House approves broader foreclosure protections for military

The House of Representatives voted 394-27 Friday approving an amendment to widen foreclosure protections for military servicemembers.

Reps. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., Bob Filner, D-Calif., and Adam Smith, D-Wash., introduced the amendment this week to a military spending bill. It expands the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act to include more borrowers under the umbrella protections.

The amendment will stay a foreclosure against a servicemember for 12 months, an increase from the current nine-month period. If current protections are allowed to expire at the end of the year, a foreclosure can only be delayed 90 days under SCRA.

An expanded SCRA will also include more disabled veterans, spouses of fallen servicmembers, and doubles penalties on lenders found in violation.

The House will vote on the overall spending bill later Friday. A sister bill is winding through the Senate, but it is unclear if the SCRA protections will survive a merger of the two pieces of legislation if passed there.

Still, the amendment has enjoyed a rare moment of bipartisan cooperation.

“It’s really an achievement considering we’re in the minority,” said a Democrat spokesperson for the House oversight and government reform committee.


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