Alert November 27, 2012

Servicemembers Civil Relief Act Amended to Provide Extended Time Period for Certain Protections

The recent enactment of the Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012 has resulted in amendments to the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act that directly impact the timing and validity of foreclosures on properties held by armed forces personnel. Effective February 2, 2013, the time period during which the SCRA renders invalid any sale, foreclosure, or seizure of property based on a breach of a secured obligation will be extended from 9 months to one year following the borrower's period of military service. This extension will not affect any actions taken pursuant to either a court order or waiver by the servicemember. The amendments also extend the period during which a court, sua sponte or upon motion by the servicemember, may stay a foreclosure proceedings or "adjust the obligation to preserve the interests of all parties" from 9 months to one year after a servicemember's period of military service. The applicable time period for a stay or adjustment under this provision has likewise been extended to include one year following the period of military service. These extensions are temporary; beginning January 1, 2015, the relevant time periods will drop from one year to 90 days.