12.12.14

Congress Passes Whitehouse Bill to Protect Servicemembers from Foreclosure

Washington, DC – The House and Senate have both unanimously approved legislation by U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) to protect servicemembers from foreclosure.  The measure will extend until January 2016 a provision that ensures troops who serve active duty are protected against losing their home for one year following the completion of their service in the field.  The protection was set to expire at the end of this year. 

“After fighting for our country overseas, our troops shouldn’t have to fight to keep a roof over their heads when they return home,” said Whitehouse. “Servicemembers returning from active duty often need time to regain their financial footing, particularly those in the National Guard and Reserves who give up their full-time jobs to fight for our freedom.  We should ultimately pass legislation to make this protection permanent, but I’m glad we were able to secure peace of mind for our veterans for one more year.”

Whitehouse’s bill was approved by unanimous consent in the Senate last night.  The House of Representatives, which convened for a 10-minute session today, also approved the measure by unanimous consent.

In 2008, Congress first extended the period of foreclosure protection under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) from 90 days to 9 months in response to a report by the Commission on the National Guard and Reserves.  The report found that “the threat of foreclosure is a stressor that need not be placed on members of the armed forces during the first months of their return to civilian life.”

In 2012, Senator Whitehouse successfully fought to extend the period of foreclosure protection even further, pushing it to one year.  If Congress had failed to act that provision would have expired at the end of this year, and the period of foreclosure protection would have reverted back to just 90 days starting in 2015.

Whitehouse has also been pushing for passage of Foreclosure Relief and Extension for Servicemembers Act, which would make the year-long foreclosure protection permanent.

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