It is of vital importance that our deployed soldiers remain focused on the task at hand. If a soldier is deployed into a war zone, they can’t have their mind reverting to any financial situations at home. Their very safety and well-being depends on their ability to remain focused without distraction.
The new updated version of the Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act of 1940 (now referred to as the Service members Civil Relief Act) includes all active duty military personnel along with reservists and national guardsmen that are called up to active duty for a period of more than 30 days. This Act provides significant civil, legal, and financial support and protection including eviction protection, and interest on applicable loans over 6% interest are now forgiven. Also covered is the soldier’s right to terminate a lease, whether it is in regard to a vehicle or a residence. Termination of such leases is without penalties if the soldier is absent for 90 days or longer.
Another important protection for our deployed troops involves civil action regarding child custody battles and or divorce. This is a heart-wrenching side effect of long-term deployment. Previously many of our soldiers have had to deal with this grueling and heartbreaking process while still deployed. Now, however, they have the right to be present at such hearings upon the end of their deployment.
One issue that is quite often a problem for deployed troops is in regards to property foreclosures. The Foreclosure Protection Act of 2008 provides returning soldiers with one year of relief from mortgage interest rate increases, as well as extends protection from foreclosure from 90 days to 9 months. There are timeframes regarding these protections that must be adhered to.
“While there have been a great many provisions put in place to protect the legal rights of our deployed soldiers, there is still a need for more improvement.”
While there have been a great many provisions put in place to protect the legal rights of our deployed soldiers, there is still a need for more improvement. For example, while these services are available, they apply only if the soldier notifies their creditors or mortgage holders of their intent to seek protection under the Service members Civil Relief Act. The majority of these protections are not automatically provided, hence the need to advise the soldiers on their availability.
Military legal assistance offices are available to all branches of service and can be found in most locations.
The brave men and women of our Armed Forces set aside important parts of their everyday lives to guard and protect our great nation and its citizens. It therefore is only right and proper that we afford them the same legal representation to which we ourselves are entitled. After all, they strive to protect the great American dream of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all. Needless to say, this should also include their own civil liberties, such as having a family, owning a home, pursuing higher education, or whatever their individual dream may be.