DOJ Enforces SCRA

The Department of Justice (DOJ) recently announced that Bank of America must pay more than $39 million to 316 service members whose homes were unlawfully foreclosed upon between 2006 and 2010 in violation of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA). Under another recent settlement, Saxon Mortgage Services Inc. is in the process of paying out over $2.5 million to 19 service members who experienced similar unlawful foreclosures.

Abuses of service members’ SCRA rights were initially addressed by House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Jeff Miller (Fla.) at hearings in February 2011. The subsequent DOJ investigation began more than a year ago and revealed excessive interest rates for and wrongful foreclosure of homes owned by deployed service members.   At that time it was announced that certain mortgage institutions would also collectively pay $10 million into the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) home loan program. 

FRA continues its work to ensure that SCRA is enforced by regulatory agencies, including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Office of Military Affairs, and works to ensure that active duty personnel are protected from predatory lenders.