Congress has unanimously approved legislation to extend until January 2016 a provision of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) that prohibits foreclosing on a servicemember’s house for one year following the servicemember’s return from active duty. The CFPB has made SCRA compliance a priority issue.
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse proposed S.2404, known as the Foreclosure Relief and Extension for Servicemembers Act of 2014, last May. The Senate approved the measure on December 11, and the House of Representatives approved the measure the following evening during a special 10-minute session.
“After fighting for our country overseas, our troops shouldn’t have to fight to keep a roof over their heads when they return home,” said Sen. Whitehouse in a press release. “Servicemembers returning from active duty often need time to regain their financial footing, particularly those in the National Guard and Reserves who give up their full-time jobs to fight for our freedom. We should ultimately pass legislation to make this protection permanent, but I’m glad we were able to secure peace of mind for our veterans for one more year.”
Congress extended the protection period from three to nine months back in 2008 and then to one year in 2012. Had Congress failed to act before the end of this year, the protection period would have reverted back to its pre-2008 level of three months.
In a letter dated December 4, the Financial Services Roundtable (FSR) encouraged congressional leadership to extend the protection for a minimum of one year, noting that a number of financial services companies had implemented a one-year protection period as a matter of company policy. We, along with the FSR, applaud Congress for this legislation and fully expect President Obama to sign it into law.