Commentary

May 31, 2013

How to keep the door from closing: Foreclosure rights for service members

Aaron Brynildson, March legal office intern attempts to issue Staff Sgt. David Shore, March legal specialist, a mock eviction notice. Military members have the right to delay foreclosure proceedings for a specific amount of time, under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.

Given the unique housing concerns of military members and the current economic times, foreclosures and other financial issues are occurring in high numbers for military families. The law involving foreclosures is rapidly evolving to address these issues and it is important to know what new rights are available.

Based on the recent foreclosure crisis in California, several laws regarding consumer rights have been passed. For example, mortgage companies must contact the defaulting borrower to provide specified information regarding options for avoiding foreclosure, prior to recording a notice of default. California law also requires a 90-day opportunity for homeowners to find alternative options to foreclosure before the company can pursue a Notice of Sale. Furthermore, California now requires a single point of contact for each mortgage, to address issues involving confusion over who to contact regarding the servicing their mortgage.

While many broad, new foreclosure rights have been passed, there are numerous laws that are aimed at addressing the unique needs of service members. These rights are outlined in the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. Under this law, military members can request a stay, essentially a delay, on any foreclosure proceeding. Judges can grant a stay if they find it to be fair in light of the circumstances facing the service member. Also, court fees are waived for service members who request a stay. Further, an automatic 90-day suspension of foreclosure proceedings exists where an active duty military member cannot be contacted due to deployment. The SCRA also imposes a 6 percent interest limit on most mortgages incurred by military members.

Trying to figure out what to do when facing a foreclosure can be a difficult thing to navigate. First, an attorney is a great resource to help you if in the midst of a foreclosure or feel your past foreclosure was done improperly. An attorney can help you decide whether or not a judicial foreclosure or private, non-judicial foreclosure better suits your situation. There are certain advantages to either process that can help you keep your home or quickly solve your foreclosure problem. Also, there are countless success stories of military members being reimbursed for illegal mortgage practices. For example, military members who have been foreclosed on without notice have been able to recover large settlements from mortgage companies. In 2011, some 6,000 military members were able to settle for 57 million dollars from JPMorgan.

In addition, there are many public programs for loan assistance that can be pursued. Specifically for military members, the Veteran’s Affairs Home Affordable Modification allows for affordable mortgage payments set at a percentage of the individual’s income, instead of traditional measures. There are numerous other federal and state programs that can also be used. On the other hand, consumers should be particularly skeptical of private services aimed at dealing with foreclosures due to the numerous scams posing as foreclosure assistance. These scams typically involve fine print aimed at getting consumers to sign over the deed with the ability to buy it back later. Always carefully read the service agreement and know that loan modifications can never be guaranteed!

While this article is intended to provide only general information, please contact an attorney, or the March legal office for more information. Also, for more information about avoiding foreclosure or government housing programs, the Federal Housing Administration’s Outreach Center can be reached at 1-800-877-8339.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Courtesy photo

Women can succeed in a man’s world

Courtesy photo Pamela Hann, March Base Civil Engineer, surveys a consturction project at March Air Reserve Base, California. Hann became the first female BCE in Air Force Reserve Command on May 15, 2005, and is responsible for ...
 
 
NWH3

National Women’s History Month: Weaving the Stories of Women’s Lives

(Final in a 4-part series) The National Women’s History Project’s 2015 theme is “Weaving the Stories of Women’s Lives.” In this ongoing series, we highlight individual women who made a difference in the fabric or our ...
 
 
Miracles

Retired Air Force Reservist finds inspiration through loss

Courtesy of Evan Money (First in a three-part series chronicling Angela Alexander’s incredible story which led to a book, a ministry and now, a documentary.) MIRACLE: “An unusual or wonderful event that is believed to be ca...
 

 
Courtesy Photo

National Women’s History Month: Weaving the Stories of Women’s Lives

(Part 3 in a 4-part series) Courtesy Photo Nancy Ruth Mace First female cadet to graduate from the Citadel The National Women’s History Project’s 2015 theme is “Weaving the Stories of Women’s Lives.” In this ongoing s...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Jeffrey McMillen

Every March, I mustache myself a question

U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Jeffrey McMillen The author sports an ill-fated attempt at a mustache during a deployment to Central America in 2014. The attempted facial hair did not accompany him back home to the United States,...
 
 

I appreciate you

Today is the 26th annual Employee Appreciation Day. On the first Friday of March managers of all levels are encouraged to support and reward their employees, and to show their appreciation! What?! You’ve never heard of it? Well it’s time to spread the word! In this age of do more with less, employers are often...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin