Military Debt Collection

It is very common for financial institutions, banks, and debt collectors to ignore the special rights that military members have during the member’s deployment. As described in our blog post dated July 28, 2014, members of the national military branches (U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Marine Corps, or U.S. Navy) are protected under federal law found at 50 U.S.C. Appendix 500 to 597b—known as the Federal Service members Civil Relief Act; whereas Members of the California National Guard or the California Reserves are protected under state law found at California Military and Veterans Code 800 to 812—known as the California Military Families Financial Relief Act. State guardsmen of any state may be protected under the federal laws if they are dispatched in response to a national emergency under Presidential orders.

A member who is deployed or about to be deployed is entitled to certain protections, such as deferment on payment obligations as well as protection from being declared in default and being subjected to foreclosure and repossession. However, financial institutions and creditors obviously are not ready to agree to such protections and often completely ignore them. Some of the more aggressive tactics taken by debt collectors and creditors against military members involve threatening to report to the member’s commanding officer, threatening that defaulting on the payment obligations is an offense to the military code, and even filing a lawsuit and serving the member’s spouse or significant other at home.

If a lawsuit is filed, the member is also protected by California laws that may require the lawsuit to be stayed until the member returns home from deployment. Finally, if any of the statutory protections are violated, so long as the member properly invoked these protections (see our blog from July 28, 2014 for more information on that) then a lawsuit is permissible against the debt collector or creditor. These laws require that the member’s attorney’s fees be paid by the offending company, which means the member does not have to pay a penny out of pocket for the attorney to seek recovery.

Furthermore, the law offices of Hartman Law Office, Inc. and Semnar Law Firm, Inc. regularly combine these laws with violations of the State of California Rosenthal Act and/or the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, which provide extra protection to consumers in general and allow for more financial recovery to the member whose rights are violated.

DO NOT LET THEM BULLY YOU OR HARASS YOU!!!! PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS!!!!! Contact Us immediately for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights.

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