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'You Can't Handle the Truth!' Fact, Fiction and the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act

Kirk D. Jensen & Sasha Leonhardt

October 22, 2012

Over the past year and a half, several federal agencies, including the Department of Justice, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and Federal Reserve Board, have turned their attention to promoting compliance with the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, 50 U.S.C. app. §§ 501. Because military service often complicates service members’ ability to fulfill their financial obligations or assert many of their legal rights, Congress intended the SCRA to provide protections related to financial obligations and court proceedings “to enable [servicemembers] to devote their entire energy to the defense needs of the nation.”

Recent SCRA settlements include eight-figure penalties, with six-figure compensation for a single alleged violation of the statute. In addition, these settlements have required file reviews, ongoing compliance activities and new SCRA servicing requirements. Government agencies acknowledge that the settlements include requirements that go well beyond the legal requirements of the SCRA.

Reprinted with permission © 2012 Thomson Reuters