Law Protects Servicemembers During Vehicle Repossession

Before repossessing a vehicle, an auto lender must confirm whether the owner is a U.S. military member on active duty. The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act includes a section protecting active servicemembers who default on their auto loans. The auto lender must obtain a court order to repossess the vehicle. The order may include forms of financial relief not normally given to vehicle owners. Failing to comply with the SCRA can be a criminal offense. Qualifications The SCRA applies to people who are away from home while serving as: An active member of one of the branches of the U.S. military; A reservist reporting for military service; A National Guard member; A commissioned officer of the Public Health Service or National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; or A member of a foreign allied force. The SCRA may protect immediate family members in some cases. The protection extends from the date the servicemember is notified of his or her deployment until 90 days after…

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