Money Monday

By Dr. Barbara O’Neill

An active duty service member is in financial difficulty and cannot afford his rent and other expenses. Will he be evicted?

Photo by tombothetominator (creativecommons.org)The Servicemembers’ Civil Relief Act (SCRA) provides a service member protection from eviction for non-payment of monthly rent while on active duty. The SCRA also allows service members to end a lease by giving written notice at least 30 days before the next payment is due. Monthly rent must not exceed a certain amount that is updated annually and service members are advised to speak with their base legal office for current rent amounts. This 30-day time frame allows a service member time to find affordable housing choices. For more information, click here.

It is important to note that some landlords may be unaware of SCRA protections and try to evict service members anyway. The service member may need to “educate” the landlord by providing resources that explain the law, such as this article.

There is also a larger question of why a service member is not able to afford to pay rent. Causes of financial difficulty need to be clarified to determine if this is a one-time event of not being able to pay rent or a habitual practice. If a service member and/or spouse needs assistance with preparing and using a spending plan (budget), personal financial counselors are available at the state Joint Force Headquarters, through Military OneSource or through the State Family Programs Director.

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This post was published on the Military Families Learning Network Blog on April 15, 2013

 

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