DOD praises Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, gives Airmen financial peace of mind
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act has proven to be an effective tool to give troops and their families some financial peace of mind, Army Col. Paul Kantwill recently told the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee.
Kantwill, the director of legal policy for the undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, said no other statute provides such a unique breadth of benefits and protections for service members.
The legislation, first enacted in 1940 and substantially rewritten in 2003, protects service members’ personal affairs and economic interests “while they put their lives on the line in defense of our nation, and the act has lived up to that goal,” Kantwill said.
The act protects service members from evictions, default judgments and foreclosure. It also allows troops to delay judicial proceedings and to place caps on interest rates.
The act also provides certain tax relief to service members and their spouses, Kantwill said.
For more than 70 years, the act “has lessened some of the many burdens associated with military service,” the colonel said.
Kantwill praised congressional efforts to strengthen enforcement of the act. Congress has passed legislation that provides for additional civil enforcement, as well as monetary damages and attorneys’ fees.
“Congress has extended the 6-percent interest rate cap for pre-service mortgage obligations,” the colonel said.
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