Services and Products Tips

Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA)

November 10, 2020

The primary purpose of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) is to help ease the financial and legal burdens of military personnel and their families brought on by active duty.

The SCRA has many benefits and provisions, including: a reduced interest rate, relief from penalty fees, a reduced minimum payment by the amount of interest forgiven per billing period to avoid acceleration of the payment, and a temporary suspension of legal proceedings that may adversely affect the rights of servicemembers during their military service.

Coverage

SCRA coverage extends to all the armed forces servicemembers: Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Navy. The servicemember, their spouse and dependents are covered by the protections of SCRA.

Reservists and Guard members who are activated by the governor of their state due to a state emergency, are paid by and under the command of their state governors, are not entitled to SCRA protection. This is generally seen in cases where the servicemember is called up for local or regional disaster relief. Federally activated Reservists and Guard members are entitled to SCRA benefits and can be identified by the reference to USC Title 10 or 32 in their active duty documents.

Protection under the SCRA is given to servicemembers regardless of whether their activation is during peacetime or wartime. Coverage is also granted regardless of whether the servicemember is stationed stateside or out of the country.

For full-time members of the military, protection is retroactive to the first date of entry into military service. Protection for Reservists begins on the date they receive their orders for active duty. Protection under the Act ends on the date the servicemember is released or on the date of death while in military service.

Protection under the SCRA is also given to any person ordered to report for induction under the Military Selective Service Act.

Benefits

While there are several provisions under SCRA, credit card accounts are mostly affected by the lender provisions. PREMIER Bankcard® offers the following benefits to qualified accounts under SCRA:

  • Relief from internal bank fees except for bona fide insurance premiums
  • A fixed $5 monthly minimum payment which complies with the Act that requires the minimum payment be reduced by the amount of interest forgiven per billing period

Enrollment

To be eligible for the relief provided by the SCRA, the following are required:

  1. The servicemember must be in active duty status.
  2. A request for enrollment must be made within 180 days from release from active duty. PREMIER Bankcard will not deny SCRA benefits if the documentation received is more than 180 days after the active duty end date.
  3. The debt must have originated prior to the servicemember being called to active duty, except for cardholders residing in the state of Ohio. *

* Cardholders residing in the state of Ohio are eligible for SCRA coverage even if the open date of the account is after their enlistment date, or their active duty start date.

Enrollment requests can be made through Customer Service by calling 1-800-987-5521.

This information is presented for educational purposes only. It is not intended as, nor should it be construed to be, legal, financial or other professional advice. Please consult with your attorney or financial advisor to discuss any legal or financial issues involved with credit decisions.

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