Enacted in December 2003 the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) protects service members from significant financial burdens while on active duty. Under the legislation, lenders may not repossess the service member’s personal property without a court order. In brief, the SCRA benefits service members and their dependents in four categories: housing, installment contracts, life insurance and taxes.
The SCRA in North Carolina
In 2019, North Carolina enacted their own version of the SCRA. Similar to the Federal legislation, North Carolina’s law protects service members and their dependents in the same four categories.
The main difference between the North Carolina and Federal SCRA benefits, is that North Carolina treats knowing violations of the SCRA as unfair & deceptive trade practices. For that reason, the plaintiff can recover treble damages and attorney’s fees.
North Carolina has even more extensive housing protections than the federal SCRA. If a service member’s residential lease expires while the service member is on active duty, then the service member may avoid eviction by extending their lease to last until 10 days after their active duty period ends. However, the service member is in good standing with their lease agreement.
Congress banned foreclosure sales “during, or within one year after a service member’s service” unless conducted by a court order. Anyone who knowingly violates, participates in the violation of, or attempts to violate the SCRA’s foreclosure rules can face criminal charges. North Carolina adopted this protection as well.
Internet & Phone Services
The legislation allows service members to terminate phone, video, or internet contracts any time after receiving orders to relocate for a 90+ day period to a location that does not support the contract. Service providers cannot charge an early termination or reinstatement fee and must return any advance payments. If the service member’s orders require them to relocate for three years or more, then he or she is entitled to keep the same phone number.
The state legislature expanded the protections to include satellite radio and all contracts covered by Subchapter III of the Federal SCRA. Additionally, North Carolina requires that service providers refund any sums owed to servicemembers within sixty days.
SCRA Benefits Attorneys in Raleigh, N.C.
If you are a member of the U.S. military and believe you were subjected to SCRA violations or have any questions, contact us today.
Maginnis Howard Attorney Karl Gwaltney has experience handling SCRA cases and would like to speak with you regarding your case. You can reach us by phone at 919.526.0450, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or through our contact page.