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SCRA Certificate

What is SCRA Certificate?

SCRA Certificate

SCRA Certificate is the evidence of an individual's active duty in the U.S. Military, Reserve, or National Guard and is used for the purpose of SCRA compliance. Servicemember Civil Relief Act (SCRA) entitles the servicemembers who are in military service to certain protections and benefits such as interest rate limitations, protections from default judgments and foreclosure, and evictions.

The certificate is issued by the Department of Defense (DOD) from its SCRA Website, which is the official source of servicemembers active duty status. SCRA Certificate is also known as Status Report Pursuant to Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. The current SCRA Certificate is based on SCRA 3.0 version of the SCRA website.

The Active Duty is reported as per Title 10 of the United States Code (10 USC § 101(d) (1)). As per Title 10, “The term "active duty" means full-time duty in the active military service of the United States. Such term includes full-time training duty, annual training duty, and attendance, while in the active military service, at a school designated as a service school by law or by the Secretary of the military department concerned. Such term does not include full-time National Guard duty.

Source :www.MortgagesAnalyzed.com

Therefore, SCRA Certificate is the evidence of an individual's active duty in any of the branch of the Uniformed Services. Uniformed Services include Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard and the commissioned corps National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Public Health Service. It includes activation of a National Guard member for service authorized by the President or the Secretary of Defense under 32 USC § 502(f) for purposes of responding to a national emergency declared by the President and supported by federal funds. National Guard members that are activated to support a State and funded by State funds are not covered under Active Duty and for protections under SCRA.

The SCRA website provides SCRA Certificates for active duty status since September 30, 1985. Also, Active Duty periods of less than 30 days of length are not currently included on the SCRA website. The data for the SCRA website is sourced from the Defense Manpower Data Center’s (DMDC) Defense Eligibility and Enrollment Reporting System (DEERS) database.

Source :www.MortgagesAnalyzed.com

Contents of the SCRA Certificate

The SCRA Certificate provides the Active Duty status of a servicemembers for a particular date that is requested by the user. This date is known as the Active Duty Status Date. For a given Active Duty Status Date, the Certificate provides three categories of information

  1. Active Duty Start Sate and End Date if the servicemember is on active duty status as of the Active Duty Status Date.
  2. Active Duty dates if the servicemember left active duty status within 367 days preceding the Active Duty Status Date.
  3. Order Notification Start Date and Order Notification End Date if the servicemember or his/her unit has received early notification to report for active duty. SCRA Website reports on Early Notification Dates from October 2003 up to the current date.
Source :www.MortgagesAnalyzed.com

Lender's Considerations

When to Obtain SCRA Certificate

In connection with a mortgage loan, you may require a SCRA certificate for following circumstances:

  1. Interest Rate Limitation: If the interest rate on a mortgage loan is above 6% and when requested by a servicemember, SCRA requires you to limit the interest rate at 6% per annum. As part of implementing the 6% interest rate, you should obtain the SCRA Certificate to verify the military service status. The 6% interest rate would begin when the servicemember enters military service and will end one year after the end of the military service. The 6% limit applies to mortgage that were obtained prior to entering military service.
  2. Foreclosure Proceedings: SCRA prohibits lenders from foreclosing the property while the servicemember is on military service or within 9 months after the end of military service. The onus is on you to verify the military service status of the borrower. Therefore, before initiating any foreclosure proceeding, you should verify that the borrower is not on military service by obtaining the SCRA Certificate. It is advisable obtain the Certificate before sending the Notice of Default, Notice of Sale, and one day before the sale. Ensure to obtain the Certificate for each borrower and co-borrower for which foreclosure process needs to be started, irrespective whether you believe they are servicemembers or not.
  3. Default Judgment: Some States require a judicial process for foreclosing on a property secured by a mortgage loan. As per SCRA, before a default judgment can be entered by a court, the plaintiff (lender/servicer) is required to file an affidavit stating whether or not the borrower is in the military service and show necessary facts to support the affidavit. SCRA Certificate can be used as facts in support of the affidavit.
  4. Eviction: SCRA prohibits a landlord to evict a servicemember or the dependents of a servicemember during the period when the servicemember is in military service from property that is used as a primary residence and where rent does not exceed more than $2,400 (adjusted yearly for inflation after 2003). You may need to evict a tenant for properties that you obtained as part of a foreclosure, default judgment, or other cases. To meet SCRA requirements you should verify that the tenants are not in military service before initiating eviction. A good place to start is to obtain SCRA Certificate for each resident in the property.

SCRA applies not just to mortgages but to other areas as well such liens, insurances, and taxes. Potential use of SCRA Certificate in those cases is not discussed here.

Recordkeeping

You should maintain the records of both the SCRA Certificate and the screen print of the data entry used to obtain the Certificate. If you are using the multiple records request service then you may consider archiving the request files.

Other Evidence of Military Service

If you have any other evidence of military service and you fail to verify the status of the servicemember then you may be held liable under SCRA for failure to extend SCRA protections and benefits. In case you need further evidence then you should directly contact the servicemember’s Service to verify the status.

Source :www.MortgagesAnalyzed.com

Servicers Covered Under National Mortgage Settlement

In February 2012, 49 state attorneys general and the federal government announced a settlement with the five largest mortgage servicers in US that include Ally/GMAC, Bank of America, Citi, JP Morgan Chase, and Wells Fargo. If you are a servicer that is covered under the National Mortgage Settlement, then you should consider obtaining the SCRA Certificate when you are initiating or pursuing a foreclosure at the following time intervals:

  1. Before a loan is referred for foreclosure
  2. Within 7 days of a foreclosure sale
  3. The later of promptly after a foreclosure sale and within three days before the regularly scheduled end of any redemption period.

Servicers Not Covered Under National Mortgage Settlement

The National Mortgage Settlement prescribes extensive servicing standards. You should review whether you can also implement the same SCRA standards even if you are not covered under the settlement.

Source :www.MortgagesAnalyzed.com

Obtaining Certificates from SCRA Website

The SCRA website allows any user to obtain the Certificate. You can obtain certificate for a single person or for multiple person using a batch. At a minimum you need the last name, and either Social Security Number or the birth date of the borrower to obtain a certificate. Provide as much identifying information as possible to obtain the certificate. Name and date of birth alone do not uniquely identify an individual. If you do not use the SSN then the DOD does not guarantee that it is providing the records for same individual that your request refers to. If the DOD finds multiple records for the request then DOD will generate a message stating there are multiple records and that it cannot release any information.

The SCRA website has published an SCRA User Guide which walks through the various features of the website.

Beware of Incorrect Data Entry

SCRA website does not validate the employment of a person in military. If no record is found based on the information you provided, then it will provide you a certificate showing no active duty status. Even if you enter incorrect data you will receive a certificate showing no active duty status. Therefore, it is vital to ensure that the data is entered correctly; otherwise you run a risk of obtaining an incorrect certificate. Customer harm may occur if the borrower was actually on military service and due to incorrect data entry you obtained a certificate showing otherwise and failed to extend the SCRA protections

Fraud Prevention

The SCRA website requests sensitive personal information such as Social Security Number and date of birth. It is important to verify that you are on the DOD’s official SCRA website https://scra.dmdc.osd.mil/ and not on any fraudulent websites, such as phishers, which may have the same look and feel as the SCRA website.

The SCRA website uses a DOD security certificate, which you will have to install the first time you log into the website.

Source :www.MortgagesAnalyzed.com
 

Document Summary

 
SCRA Certificate
Purpose
SCRA Certificate is the evidence of an individual's active duty in the U.S. Military, Reserve, or National Guard
Use in Mortgages
It is used for the purpose of SCRA compliance by obtaining verification of Active Duty Status
Other Names
  • SCRA Certificate
  • Status Report Pursuant to Servicemembers Civil Relief Act
  • Servicemembers Civil Relief Act Certificate
Type
Statement
Provided By
Department of Defense
Provided To
Publically Available
Notarization Required
No
Signed By
None
Life Cycle Stage
Servicing
Recordkeeping
Record retention period is not specified by SCRA. Other State and local laws may have separate requirements
Model Form
N.A.
Applicable Laws
While SCRA does not mandate this form, DOD provides the form to assist with SCRA Compliance
Source :www.MortgagesAnalyzed.com
 

Sample Documents

  1. Sample SCRA Certificate (This certificate is for illustrative purposes only.)
  2. SCRA Certificate showing error when multiple records are found.

Updated: Jan 05, 2014

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SCRA Certificate is the evidence of an individual's active duty in the U.S. Military and is used for the purpose of SCRA compliance
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