July 25, 2014

Sen. Warren Cosponsors Servicemembers Civil Relief Act Rights Protection Act

Bipartisan Bill Introduced by Sens. Graham (R-SC) and Reed (D-RI) Protects Servicemembers' Rights Regarding Financial Product Contracts, Civil Actions

Washington, DC - United States Senator Elizabeth Warren today cosponsored the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) Rights Protection Act (S. 1999), a bipartisan bill introduced by Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Jack Reed (D-RI) that would help protect servicemembers' rights regarding their contracts for financial products such as credit cards, mortgages and student loans.

"I'm glad to join this fight to protect the basic rights that our servicemembers have earned," said Senator Warren. "The dedication and sacrifice of our military families is unmatched - and this bill will help them and their families better avoid unjust foreclosures, evictions, and predatory financial products."

Among other things, the SCRA limits the interest rate a servicemember can be charged on certain financial products and protects servicemembers from foreclosures, evictions, and default judgments while they are in active service. Unfortunately, servicemembers often lose the right to go to court to assert these rights because of forced arbitration clauses in the contracts they sign. A 2012 GAO report identified at least 15,000 cases of financial institutions failing to properly reduce servicemembers' mortgage interest rates and more than 300 illegal foreclosures in violation of the SCRA. Many scammed servicemembers were unable to enforce their SCRA rights in court because of forced arbitration clauses. The bill would amend the SCRA to make clear that a servicemember cannot waive his or her SCRA rights by signing a contract with a pre-dispute arbitration clause.

Tens of national military organizations have endorsed the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act Rights Protection Act. For a complete list, visit The Military Coalition website here.