Servicemembers Civil Relief Act
BuckleySandler is on the forefront of firms handling Servicemember Civil Relief Act (SCRA) compliance, investigations, enforcement actions and litigation on behalf of banks, mortgage lenders and servicers and other consumer financial services companies.
In 2011, BuckleySandler served as chief SCRA counsel to two major mortgage servicers in what is still the largest DOJ SCRA settlement ever in terms of both number of servicemembers and dollar value. Since then, BuckleySandler has served as SCRA counsel to two major servicers that are also under consent orders, to a major bank in connection with settlement of SCRA-related allegations by federal agencies, and to several other clients in various capacities.
Our SCRA capabilities and services include:
- Representing clients in investigations and enforcement actions before federal and state agencies;
- Representing clients in SCRA-related litigation matters and other consumer complaints;
- Creating and enhancing SCRA compliance programs, policies and procedures, and training programs;
- Testing compliance with existing SCRA policies and procedures;
- Advising clients regarding various SCRA requirements, including the requirements related to foreclosure, default judgment, eviction, interest rate, installment contract, storage liens, and life insurance;
- Reviewing foreclosure files, origination files, and servicing notes for SCRA compliance; and
- Requesting information from the Department of Defense to further research the validity of SCRA complaints.
Through a comprehensive and systematic approach to addressing individual SCRA complaints, we have been successful in reducing what at the outset appeared to be thousands of potential SCRA errors to single digits of violations for our clients.
The SCRA provides substantial business and reputational risks to banks, mortgage lenders and servicers, auto finance companies, credit card issuers and other consumer finance companies. Not only are the financial penalties steep – recent settlements show a single SCRA foreclosure violation can cost over $125,000, plus the cost of the foreclosed home – but federal regulators and the Department of Justice are actively looking for opportunities to initiate SCRA enforcement actions. Having experienced counsel who has intimate familiarity with the SCRA and the regulators who enforce it is indispensable when facing potential legal actions or simply instituting proactive compliance measures.