Filing Bankruptcy as an Active Duty Member
Military members are entitled to the same protections under bankruptcy law as civilians, but military standards may cause some additional consequences. However, if you are an honest debtor seeking relief, bankruptcy and military laws are on your side.
Whether you're overwhelmed by credit card debt, a family member's medical bills or facing foreclosure on your home, bankruptcy laws may protect you and your family from creditors.
Get help today. Talk to a bankruptcy lawyer in your area to find out how bankruptcy laws may protect you and help you move on from debt. Simply fill out our free case review form or call toll-free 877-833-2410 to connect with an attorney for a free, no-obligation consultation.
The Servicemembers' Civil Relief Act
The Servicemembers' Civil Relief Act is a federal law that protects all military members who are actively serving and for one year afterward from all civil lawsuits and court proceedings, including wage garnishment, foreclosure, and repossession.
The SCRA also protects family members who support active duty members, such as co-signers on debts.
However, the SCRA is limited in its protections, as it only applies to military members who are on active duty or recently returned. There are other circumstances under which service members may need to seek debt relief without the benefit of the Servicemembers' Civil Relief Act. This is where bankruptcy laws may come into play.
Military Families Facing Foreclosure
Military families are said to be in particularly poor condition to handle the housing downturn, due to the fact that they so often must relocate. With many mortgages underwater—valued less than the debt owed on them—many homeowners are unwilling to sell their homes and move.
Owing more on your mortgage than your house is currently worth can create a difficult situation, especially if your finances are already strained. Many service members who are called into duty receive much lower pay from the military than from the civilian jobs. Foreclosure is a common outcome of these types of mortgages, but it doesn't always have to be.
While Congress and the military have taken steps to help service members facing difficult housing situations, the reality is that foreclosures still occur. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is designed to halt foreclosure proceedings and give homeowners three to five years to catch up on past-due mortgage payments.
Bankruptcy's Effect on Military Careers
All branches of the military hold their members to a higher standard than civilians. However, the military understands that debt can happen to anyone. In most circumstances, bankruptcy is an understandable event in the military.
Some military members may be required to take financial courses through the military, in addition to the Credit Counseling and Debtor Education courses required by bankruptcy law.
Military members with higher levels of clearance, or those looking to advance their careers in the near future, may run into additional consequences, and most security clearances include a background check. However, just like consumer credit, it may be possible to make up for a bankruptcy over time, and the circumstances that lead to bankruptcy may be just as significant to the military.
Learn Your Options with a Bankruptcy Attorney
As you can see, filing personal bankruptcy involves a lot of consideration and preparation. If you are considering filing bankruptcy, you may wish to discuss your case with a bankruptcy attorney.
You can connect with an attorney near you today. Simply fill out the free case review form below to get the facts about bankruptcy and learn about the filing process.