Senators Jack Reed (D-Rhode Island), Dick Durbin (D-Illinois), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island), and Mark Begich (D-Alaska) are sponsoring a bill to expand protections for military members in the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA).[IMAGE]
Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden is also supporting the bill, known as the Servicemember Housing Protection Act (S. 3179), which has been has been referred to the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs.[COLUMN_BREAK]
Currently, the SCRA allows for military members to postpone civil obligations such as mortgage payments and credit card debt, prevents lenders from foreclosing on servicemen, caps the mortgage interest rate at 6 percent, and allows servicemembers to terminate leases due to permanent change of station orders or deployment.
Reed, Durbin, Whitehouse, Begich, and Biden are seeking to strengthen the SCRA by expanding what could be submitted as ""military orders"" from active-duty members wanting to claim deployment-related financial and credit protections. The bill also includes foreclosure protections for surviving spouses and looks to facilitate the transition to on-base housing when it is available.
""Giving our troops time to prepare for deployment and get their financial affairs in order is central to mission readiness,"" said Reed in a statememt. ""Soldiers who are fighting on the frontlines to protect our country shouldn't have to needlessly fight with creditors and landlords back home. We must ensure the laws that protect our troops keep pace with the challenges they face.""