Lawmakers in Washington D.C. introduced a bill Tuesday that would extend foreclosure protections to servicemembers who acquired homes after entering active duty.
Representatives, who serve on the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the Committee for Veterans’ Affairs and Armed Services, rolled out H.R. 1842 – the Military Family Home Protection Act –on Tuesday.
The bill picks up where the longstanding Servicemembers Civil Relief Act leaves off.
Servicemembers currently obtain foreclosure protections under the SCRA if they acquire their homes prior to activation. H.R. 1842 expands those protections to all servicemembers even if they bought properties after activation.
Furthermore, the bill stays a foreclosure action whenever a military member is receiving hostile fire or imminent danger pay. It also freezes foreclosure actions for as much as 12 months for members placed on convalescent status or for those who are medically discharged. This provision also applies to surviving spouses of servicemembers whose deaths are service-connected.
The proposed bill enhances civil penalties for mortgage-related violations and prohibits banks from discriminating against servicemembers and their surviving spouses who are eligible for various protections.
It also eliminates the primary residence requirement for servicemembers who receive an order to relocate to another station, so they can qualify for mortgage refinancing.