Collecting Delinquent Debt from Servicemembers and Other Protected Individuals
Formerly known as the “Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act," the expanded Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, (SCRA) provides a measure of protection to service members and other individuals in debt.
The guide to the SCRA published by the Judge Advocate General and available online via the American Bar Association is a lengthy, 146-page document. An in-depth review of the guide is absolutely necessary for any creditor planning to undertake collection activity against a protected individual, but here are a few salient points:
- All branches of the U.S. Armed Forces are eligible for protection un the SCRA, including National Guard members on active duty for more than 30 days, and Reservists ordered to active duty.
- Citizens of the United States serving with the military forces of a U.S. ally nation in a mutual war or military action.
- Dependents of military personnel who are financially supported by the service member.
Under the SCRA, certain active military personnel and some other protected individuals can elect to suspend or postpone certain civil obligations, or debts until such time as they are no longer engaged in activity supporting the defense of the United States.