Senate Approves Whitehouse Bill to Protect Servicemembers from Foreclosure
Washington, DC – Last evening, the U.S. Senate unanimously approved Senator Sheldon Whitehouse’s bill to keep military servicemembers and veterans out of foreclosure and in their homes after transitioning from active duty.
Whitehouse has been fighting for years to ensure that those who have served our country and their families are protected from foreclosure as they transition from active-duty service and return to civilian life. Currently, thanks to legislation Whitehouse authored and helped to pass last year, servicemembers are protected from foreclosure for a full year after leaving active-duty service. That provision was due to expire at the end of 2015, meaning foreclosure protections for transitioning servicemembers would revert to just 90 days. The Whitehouse bill that passed yesterday extends the 12-month grace period through the end of 2017.
“Some of the men and women who’ve served our country need time to find their financial footing as they leave active service. They should get it,” said Whitehouse. “Our servicemembers keep us safe from all manner of threats around the globe. It’s the least we can do to keep them and their families safe from foreclosure as they transition back to civilian life. I’ll keep fighting to make these protections permanent, but I’m pleased we’ve reached a unanimous, bipartisan agreement on a two-year extension.”
In 2008, Congress first extended the period of foreclosure protection under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) from 90 days to nine 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. Since then, Whitehouse has succeeded in extending that protection, while also fighting to make it permanent.
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