The Honorable Bob Filner introduced HR 1263, which if passed would protect some surviving spouses of servicemembers from foreclosures on their homes for nine months. The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) protects National Guard and Reserve Members from foreclosures on their homes while they are on active duty orders and for a period of nine months after their active duty orders expire and they return to civilian status. HR 1263 would amend the SCRA so it would also protect widows and widowers of servicemembers who die on active duty. The survivors would be protected for nine months. There are eligibility rules that require that the servicemember’s death must be service-connected and the spouse must be the successor in interest to the property. To be a successor in interest, the spouse could either own the house jointly with the deceased servicemember or inherit the house through a will or an intestacy statute.
Another Amendment, HR 1566, would forbid foreclosures for 24 months after a servicemember returns from active duty. It would also increase criminal penalties for violation of the SCRA. If passed, this Amendment would make violations a felony offense with a maximum imprisonment of two years. Currently, violations are a misdemeanor and the maximum imprisonment is less than one year.
More information on the Surviving Spouse protection click here.