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What is the Servicemembers' Civil Relief Act?

When it seems that life is assaulting us on all sides, it can be difficult to maintain perspective, or even to identify all the options we have available for relief. When considering bankruptcy, those who serve in the military may be eligible for extra protections that strict civilians do not have available. Specifically, the Servicemembers' Civil Relief Act offers some specific protections and privileges that can help make a bankruptcy process more effective and less painful altogether.

The SCRA offers several protections to those in active duty. Depending on the circumstances, a serving member or one who is within 90 days of having been discharged may be eligible to have his or her debt obligations put on hold for the duration of service, and may also be eligible to have interest on any obligations significantly reduced.

Those who are eligible under the SCRA may enjoy several core protections. Proceedings against the service member may be stayed, stay of judgements and garnishments, and shelter from any default judgements. Furthermore, those eligible under the SCRA or their dependants may be able to avoid eviction by a landlord.

Each servicemember's experience is different, and deserves to evaluated on its own merits. if you are facing bankruptcy while serving in our military, you owe it to yourself to consult with an experienced bankruptcy attorney who can help you understand the nuances of the law and how it may benefit you. There are many factors that may affect various elements of the SCRA's protections, but service members are generally able to enjoy some protections above and beyond the average civilian. With proper legal counsel, you can rest assured that your service will be honored and that your rights will remain protected in this difficult season.

Source: Findlaw, "Bankruptcy and Members of the Military," accessed Feb. 03, 2017

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