The U.S. Senate voted unanimously to pass legislation extending a provision of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act that protects active duty servicemembers from losing their homes. The bill, introduced by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, extends through 2017 the provision of the SCRA that safeguards those active duty servicemembers against foreclosure for one year following the completion of their service in the field as they transition to civilian life.
The bill is now awaiting a vote in the House. The current one-year safeguard is set to expire at the end of 2015, at which time the grace period will revert to its original 90 days, before it was extended to nine months in 2008. It was extended again to one year in 2012. Last December following unanimous approval by the House and the Senate, President Obama signed into law a bill introduced by Whitehouse that extended the safeguard until the end of this year.
While many factors contribute to the overall health of the housing market and economy, home equity is providing a major boost to the overall position of U.S. households. A recent report from the Financial Accounts of U.S. and analysis from the National Association of Home Builders found that household holdings of real estate reached 21 point 8 trillion dollars in the third quarter of 2015, up 1 point 3 trillion dollars from last year.