Servicemembers Civil Relief Act

What does the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act cover?

The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) is formally known as the Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act. The main function of the body is to deal with the United States Federal Law. Through its duties, the facility provides protection to soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, coastguards, and commissioned officers who work in the Public Health Service. Furthermore, the facility also provides its services to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Its services include protecting these people from being sued as they serve in active military service for the nation. The services extend to one year after their active duty ends.


The official inauguration of the Act happened in the 1940s, however, it has been functional ever since the Civil World War. It was the result of the US congress putting a ban on civil actions that were taken against their soldiers and sailors. The crux of the act is that any civil matter would be withheld until the soldier or sailor returned from the war. Some of the more common civil issues that arose were related to bankruptcy, breach of contract, foreclosure, and divorce proceedings.

Congress’ intention in passing this prohibition was to ensure that the soldiers do not have to worry about issues that may arise back home while being on war, and so that they could devote their attention completely on the war. Also, the fact that most of the soldiers and sailors were not paid well, it would have been really difficult for them to cope up with the pre-service debts, for example, mortgage payments or other credits.

Congress’ concern about the protection of service members was raised again in the time of World War 1 when the Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act 1918 was passed. This Act, though, did not impose a complete moratorium on the civil actions ensured that the soldier’s/sailors were being protected from matters like foreclosure, bankruptcy, etc. while they were in harm’s way. This Act stayed in effect until after World War 1 when it expired.

The current law stands in the 1940 Act that was created to protect the rights of service members activated for World War 2. The major difference between the Acts of 1918 and 1940 was that unlike the former Act, the later Act did not contain any provision as to when it would expire.

Provisions of the Act

The SCRA protects soldiers or sailors to be being taken advantage of while they are away from their homes, protecting their country. Protections includes measures like preventing the landlord from evicting you from your property unless your rent is higher than $3,991.90 per month for 2020, stopping foreclosure without a court order, preventing your vehicle from being possessed (unless a court order says so) if you have paid at least one payment before leaving home and that a service member cannot be taken to court for civil proceedings, i.e., matters like divorce and child support hearings.

Besides these protection measures, the SCRA also provides certain benefits. These range from benefits like low-interest rates on loans or letting a surviving spouse terminate a lease if their partner dies on duty. Furthermore, the facility also provides rights related to property taxes, federal taxes, life insurance, and financial or legal matters.