Veterans

January 17, 2014

Consumer help a click away for veterans

AnhTuan Dang
March Legal Office legal intern

Have you ever been stuck and frustrated with a consumer issue and could not find a solution to your issue? The Department of Consumer Affairs recently created a Los Angeles-based division to provide services to military members throughout California. Help from consumer protection experts is now just a click away!

“Servicemembers and their dependents are encouraged to file a complaint with the L.A. County Department of Consumer Affairs to seek assistance in working to resolve their consumer protection issues by visiting their website, http://dca.lacounty.gov,” said Lt. Col. Deric Prescott, 951st Reserve Support Squadron judge advocate, March Air Reserve Base, Calif.

If the military member resides outside of L.A. County, the system will also notify the member’s local District Attorney’s Office.

Some of the remedies the DCA is able to seek for military customers are provided for in the California Military Families Financial Relief Act. For example, the Act allows reservists and guardsmen to defer payment on their mortgages, credit cards, property taxes, car loans and leases. The deferral period is equal to their periods of active duty plus 60 calendar days, or 180 days, whichever is less. No foreclosure or repossession of property, on which payment has been deferred, shall take place during this period. (California Military and Veterans Code 800). Additionally, health insurance companies that were providing coverage to a reservist at the time the reservist was ordered to active duty must reinstate that coverage with no waiting period when the reservist returns from duty (CMVC 804).

For more information on these protections, visit http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov, click on California Law, Military and Veterans Code (MVC) and then Division 4-Veteran’s Aid and Welfare.

While there, you can also find help with other provisions through the California Military Families Financial Relief Act of 2005. Similar to the protections provided through the Servicemembers’ Civil Relief Act (SCRA), this legislative measure allows you, your spouse or legal dependents to terminate a cell phone contract without penalty, providing specific requirements are met (CMVC 823).

Your spouse or legal dependent may also apply for protection against a utility shut off by notifying the utility company that they’ve suffered a reduction in household income as the result of you being called away to active duty (CMVC 827).

The Act also requires public and private post-secondary schools to provide reasonable accommodations to students who serve in the military and restore them to the educational status they had prior to deployment without the loss of credits earned, scholarships or grants awarded. (CMVC 824).

If your SCRA rights have been violated, the L.A. County DCA team can also help. They specifically prohibit non-judicial foreclosure on mortgages that originated before your military service. You can also request a reduction of your interest rate, to no greater than six percent, on pre-service, credit card debt and most other interest-bearing accounts while in service. Moreover, SCRA permits you to break residential and car leases if you receive orders for a permanent change of station or deployment. With respect to landlord and tenant issues, a landlord must obtain a court order to evict you or your dependent due to nonpayment of rent. The court has the authority to stay (postpone) the eviction if you are able prove that you are materially affected by your military service.

Helping military members process complaints for any violations of these and many more issues is what’s available on the L.A. County DCA website. It contains a list of Self-Help Legal Centers (SHLAC) where you can get information on the process and forms required for small claims courts and learn how to represent yourself in other matters. Each SHLAC is staffed by a trained attorney, experienced professionals and volunteers. Be aware that there is no attorney-client relationship between SHLAC staff and the centers’ patrons. The centers can provide assistance with family law, landlord/tenant, name changes, obtaining a civil restraining order, civil complaints and expungements.

For all the offered programs and services, and the greatest and latest methods to protect yourself and your family, visit the L.A. County DCA website at http://dca.lacounty.gov. You can also call Consumer Affairs at 800-593-8222 for within the L.A. County and 213- 974-1452 if outside L.A. County.




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


 
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo/Capt. Perry Covington

Master Sgt. Bode named AFRC’s 2014 Crew Chief of the Year

U.S. Air Force photo/Capt. Perry Covington Master Sgt. James Bode, Air Reserve Technician and dedicated crew chief, 752nd Aerospace Maintenance Squadron, March Field, runs through some routine maintenance checks on his KC-135 S...
 
 

Retired reservist finds inspiration through loss

(Final in a three-part series chronicling Angela Alexander’s incredible story which led to a book, a ministry and now, a documentary.) Following the untimely death of her two sons in a car crash, Angela Alexander, a retired Air Force Reservist, faced the challenge of sharing her story with the world. She knew God wanted her...
 
 

Acting under secretary of the Air Force appointed

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — President Barack Obama appointed Lisa S. Disbrow to serve as the acting under secretary of the Air Force March 30. Disbrow will take over for Eric Fanning who was recently appointed as chief of staff for Secretary of Defense Ash Carter. “Lisa Disbrow is already a tremendous asset to our Air Force...
 

 

AF Smart Operations of the 21st Century Training Course

Students feverishly poured over charts and graphs as they worked their way through the presented problem at March Air Reserve Base, Calif., during a five-day, Air Force Smart Operations of the 21st Century (AFSO21) Green Belt Training Course from March 22nd to March 27th, 2015. A gathering of both enlisted and officers alike, the group...
 
 

Earth Day 2015 Recycling Facts

Recycling just 48 cans is the energy equivalent of conserving one gallon of gas Since 1990, the paper recovered through U.S. recycling efforts would fill 200 football stadiums to a height of 100 feet The most recycled consumer product in America is the automobile, with 26 cars being recycled every minute Every ton of recycled...
 
 
NCO-induction

Induction ceremony recognizes NCO/SNCO accomplishments

U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Russell McMillan Airmen being inducted into the NCO and SNCO ranks sit in the Cultural Resource Center April 11, 2015, during the induction ceremony. The ceremony recognizes and applauds the a...
 




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