Today, Congressman Kurt Schrader (OR-05) and Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA-03) introduced the bipartisan Halting of Mortgage Exploitation of Servicemembers (HOMES) Act of 2017 to provide greater clarity and uniformity to the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA).
The SCRA is designed to provide protection for active duty servicemembers, including Reservists and members of the National Guard, from civil obligations while they are deployed. Among these obligations are mortgage payments, leases, taxes and credit card debt. Under the SCRA, mortgage lenders are prohibited from foreclosing on active duty servicemembers. Unfortunately, the law does not include a statute of limitations and, as a result, discretion is left to the courts who simply defer to the closest applicable state law. With the statute of limitations varying state-by-state and no uniform application of the law, this often leaves a gray area with much uncertainty for our servicemembers. Rep. Schrader’s HOMES Act will establish a national 10-year statute of limitations under the SCRA to protect our veterans and servicemembers.
“Our servicemen and women have earned certain basic benefits which include knowing that their families and their homes are taken care of while they are overseas,” said Rep. Schrader. “A lot of our warriors who have gone above and beyond their duty to protect us find themselves losing their homes or getting bad credit because they’ve received bad information, or frankly, just don’t know their rights. My HOMES Act is a simple, no-brainer bill to protect our fighting men and women from exploitation by unscrupulous lenders while they put their lives on the line in service to our country. This bill is just the right, fair thing to do.”
The HOMES Act was introduced following an investigative report earlier this month in The Oregonian, which profiled Marine veteran Jacob McGreevey who lost him home while on his third of four tours of duty, and is the latest in a series of legislative actions Congressman Schrader has taken this year to protect Oregon’s veterans:
- At the beginning of the year, Rep. Schrader introduced a bill to prohibit any hiring freeze from affecting the VA in response to the President’s 90-day hiring freeze across the federal government. At the time that the hiring freeze was implemented, there were more than 12 PCP and 40 medical support staff vacancies in the VA Portland Health Care System.