THE SERVICEMEMBERS CIVIL RELIEF ACT (SCRA)
First Midwest Bank is proud to support military personnel. You have worked hard and sacrificed for the good of the country. You may be entitled to certain rights under protections of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA).
Who Is Entitled to Legal Protections Under the SCRA?
Servicemembers on "active duty" or "active service"—and/or a spouse or dependent of such a servicemember—may be entitled to certain legal protections and debt relief pursuant to the SCRA. These may include:
- Regular members of the U.S. Armed Forces (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard)
- Reserve and National Guard personnel who have been activated and are on Federal active duty
- National Guard personnel under a call or order to active duty for more than 30 consecutive days under section 502(f) of title 32, United States Code, for purposes of responding to a national emergency declared by the President and supported by Federal funds
- Active servicemembers of the commissioned corps of the Public Health Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
- Certain United States citizens serving with the armed forces of a nation with which the United States is allied in the prosecution of a war or military action
What Legal Protections Are Servicemembers Entitled to Under the SCRA?
The SCRA states that a debt incurred by a servicemember, or servicemember and spouse jointly, prior to entering military service shall not bear interest at a rate above 6 % during the period of military service and one year thereafter, in the case of an obligation or liability consisting of a mortgage, trust deed, or other security in the nature of a mortgage, or during the period of military service in the case of any other obligation or liability. An interest rate reduction must be requested from the Bank. See "How Does a Servicemember or Dependent Request Relief Under the SCRA" below for instructions.
The SCRA states that in a legal action to enforce a debt against real estate that is filed during, or within one year* after the servicemember’s military service, a court may stop the proceedings for a period of time or adjust the debt. In addition, the sale, foreclosure, or seizure of real estate shall not be valid if it occurs during, or within 90 days after, the servicemember’s military service unless the creditor has obtained a valid court order approving the sale, foreclosure, or seizure of the real estate.
The SCRA contains many other protections besides those applicable to home loans.
How Does a Servicemember or Dependent Request Relief Under the SCRA?
To request relief for First Midwest Bank loans with interest rates above 6% under the SCRA, the servicemember or spouse must contact a local banker or the Customer Care Center at 800-322-3623 to provide a written request, together with a copy of the servicemember’s military orders. If a Power of Attorney (POA) is used to complete this transaction, a copy of the POA must also be provided.
A letter will be sent to the servicemember or spouse that details the new payment amount.
Although there is no requirement under the SCRA for a servicemember to provide a written notice of his or her military status or a copy of his or her military orders to the lender in connection with a foreclosure or other debt enforcement action against real estate, it is a good idea for the servicemember to do so.
How Does a Servicemember or Dependent Obtain Information About the SCRA?
Servicemembers and dependents with questions about the SCRA should contact their unit’s Judge Advocate, or their installation’s Legal Assistance Officer.
"Military OneSource" is the U. S. Department of Defense’s information resource. If you are listed as entitled to legal protections under the SCRA (see above), please go to www.militaryonesource.com/scra or call 1-800-342-9647 (toll free from the Unites States) to find out more information. Dialing instructions for areas outside the United States are provided on the website.