Legal Protections for Active Military Members
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While I Am Active in the Military, Do I Have Any Special Protections Concerning Debt?
As an active member of the U.S. Armed Forces, you may be entitled to a reduction on interest rates for any debts you might have, such as loans that have yet to be fully repaid. In order to qualify you must meet two requirements:
- If you owe payments on a loan, you would have had to taken out the loan before you went into active duty
- Being on active duty makes it harder for you to pay the loan at the pre-service rate. Generally that means that you are not making as much now that you are on active duty as you were when you took out the loan
If you think you qualify, contact your lender about getting you interest rate lowered on your loan. Be sure to include evidence that you are making less now that you are on active duty than you were previously.
Do I Have Any Protections Concerning My Lease Agreement if I or My Family Have a Permanent Residence in an Apartment While I Am on Active Duty?
When you go on active duty you have the right to get out of your rent obligation if you are no longer using your apartment (meaning you do not have family living there while you are serving). Simply send a notice to your landlord or manager that you are going on active duty and the lease will be terminated usually 30 days after your next rent is due.
Also, in some cases when you do have family members remaining in your apartment and have missed a number of rent payments, if your landlord files to have you evicted, you may be able to postpone the eviction for up to 3 months if you are away on active duty. Your branch of the military may have rules requiring you to pay some of the missed payments in the meantime though, so be sure to check with them.
Can I Do Anything about Putting Off a Civil Trial that I Am Defendant in while I Am on Active Duty?
Yes, you may delay certain kinds of trials while you are on active duty. For instance, if your spouse is seeking a divorce, you can ask the court to delay the proceedings as long as you can show that your active duty makes it impossible to attend the trial.
Another aspect of your protection is that a lender or bank cannot foreclose on any of your property while you are away on active duty and for up to three months afterwards. However, your being on active duty detrimentally affects you ability to make any repayments you owe.
Am I Guaranteed to Be Reinstated by My Employer When I Get Back from Active Duty?
Yes. When you go on active duty you are guaranteed the same job you had when you get back as long as you have given notice to your employer, are on active leave for less than 5 years, and report back within a specified time limit.
What Can I Do if I Feel My Rights under these Acts Have Been Violated?
If your rights were violated while you were on active duty in the military, you may want to consult an attorney who specializes in military law. Your attorney can advise you of your rights and can help you decide what action to take to be compensated for any damages, financial or otherwise, done to you.
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Last Modified: 07-01-2013 04:02 PM PDT
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