On December 7, 2022, the CFPB issued a report recommending that creditors proactively provide Servicemember Civil Relief Act (“SCRA”) interest rate benefits to eligible customers, bypassing the statute’s requirements of a written request from the servicemember and proof of military service.  The report, titled “Protecting Those Who Protect Us: Evidence of activated Guard and Reserve servicemembers’ usage of credit protections under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act,” highlights the underutilization of the SCRA’s interest rate benefit by eligible servicemembers.… Continue Reading

On July 29, 2022, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a notification letter (the “joint letter”) to “remind” auto lenders and leasing companies of the protections provided to servicemembers and their dependents under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA).  The joint letter provides a very basic overview and reminder of the vehicle repossession protections, early vehicle lease termination rights, and interest rate cap available to eligible servicemembers under the SCRA.… Continue Reading

On April 15, 2022, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against Steve’s Towing, Inc., located in Virginia Beach, Virginia, pursuant to the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (“SCRA”), 50 U.S.C. §§ 3901-4043, for alleged violations of the SCRA’s prohibition against enforcing a storage lien on a servicemember’s vehicle during, or within ninety days after, a period of military service without a court order. … Continue Reading

The Department of Justice recently entered into a settlement with BayPort Credit Union to resolve allegations that it violated the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) by charging unlawful interest to servicemembers and repossessing vehicles owned by servicemembers without first obtaining the required court orders.  As detailed below, the consent order requires BayPort to pay compensation to servicemembers who were charged unlawful interest and whose vehicles were alleged to have been unlawfully repossessed. … Continue Reading

The final version of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022 (NDAA) (S. 1605) currently awaiting President Biden’s signature does not contain several proposed provisions that members of the consumer financial services industry had opposed.

Specifically, the NDAA does not contain provisions that would have:

The NDAA does contain a provision (Section 6207) that expands the coverage of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) protections dealing with the termination of residential or motor vehicle leases and telephone service contracts. … Continue Reading

On Monday, the CFPB and DOJ announced that they sent joint letters to landlords/property management companies and mortgage servicers regarding the protections given to servicemembers by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA).

Letter to landlords/property management companies.  The letter only addresses SCRA protections for early lease terminations and evictions. … Continue Reading

In addition to amendments to the Fair Credit Reporting Act dealing with the reporting of adverse information on servicemembers by consumer reporting agencies, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) as passed by the House and now headed to the Senate includes amendments to the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act that restrict the use of arbitration agreements and waivers of SCRA protections.… Continue Reading

The Department of Justice announced earlier this week that it has entered into a consent order with the New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA) to settle the DOJ’s claim that HESAA violated the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) by obtaining unlawful court judgments against two military servicemembers for amounts owed on student loans. … Continue Reading

On June 27 the Senate passed the Gold Star Spouses and Spouses of Injured Servicemembers Leasing Relief Expansion Act as part of the Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (see Sec. 6007). If it becomes law, the bill would amend the SCRA to allow spouses of servicemembers killed or injured during service to terminate certain types of leases.… Continue Reading

The Justice Department announced in a March 15 press release that it has reached an agreement with property management company PRG Real Estate Management (PRG) and several related entities to settle claims that PRG violated the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) by obtaining evictions and money judgments against service-member tenants by filing affidavits that did not accurately reflect the tenants’ military status.… Continue Reading