Foreclosure Protection Bill for Servicemembers is Extended

Foreclosure Protection Bill for Servicemembers is Extended

According to an announcement from Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island), who introduced the bill in May, the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives have both unanimously voted to pass a bill that give military service members who have recently returned from duty added protection from foreclosure.

The announcement from Whitehouse regarding S.2404, a/k/a the Foreclosure Relief and Extension for Servicemembers Act of 2014, states that the bill unanimously passed in the Senate on Thursday, December 11 and in the House on Friday, December 12.

Previously, there was a provision that set one year as the time a servicemember’s house is protected from foreclosure upon his or her return from active duty, if the mortgage was obtained before the servicemember was an active member of the military. This new passage in the House and the Senate extends that protection until January 2016. The Commission on the National Guard and Reserves submitted a report that prompted the foreclosure protection extension from 90 days to nine months in 2008. The period was extended to nine months as part of the Servicemembers’ Civil Relief Act (SCRA) in 2008 and lengthened further to one year in 2012 as part of a bill introduced by Whitehouse.

This one-year protection period was set to expire at the end of December 2014 and would have reverted back to pre-2008 level of 90 days at the beginning of 2015. Whitehouse’s bill, introduced back in May 2014, called for the permanent adoption of the one-year foreclosure protection period.

“After fighting for our country overseas, our troops shouldn’t have to fight to keep a roof over their heads when they return home,” Whitehouse said. “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.”

The SCRA includes additional protection for military members (while on active duty) and their families from auto repossessions and other personal property. Under the current law, servicemembers (on active duty) and their families cannot be evicted from housing due to nonpayment of rent that is less than $1,200 per month.

Khila L. Khani, Esq.