of their military status in these situations, it still is a good idea for the servicemember to do so.

How Does a Servicemember or Dependent Obtain Information About the SCRA?

  • Servicemembers and dependents with questions about the SCRA should contact their unit’s Judge Advocate, or their installation’s Legal Assistance Officer. A military legal assistance office locator for all branches of the Armed Forces is available at legalassistance.law.af.mil/content/locator.php.
  • “Military OneSource” is the U. S. Department of Defense’s information resource. If you are listed as entitled to legal protections under the SCRA (see above), please go to www.militaryonesource.com/legal or call 1-800-342-9647 (toll free from the Unites States) to find out more information. Dialing instructions for areas outside the United States are provided on the website.

Powers of Attorney
Some service members on extended deployment, training, or temporary duty away from home choose to have a power of attorney in place to permit a trusted agent to provide assistance regarding financial matters and banking transactions.  If you are a service member, Regions’ policy allows us to accept your power of attorney when it meets our requirements.

For a power of attorney to be accepted by Regions, it must be legally valid. A power of attorney must be signed by you and properly acknowledged. This acknowledgement may be provided by a notary public, or, if the power of attorney is designated as a military power of attorney, the acknowledgment may be provided by certain members of the Armed Forces such as judge advocates or civilian attorneys serving as legal assistance attorneys.  Regions generally accepts only powers of attorney that are durable, which means that the power of attorney is effective even if you become incapacitated in the future. In addition, the power of attorney should describe the specific banking and financial powers that you are providing to the agent.

If you have a power of attorney, you or your agent can bring it to a Regions Bank branch, and the bank will let you know if it will be accepted. You may want to do that before any need arises. Because it may be more difficult to grant someone power of attorney once you are absent, you may wish to consider addressing questions about your power of attorney ahead of time.

In reviewing or accepting powers of attorney, Regions may ask for additional information or documents. For example, Regions may require that your agent sign a form stating that the power of attorney is valid and in effect, before it is honored. Further, if your power of attorney is written in a language other than English, Regions will require a translation from a certified translator.

If the power of attorney is accepted, the agent can perform those actions specified in the power of attorney. After acceptance, there could be certain circumstances causing Regions to refuse the power of attorney for future transactions. In such a situation, we will inform the agent.