Armed Forces News

The Service Members’ Civil Relief Act which replaced the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act of 1940 has increased financial protection for service members. For example, it authorizes an automatic 90-day stay of civil action upon application by the member. Also, the 6 percent limitation on interest rates for pre-service debts now includes a reduction in monthly payments, and permanently deletes any interest in excess of 6 percent. The act also expands protection against eviction without a court order for leases up to $2,400, with an annual inflation adjustment amounting to $2,465 in 2004. In addition, a service member with permanent change-of-station orders or who is being deployed for 90 days or more may terminate a housing lease with 30 days written notice. Furthermore, members with PCS orders outside the continental United States, or who are being deployed for 180 days or more, may terminate a vehicle lease.