Over the years, there have been several laws and regulations to protect troops from repossessions and foreclosures while they are on active duty. However according to an article from The New York Times, some companies “recently violate the federal protections, leaving troops and their families vulnerable to predatory lending”
The purpose of protective laws such as The Servicemember Civil Relief Act or the S.C.R.A, is to protect military members and their families from repossessions and foreclosures without a court order. Additionally this law allows them to be terminated from any lease when military duty requires and to lower interest rates on loans to at least six percent.
Efforts to protect troops while they serve abroad have been failing because of the use of mandatory arbitration by some lending companies. According to the Government Accountability Office in 2012 some financial institutions failed to follow these regulations more than 15,000 times. Violations of these rules leave active military members such as sergent Charles Beard without a car for himself and family. While on active duty in Iraqi, Charles was notified that his car was being repossessed or his wife would be put in jail through the mandatory arbitration he signed while purchasing the car.
A recent lawsuit awarded the Justice Department 9.35 million dollars from Santander Consumer USA for violating this law and repossessing cars from military members for almost five years. Military members wishing to fight back on these arbitrations are told however that the evidence rules are not used and the company who established that arbitration picks the arbiters who make the decision on the case. Some companies even make the effort to place the court which the case would take place in the farthest possible area. The cases can also take years according to many military lawyers. Overall, ever hurdle is in front of the active duty military members from receiving the justice they deserve.
Attorney Sean McDonough has been a partner of Dougherty, Leventhal and Price for over twenty years. He concentrates in personal injury cases with an emphasis in nursing home abuse. If you suspect nursing home abuse, do not wait til its too late. Call DLP and make an appointment with Attorney Sean McDonough today.
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E-mail: Sean McDonough