The home foreclosure process can be overwhelming and time-consuming. For people who are in the military and subject to long deployments, facing a home foreclosure can be even more traumatic as that military member may be unable to fight the home foreclosure action or even know what is taking place thousands of miles away. Because of the seemingly unfair nature of a foreclosure unfolding while a soldier is serving our country, there are certain laws in place to protect Florida military members. However, some institutions are circumventing those policies, and as a consequence, military members feel unprotected.
The Service Members Civil Relief Act is in place to stave off foreclosure and repossession action when a military member is overseas. But, some banks and lenders are using the fine print to their advantage and still going through with the process while a service member is unable to attend a hearing. The banks defend using a mandatory arbitration clause to pursue action by saying it is more cost-effective.
There was an added legal measure under consideration last year. This was referred to as a bill that would deal with the arbitration loop hole. However, groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce resisted the proposed bill. The group has said it does not believe service members are truly harmed by the arbitration clauses.
Protection from home foreclosure in Florida can be obtained through a number of legal avenues. For a service member who is deployed or due to be deployed, professional assistance from an attorney well versed in debt relief and bankruptcy options may be a good choice. Service members may be unaware of how these alternatives may stave off a home foreclosure. The best place to start is by arranging a consultation to assess individual circumstances and create a plan to address any underlying financial difficulties.
Source: newser.com, “Lenders Flout Laws Protecting Military Members From Repossessions, Foreclosures“, Jenn Gidman, March 17, 2015