• Congress Extends Foreclosure Relief for Servicemembers on Active Duty through 2017
  • April 19, 2016 | Author: Larry R. Rothenberg
  • Law Firm: Weltman, Weinberg & Reis Co., L.P.A. - Cleveland Office
  • On March 21, 2016, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the "Foreclosure Relief and Extension for Servicemembers Act of 2015." The original legislation provided servicemembers protection from foreclosure for nine months after their active duty terminated; it was later extended to one year, but only through 2015. The new bill will make the 12-month period applicable again through 2017, after which time, if Congress takes no other action, it will return to nine months.

    The legislation has now cleared both chambers of Congress and has been sent to President Obama for his signature.

    Under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act ("the Act"), during the foreclosure relief period, the sale, foreclosure or seizure of a servicemember's property is illegal without a previously-granted court order or an agreement from the servicemember. The Act also allows courts to stay proceedings for properties that servicemembers owned before their service.

    To avoid unintentional violations of the Act, loan servicers would be wise to diligently check the U.S. Department of Defense website to verify whether a borrower is on active duty in the military.