January 9, 2015
by William D. Meagher
Trott Law, P.C. – USFN Member (Michigan)
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (50 U.S.C. Appx. §§ 501, et seq.), often simply referred to as the “SCRA,” has undergone numerous changes over the past several years. Of particular importance to the mortgage servicing industry are the various acts that amend Section 533 of the SCRA.
Section 533 applies to a secured obligation on real or personal property owned by a servicemember, originating before the period of the military service, and for which the servicemember is still obligated. Section 533 sets forth the time frame after military service in which certain foreclosure proceedings may be stayed, or obligations adjusted. It also provides the time frame after military service in which certain foreclosure sales would not be valid.
Through a series of legislative acts beginning in 2008, the time period for protections provided under Section 533 was extended from the original 90 days to 9 months, and then ultimately to one year after military service. The one-year time period was to revert back to the original 90-day time frame on January 1, 2015. However, on December 18, 2014, President Obama signed the Foreclosure Relief and Extension of Servicemembers Act of 2014. This Act extends the one-year protection time frame another year, through December 2015.
Absent further amendments, the protections period under Section 533 of the SCRA will revert back to the original version (i.e., 90 days) on January 1, 2016.
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