On June 11, 2015, Sen. Jack Reed [D-RI] introduced a bill amending the Consumer Financial Protection Act to extend CFPB oversight and protection to include key provisions of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA). The SCRA provides an array of protections to members of the military, including postponing civil obligations so that servicemembers can better fulfill their military obligations. SCRA oversight is currently the responsibility of the Department of Justice and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. The proposed legislation would extend CFPB jurisdiction over specific SCRA provisions, including the following:
- Provisions stating that a servicemember’s exercise of certain SCRA rights cannot impact certain future financial transactions, except with respect to insurance. See 50 App. U.S.C.A. § 518.
- Protections for servicemembers against default judgments, excluding child custody proceedings. See 50 App. U.S.C.A. § 521.
- Statutory maximum interest rates on pre-service debts. See 50 App. U.S.C.A. § 527.
- Limitations on a landlord’s ability to evict servicemembers, evict their dependents or subject such premises to distress. See 50 App. U.S.C.A. § 531.
- Limitations on a party’s ability to rescind or terminate a purchase or lease installment contract for a breach of contract. See 50 App. U.S.C.A. § 532.
- Limitations on the validity of sale, foreclosure or seizure of property for breach of an obligation on real or personal property that originated before the period of the servicemember’s military service and is secured by a mortgage, trust deed or other security. See 50 App. U.S.C.A. § 533.
- Provisions setting forth a servicemember’s ability to terminate certain types of premises leases and motor vehicle leases. See 50 App. U.S.C.A. § 535.
- Provisions setting forth a servicemember’s ability to terminate telephone service contracts. See 50 App. U.S.C.A. § 535a.
- Provisions setting forth a servicemember’s ability to waive SCRA protections and requirements, except with respect to bailments. See 50 App. U.S.C.A. § 517.
The bill, S.1565, has been referred to the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee.