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Legal Protections for Service Members

Know Your Rights as a Military Family

The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) and the Military Lending Act (MLA) are programs that provide certain protections in lending for Service members who are called to active duty. Service members, like all consumers, are also protected under federal consumer protection provisions including the Truth in Lending, Fair Credit Reporting, and Fair Debt Collection Practices acts.

Servicemembers Civil Relief Act

Who's Protected:

  • Active-duty Service members
  • Members of the Reserves and National Guard (when on active Title 10 federal service for more than 30 consecutive days)
  • SCRA (for all) begins on the first day of active duty, which includes basic or occupational training.

Legal Protections:

When requirements are met, the rights and protections include: ability to terminate cell phone, cable and internet contracts; termination of residential and auto leases; postponement of foreclosures and evictions; installment contract protection; 6% interest rate cap on debts incurred before active duty; stay of certain civil court proceedings; delay of enforcement related to certain taxes, including personal and real property taxes; life insurance coverage protections.

Military Lending Act

Who's Protected:

  • Active-duty Service members
  • Members of the Reserves and National Guard (when on active Title 10 federal service for more than 30 consecutive days)
  • Covered dependents

Legal Protections:

When requirements are met, rights and protections include: 36% interest rate cap on most types of consumer loans; no mandatory waivers of consumer protection laws; no mandatory allotments; no prepayment penalty.

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