Supporting our men and women in uniform is an important part of being a good corporate citizen. Knowing and understanding not just the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), but also the unique language of the military, is key to providing those men and women with the benefits to which they are entitled. Moreover, avoiding issues resulting from difficulty in translating "military" language into standard legal concepts is essential to avoiding complaints from consumers, enforcement actions from regulatory agencies, or public relations issues.
The United States Congress has always recognized the need for protective legislation for those citizens who serve their nation through military service. Dating to the U.S. Civil War, Congress has recognized that military service can compromise the ability of servicemembers and their families to assert many of their legal rights or to fulfill their financial and other obligations. The Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act (SSCRA) was originally enacted in 1918 and reenacted in 1940. In 2003, the SSCRA was superseded by the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), 50 App. U.S.C. § 501 et seq, which has been amended repeatedly over the past decade given the operational tempo of the Armed Forces.
Many U.S. state legislatures have also recognized the need to provide specific legislation addressing the legal status of servicemembers and their families. It is critically important that all businesses develop a holistic understanding of how these laws impact their dealings with customers in military service.
Locke Lord has a dedicated team of compliance and litigation lawyers who have significant experience handling the varied aspects of the SCRA and other laws impacted by military service. With experience ranging from lawyers who have served in the military, to drafting compliance policies and procedures, and to handling litigation, Locke Lord lawyers are well-positioned to provide experienced and practical SCRA counsel to its clients.
- Routinely advise lenders on compliance with SCRA and related U.S. state laws.
- Represented national mortgage servicer in class action claims brought under the SCRA.
- Routinely defend mortgage lenders and servicers in foreclosure litigation / mortgage litigation involving SCRA claims and related issues.
- Represented varied consumer finance clients in resolving SCRA-related litigation matters and other consumer complaints.
- Routinely draft and implement policies and procedures to ensure SCRA compliance.
- Advise mortgage industry clients to ensure SCRA compliance as well as compliance with the various consent judgments that provide enhanced protections for servicemembers.
- Advised consumer installment lenders on creation of servicemember-specific servicing and collection procedures.
- Routinely advise on state legislation, as well as provide assistance in negotiation and drafting, including efforts resulting in enactment of omnibus military protection legislation statute in a Midwestern state.