On Friday, May 1 the Student Borrower Protection Center, Student Veterans of America, Veterans Education Success, and over a dozen national military and veteran service organizations sent letters to the nation’s major financial institutions urging them to ensure that service members—including those called up to support COVID-19 emergency response efforts—are not being mistreated or denied their rights under federal law. The coalition of borrower and military services organizations is calling on companies, including mortgage lenders, student loan companies, auto lenders, and credit card companies to ensure they protect service members’ rights. The letters are especially urgent given the industry’s widespread abuses of service members during the last financial crisis.
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) allows military borrowers to focus on the immediate mission at hand by establishing critical consumer protections, including limitations on interest, repossession, foreclosure, and eviction. The letters sent today set out measures that financial institutions should take to support military personnel activated and mobilized during the current coronavirus pandemic.