Knowing your rights is important if a foreclosure action has been taken against you, and this is especially true if you’re a member of the U.S. military. Military members are afforded added protections against foreclosure, on both a federal and state level.
To ensure servicemembers understand those protections, our team has outlined each of them below.
Federal & State Protections
Established in 2003, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) defends active members of the U.S. military against certain civil actions, including foreclosure. One of the benefits the SCRA provides is requiring that interest rates on your mortgage be reduced to 6 percent while you are on active duty. In order to secure the lowered rate, you must send a written notice to your lender within the year following your completion of active duty, as the reduction can be applied retroactively. Additionally, if a default judgement is ordered against you during active duty or within 60 days after, you are able to reopen the judgement at any time within the nine months following your release from active duty. With the help of a foreclosure defense attorney, you should also be able to stay (or delay) the action for 90 days or more due to your military status.
While Florida’s status as a judicial foreclosure state does not technically require it to abide by the SCRA’s requirement for a court order prior to a foreclosure sale, the state still affords this right to military members. A foreclosure or property seizure completed without a court order during active duty or within 30 days following active duty is invalid under Fla. Stat. § 250.5205.
All branches of service can benefit from the SCRA, including: Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard. If you are in the National Guard or Air National Guard, you too are covered if you are called to active duty to respond to a declared national emergency for more than 30 days.
You are protected by the SCRA from your first day of active duty through the completion of your active service — and even past that point depending on the particular provision. Additionally, those who are not actively serving due to being wounded or granted leave are still afforded these protections. If you are a Reservist, the SCRA applies only for the two weeks annually while you are on tour.
At Graham Legal, protecting the rights of all homeowners is our top priority. If you have questions or concerns regarding an impending foreclosure, schedule a free consultation with a foreclosure defense attorney at our firm today.