50 U.S.C.
United States Code, 2011 Edition
Title 50 - WAR AND NATIONAL DEFENSE
TITLE 50 - APPENDIX-WAR AND NATIONAL DEFENSE
SERVICEMEMBERS CIVIL RELIEF ACT
From the U.S. Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov

SERVICEMEMBERS CIVIL RELIEF ACT

ACT OCT. 17, 1940, CH. 888, 54 STAT. 1178

Sec.
501.
Short title.
502.
Purpose.

        

TITLE I—GENERAL PROVISIONS

511.
Definitions.
512.
Jurisdiction and applicability of Act.
513.
Protection of persons secondarily liable.
514.
Extension of protections to citizens serving with allied forces.
515.
Notification of benefits.
515a.
Information for members of the Armed Forces and their dependents on rights and protections of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.
516.
Extension of rights and protections to reserves ordered to report for military service and to persons ordered to report for induction.
517.
Waiver of rights pursuant to written agreement.
518.
Exercise of rights under Act not to affect certain future financial transactions.
519.
Legal representatives.

        

TITLE II—GENERAL RELIEF

521.
Protection of servicemembers against default judgments.
522.
Stay of proceedings when servicemember has notice.
523.
Fines and penalties under contracts.
524.
Stay or vacation of execution of judgments, attachments, and garnishments.
525.
Duration and term of stays; codefendants not in service.
526.
Statute of limitations.
527.
Maximum rate of interest on debts incurred before military service.

        

TITLE III—RENT, INSTALLMENT CONTRACTS, MORTGAGES, LIENS, ASSIGNMENT, LEASES

531.
Evictions and distress.
532.
Protection under installment contracts for purchase or lease.
533.
Mortgages and trust deeds.
534.
Settlement of stayed cases relating to personal property.
535.
Termination of residential or motor vehicle leases.
535a.
Termination of telephone service contracts.
536.
Protection of life insurance policy.
537.
Enforcement of storage liens.
538.
Extension of protections to dependents.

        

TITLE IV—LIFE INSURANCE

541.
Definitions.
542.
Insurance rights and protections.
543.
Application for insurance protection.
544.
Policies entitled to protection and lapse of policies.
545.
Policy restrictions.
546.
Deduction of unpaid premiums.
547.
Premiums and interest guaranteed by United States.
548.
Regulations.
549.
Review of findings of fact and conclusions of law.

        

TITLE V—TAXES AND PUBLIC LANDS

561.
Taxes respecting personal property, money, credits, and real property.
562.
Rights in public lands.
563.
Desert-land entries.
564.
Mining claims.
565.
Mineral permits and leases.
566.
Perfection or defense of rights.
567.
Distribution of information concerning benefits of title.
568.
Land rights of servicemembers.
569.
Regulations.
570.
Income taxes.
571.
Residence for tax purposes.

        

TITLE VI—ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDIES

581.
Inappropriate use of Act.
582.
Certificates of service; persons reported missing.
583.
Interlocutory orders.

        

TITLE VII—FURTHER RELIEF

591.
Anticipatory relief.
592.
Power of attorney.
593.
Professional liability protection.
594.
Health insurance reinstatement.
595.
Guarantee of residency for military personnel and spouses of military personnel.
596.
Business or trade obligations.
597.
Enforcement by the Attorney General.
597a.
Private right of action.
597b.
Preservation of remedies.

        

Codification

The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, comprising sections 501 to 515 and 516 to 597b of this Appendix, was originally enacted as act Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, 54 Stat. 1178, known as the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act of 1940, and amended by acts Oct. 6, 1942, ch. 581, 56 Stat. 769; July 3, 1944, ch. 397, 58 Stat. 722; Apr. 3, 1948, ch. 170, 62 Stat. 160; June 23, 1952, ch. 450, 66 Stat. 151; July 11, 1956, ch. 570, 70 Stat. 528; Pub. L. 85–857, Sept. 2, 1958, 72 Stat. 1105; Pub. L. 86–721, Sept. 8, 1960, 74 Stat. 820; Pub. L. 87–771, Oct. 9, 1962, 76 Stat. 768; Pub. L. 89–358, Mar. 3, 1966, 80 Stat. 12; Pub. L. 92–540, Oct. 24, 1972, 86 Stat. 1074; Pub. L. 102–12, Mar. 18, 1991, 105 Stat. 34; Pub. L. 104–106, Feb. 10, 1996, 110 Stat. 186; Pub. L. 107–107, Dec. 28, 2001, 115 Stat. 1012; Pub. L. 107–330, Dec. 6, 2002, 116 Stat. 2820. Sections of the act Oct. 17, 1940, are shown herein, however, as having been added by Pub. L. 108–189, §1, Dec. 19, 2003, 117 Stat. 2835, without reference to the intervening amendments listed above because of the extensive revision of act Oct. 17, 1940, by Pub. L. 108–189.

Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act of 1918

Former provisions on this subject were contained in act Mar. 8, 1918, ch. 20, 40 Stat. 440, known as the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act of 1918, section 101 et seq. of this Appendix.

§501. Short title

This Act [sections 501 to 515 and 516 to 597b of this Appendix] may be cited as the “Servicemembers Civil Relief Act”.

(Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, §1(a), as added Pub. L. 108–189, §1, Dec. 19, 2003, 117 Stat. 2835.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 501, act Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, §1, 54 Stat. 1178, provided that this Act could be cited as the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Relief Act of 1940, prior to the general amendment of this Act by Pub. L. 108–189.

Effective Date

Pub. L. 108–189, §3, Dec. 19, 2003, 117 Stat. 2866, provided that: “The amendment made by section 1 [enacting sections 501 to 515 and 516 to 596 of this Appendix] shall apply to any case that is not final before the date of the enactment of this Act [Dec. 19, 2003].”

Short Title of 2010 Amendment

Pub. L. 111–346, §1, Dec. 29, 2010, 124 Stat. 3622, provided that: “This Act [amending provisions set out as a note under section 533 of this Appendix] may be cited as the ‘Helping Heroes Keep Their Homes Act of 2010’.”

Short Title of 2009 Amendment

Pub. L. 111–97, §1, Nov. 11, 2009, 123 Stat. 3007, provided that: “This Act [amending sections 568, 571, and 595 of this Appendix and enacting provisions set out as notes under sections 568, 571, and 595 of this Appendix] may be cited as the ‘Military Spouses Residency Relief Act’.”

Short Title of 1991 Amendment

Pub. L. 102–12, §1, Mar. 18, 1991, 105 Stat. 34, provided that: “This Act [enacting sections 518, 592, and 593 of this Appendix, amending sections 511 to 513, 515, 516, 525, 526, 530 to 532, 534, 535, 540 to 545, 547, 564 to 567, 570, 574, 580, 581, 584, and 591 of this Appendix and sections 2021 and 2024 of Title 38, Veterans’ Benefits, repealing section 548 of this Appendix, and enacting provisions set out as notes under sections 521 and 530 of this Appendix and sections 2021 and 2024 of Title 38] may be cited as the ‘Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act Amendments of 1991’.”

Short Title of 1942 Amendment

Act Oct. 6, 1942, ch. 581, §1, 56 Stat. 769, provided: “That this Act [enacting sections 514 to 517, 526, 533 to 536, 574, and 590 of this Appendix and amending sections 513, 525, 530 to 532, 540 to 548, 560, 569, and 572 of this Appendix] may be cited as the ‘Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act Amendments of 1942’.”

§502. Purpose

The purposes of this Act [sections 501 to 515 and 516 to 597b of this Appendix] are—

(1) to provide for, strengthen, and expedite the national defense through protection extended by this Act to servicemembers of the United States to enable such persons to devote their entire energy to the defense needs of the Nation; and

(2) to provide for the temporary suspension of judicial and administrative proceedings and transactions that may adversely affect the civil rights of servicemembers during their military service.

(Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, §2, as added Pub. L. 108–189, §1, Dec. 19, 2003, 117 Stat. 2836.)

TITLE I—GENERAL PROVISIONS

Prior Provisions

A prior section 510, act Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, art. I, §100, 54 Stat. 1179, stated purpose of this Act, prior to the general amendment of this Act by Pub. L. 108–189.

§511. Definitions

For the purposes of this Act [sections 501 to 515 and 516 to 597b of this Appendix]:

(1) Servicemember

The term “servicemember” means a member of the uniformed services, as that term is defined in section 101(a)(5) of title 10, United States Code.

(2) Military service

The term “military service” means—

(A) in the case of a servicemember who is a member of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard—

(i) active duty, as defined in section 101(d)(1) of title 10, United States Code, and

(ii) in the case of a member of the National Guard, includes service under a call to active service authorized by the President or the Secretary of Defense for a period of more than 30 consecutive days under section 502(f) of title 32, United States Code, for purposes of responding to a national emergency declared by the President and supported by Federal funds;


(B) in the case of a servicemember who is a commissioned officer of the Public Health Service or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, active service; and

(C) any period during which a servicemember is absent from duty on account of sickness, wounds, leave, or other lawful cause.

(3) Period of military service

The term “period of military service” means the period beginning on the date on which a servicemember enters military service and ending on the date on which the servicemember is released from military service or dies while in military service.

(4) Dependent

The term “dependent”, with respect to a servicemember, means—

(A) the servicemember's spouse;

(B) the servicemember's child (as defined in section 101(4) of title 38, United States Code); or

(C) an individual for whom the servicemember provided more than one-half of the individual's support for 180 days immediately preceding an application for relief under this Act.

(5) Court

The term “court” means a court or an administrative agency of the United States or of any State (including any political subdivision of a State), whether or not a court or administrative agency of record.

(6) State

The term “State” includes—

(A) a commonwealth, territory, or possession of the United States; and

(B) the District of Columbia.

(7) Secretary concerned

The term “Secretary concerned”—

(A) with respect to a member of the armed forces, has the meaning given that term in section 101(a)(9) of title 10, United States Code;

(B) with respect to a commissioned officer of the Public Health Service, means the Secretary of Health and Human Services; and

(C) with respect to a commissioned officer of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, means the Secretary of Commerce.

(8) Motor vehicle

The term “motor vehicle” has the meaning given that term in section 30102(a)(6) of title 49, United States Code.

(9) Judgment

The term “judgment” means any judgment, decree, order, or ruling, final or temporary.

(Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, title I, §101, as added Pub. L. 108–189, §1, Dec. 19, 2003, 117 Stat. 2836; amended Pub. L. 108–454, title VII, §701, Dec. 10, 2004, 118 Stat. 3624.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 511, acts Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, art. I, §101, 54 Stat. 1179; Pub. L. 92–540, title V, §504(1), Oct. 24, 1972, 86 Stat. 1098; Pub. L. 102–12, §9(1), Mar. 18, 1991, 105 Stat. 38; Pub. L. 107–330, title III, §305, Dec. 6, 2002, 116 Stat. 2826, related to definitions, prior to the general amendment of this Act by Pub. L. 108–189.

Amendments

2004—Par. (9). Pub. L. 108–454 added par. (9).

§512. Jurisdiction and applicability of Act

(a) Jurisdiction

This Act [sections 501 to 515 and 516 to 597b of this Appendix] applies to—

(1) the United States;

(2) each of the States, including the political subdivisions thereof; and

(3) all territory subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.

(b) Applicability to proceedings

This Act [sections 501 to 515 and 516 to 597b of this Appendix] applies to any judicial or administrative proceeding commenced in any court or agency in any jurisdiction subject to this Act. This Act does not apply to criminal proceedings.

(c) Court in which application may be made

When under this Act [sections 501 to 515 and 516 to 597b of this Appendix] any application is required to be made to a court in which no proceeding has already been commenced with respect to the matter, such application may be made to any court which would otherwise have jurisdiction over the matter.

(Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, title I, §102, as added Pub. L. 108–189, §1, Dec. 19, 2003, 117 Stat. 2837.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 512, acts Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, art. I, §102, 54 Stat. 1179; Pub. L. 102–12, §9(2), Mar. 18, 1991, 105 Stat. 39, related to territorial application, jurisdiction of courts, and form of procedure, prior to the general amendment of this Act by Pub. L. 108–189.

§513. Protection of persons secondarily liable

(a) Extension of protection when actions stayed, postponed, or suspended

Whenever pursuant to this Act [sections 501 to 515 and 516 to 597b of this Appendix] a court stays, postpones, or suspends (1) the enforcement of an obligation or liability, (2) the prosecution of a suit or proceeding, (3) the entry or enforcement of an order, writ, judgment, or decree, or (4) the performance of any other act, the court may likewise grant such a stay, postponement, or suspension to a surety, guarantor, endorser, accommodation maker, comaker, or other person who is or may be primarily or secondarily subject to the obligation or liability the performance or enforcement of which is stayed, postponed, or suspended.

(b) Vacation or set-aside of judgments

When a judgment or decree is vacated or set aside, in whole or in part, pursuant to this Act [sections 501 to 515 and 516 to 597b of this Appendix], the court may also set aside or vacate, as the case may be, the judgment or decree as to a surety, guarantor, endorser, accommodation maker, comaker, or other person who is or may be primarily or secondarily liable on the contract or liability for the enforcement of the judgment or decree.

(c) Bail bond not to be enforced during period of military service

A court may not enforce a bail bond during the period of military service of the principal on the bond when military service prevents the surety from obtaining the attendance of the principal. The court may discharge the surety and exonerate the bail, in accordance with principles of equity and justice, during or after the period of military service of the principal.

(d) Waiver of rights

(1) Waivers not precluded

This Act [sections 501 to 515 and 516 to 597b of this Appendix] does not prevent a waiver in writing by a surety, guarantor, endorser, accommodation maker, comaker, or other person (whether primarily or secondarily liable on an obligation or liability) of the protections provided under subsections (a) and (b). Any such waiver is effective only if it is executed as an instrument separate from the obligation or liability with respect to which it applies.

(2) Waiver invalidated upon entrance to military service

If a waiver under paragraph (1) is executed by an individual who after the execution of the waiver enters military service, or by a dependent of an individual who after the execution of the waiver enters military service, the waiver is not valid after the beginning of the period of such military service unless the waiver was executed by such individual or dependent during the period specified in section 106 [section 516 of this Appendix].

(Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, title I, §103, as added Pub. L. 108–189, §1, Dec. 19, 2003, 117 Stat. 2838.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 513, acts Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, art. I, §103, 54 Stat. 1179; Oct. 6, 1942, ch. 581, §§2, 3, 56 Stat. 769; Pub. L. 102–12, §9(3), Mar. 18, 1991, 105 Stat. 39, related to protection of persons secondarily liable, prior to the general amendment of this Act by Pub. L. 108–189.

§514. Extension of protections to citizens serving with allied forces

A citizen of the United States who is serving with the forces of a nation with which the United States is allied in the prosecution of a war or military action is entitled to the relief and protections provided under this Act [sections 501 to 515 and 516 to 597b of this Appendix] if that service with the allied force is similar to military service as defined in this Act. The relief and protections provided to such citizen shall terminate on the date of discharge or release from such service.

(Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, title I, §104, as added Pub. L. 108–189, §1, Dec. 19, 2003, 117 Stat. 2839.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 514, act Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, art. I, §104, as added Oct. 6, 1942, ch. 581, §4, 56 Stat. 770, related to extension of benefits to citizens serving with forces of war allies, prior to the general amendment of this Act by Pub. L. 108–189.

§515. Notification of benefits

The Secretary concerned shall ensure that notice of the benefits accorded by this Act [sections 501 to 515 and 516 to 597b of this Appendix] is provided in writing to persons in military service and to persons entering military service.

(Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, title I, §105, as added Pub. L. 108–189, §1, Dec. 19, 2003, 117 Stat. 2839.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 515, act Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, art. I, §105, as added Oct. 6, 1942, ch. 581, §4, 56 Stat. 770; amended Pub. L. 102–12, §9(4), Mar. 18, 1991, 105 Stat. 39, related to notice of benefits to persons in and persons entering military service, prior to the general amendment of this Act by Pub. L. 108–189.

§515a. Information for members of the Armed Forces and their dependents on rights and protections of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act

(a) Outreach to members

The Secretary concerned shall provide to each member of the Armed Forces under the jurisdiction of the Secretary pertinent information on the rights and protections available to members and their dependents under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (50 U.S.C. App. 501 et seq.).

(b) Time of provision

The information required to be provided under subsection (a) to a member shall be provided at the following times:

(1) During the initial orientation training of the member.

(2) In the case of a member of a reserve component, during the initial orientation training of the member and when the member is mobilized or otherwise individually called or ordered to active duty for a period of more than one year.

(3) At such other times as the Secretary concerned considers appropriate.

(c) Outreach to dependents

The Secretary concerned may provide to the adult dependents of members under the jurisdiction of the Secretary pertinent information on the rights and protections available to members and their dependents under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.

(d) Definitions

In this section, the terms “dependent” and “Secretary concerned” have the meanings given such terms in section 101 of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (50 U.S.C. App. 511).

(Pub. L. 109–163, div. A, title VI, §690, Jan. 6, 2006, 119 Stat. 3337.)

References in Text

The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, referred to in subsecs. (a) and (c), is act Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, 54 Stat. 1178, as amended, which is classified to section 501 et seq. of this Appendix. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see section 501 of this Appendix and Tables.

Codification

Section was enacted as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2006, and not as part of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act which comprises sections 501 to 515 and 516 to 597b of this Appendix.

§516. Extension of rights and protections to reserves ordered to report for military service and to persons ordered to report for induction

(a) Reserves ordered to report for military service

A member of a reserve component who is ordered to report for military service is entitled to the rights and protections of this title and titles II and III [sections 511 to 515, 516 to 519, 521 to 527, and 531 to 538 of this Appendix] during the period beginning on the date of the member's receipt of the order and ending on the date on which the member reports for military service (or, if the order is revoked before the member so reports, or the date on which the order is revoked).

(b) Persons ordered to report for induction

A person who has been ordered to report for induction under the Military Selective Service Act (50 U.S.C. App. 451 et seq.) is entitled to the rights and protections provided a servicemember under this title and titles II and III [sections 511 to 515, 516 to 519, 521 to 527, and 531 to 538 of this Appendix] during the period beginning on the date of receipt of the order for induction and ending on the date on which the person reports for induction (or, if the order to report for induction is revoked before the date on which the person reports for induction, on the date on which the order is revoked).

(Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, title I, §106, as added Pub. L. 108–189, §1, Dec. 19, 2003, 117 Stat. 2839.)

References in Text

The Military Selective Service Act, referred to in subsec. (b), is act June 24, 1948, ch. 625, 62 Stat. 604, as amended, which is classified principally to section 451 et seq. of this Appendix. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see References in Text note set out under section 451 of this Appendix and Tables.

Prior Provisions

A prior section 516, act Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, art. I, §106, as added Oct. 6, 1942, ch. 581, §4, 56 Stat. 770; amended Pub. L. 102–12, §9(5), Mar. 18, 1991, 105 Stat. 39, related to extension of benefits to persons ordered to report for induction or military service, prior to the general amendment of this Act by Pub. L. 108–189.

§517. Waiver of rights pursuant to written agreement

(a) In general

A servicemember may waive any of the rights and protections provided by this Act [sections 501 to 515 and 516 to 597b of this Appendix]. Any such waiver that applies to an action listed in subsection (b) of this section is effective only if it is in writing and is executed as an instrument separate from the obligation or liability to which it applies. In the case of a waiver that permits an action described in subsection (b), the waiver is effective only if made pursuant to a written agreement of the parties that is executed during or after the servicemember's period of military service. The written agreement shall specify the legal instrument to which the waiver applies and, if the servicemember is not a party to that instrument, the servicemember concerned.

(b) Actions requiring waivers in writing

The requirement in subsection (a) for a written waiver applies to the following:

(1) The modification, termination, or cancellation of—

(A) a contract, lease, or bailment; or

(B) an obligation secured by a mortgage, trust, deed, lien, or other security in the nature of a mortgage.


(2) The repossession, retention, foreclosure, sale, forfeiture, or taking possession of property that—

(A) is security for any obligation; or

(B) was purchased or received under a contract, lease, or bailment.

(c) Prominent display of certain contract rights waivers

Any waiver in writing of a right or protection provided by this Act [sections 501 to 515 and 516 to 597b of this Appendix] that applies to a contract, lease, or similar legal instrument must be in at least 12 point type.

(d) Coverage of periods after orders received

For the purposes of this section—

(1) a person to whom section 106 [section 516 of this Appendix] applies shall be considered to be a servicemember; and

(2) the period with respect to such a person specified in subsection (a) or (b), as the case may be, of section 106 [section 516 of this Appendix] shall be considered to be a period of military service.

(Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, title I, §107, as added Pub. L. 108–189, §1, Dec. 19, 2003, 117 Stat. 2839; amended Pub. L. 108–454, title VII, §702, Dec. 10, 2004, 118 Stat. 3624.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 517, act Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, art. I, §107, as added Oct. 6, 1942, ch. 581, §4, 56 Stat. 770, related to effect on rights and remedies pursuant to written agreements entered after commencement of military service, prior to the general amendment of this Act by Pub. L. 108–189.

Amendments

2004—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 108–454, §702(1), inserted after first sentence: “Any such waiver that applies to an action listed in subsection (b) of this section is effective only if it is in writing and is executed as an instrument separate from the obligation or liability to which it applies.”

Subsecs. (c), (d). Pub. L. 108–454, §702(2), (3), added subsec. (c) and redesignated former subsec. (c) as (d).

§518. Exercise of rights under Act not to affect certain future financial transactions

Application by a servicemember for, or receipt by a servicemember of, a stay, postponement, or suspension pursuant to this Act [sections 501 to 515 and 516 to 597b of this Appendix] in the payment of a tax, fine, penalty, insurance premium, or other civil obligation or liability of that servicemember shall not itself (without regard to other considerations) provide the basis for any of the following:

(1) A determination by a lender or other person that the servicemember is unable to pay the civil obligation or liability in accordance with its terms.

(2) With respect to a credit transaction between a creditor and the servicemember—

(A) a denial or revocation of credit by the creditor;

(B) a change by the creditor in the terms of an existing credit arrangement; or

(C) a refusal by the creditor to grant credit to the servicemember in substantially the amount or on substantially the terms requested.


(3) An adverse report relating to the creditworthiness of the servicemember by or to a person engaged in the practice of assembling or evaluating consumer credit information.

(4) A refusal by an insurer to insure the servicemember.

(5) An annotation in a servicemember's record by a creditor or a person engaged in the practice of assembling or evaluating consumer credit information, identifying the servicemember as a member of the National Guard or a reserve component.

(6) A change in the terms offered or conditions required for the issuance of insurance.

(Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, title I, §108, as added Pub. L. 108–189, §1, Dec. 19, 2003, 117 Stat. 2840.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 518, act Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, art. I, §108, as added Pub. L. 102–12, §7, Mar. 18, 1991, 105 Stat. 38, related to the effect of certain future financial transactions on the exercise of rights, prior to the general amendment of this Act by Pub. L. 108–189.

§519. Legal representatives

(a) Representative

A legal representative of a servicemember for purposes of this Act [sections 501 to 515 and 516 to 597b of this Appendix] is either of the following:

(1) An attorney acting on the behalf of a servicemember.

(2) An individual possessing a power of attorney.

(b) Application

Whenever the term “servicemember” is used in this Act [sections 501 to 515 and 516 to 597b of this Appendix], such term shall be treated as including a reference to a legal representative of the servicemember.

(Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, title I, §109, as added Pub. L. 108–189, §1, Dec. 19, 2003, 117 Stat. 2840.)

TITLE II—GENERAL RELIEF

Prior Provisions

A prior section 520, acts Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, art. II, §200, 54 Stat. 1180; Pub. L. 86–721, §§1, 2, Sept. 8, 1960, 74 Stat. 820, related to default judgments, affidavits, bonds, and attorneys for persons in service, prior to the general amendment of this Act by Pub. L. 108–189. See section 521 of this Appendix.

§521. Protection of servicemembers against default judgments

(a) Applicability of section

This section applies to any civil action or proceeding, including any child custody proceeding, in which the defendant does not make an appearance.

(b) Affidavit requirement

(1) Plaintiff to file affidavit

In any action or proceeding covered by this section, the court, before entering judgment for the plaintiff, shall require the plaintiff to file with the court an affidavit—

(A) stating whether or not the defendant is in military service and showing necessary facts to support the affidavit; or

(B) if the plaintiff is unable to determine whether or not the defendant is in military service, stating that the plaintiff is unable to determine whether or not the defendant is in military service.

(2) Appointment of attorney to represent defendant in military service

If in an action covered by this section it appears that the defendant is in military service, the court may not enter a judgment until after the court appoints an attorney to represent the defendant. If an attorney appointed under this section to represent a servicemember cannot locate the servicemember, actions by the attorney in the case shall not waive any defense of the servicemember or otherwise bind the servicemember.

(3) Defendant's military status not ascertained by affidavit

If based upon the affidavits filed in such an action, the court is unable to determine whether the defendant is in military service, the court, before entering judgment, may require the plaintiff to file a bond in an amount approved by the court. If the defendant is later found to be in military service, the bond shall be available to indemnify the defendant against any loss or damage the defendant may suffer by reason of any judgment for the plaintiff against the defendant, should the judgment be set aside in whole or in part. The bond shall remain in effect until expiration of the time for appeal and setting aside of a judgment under applicable Federal or State law or regulation or under any applicable ordinance of a political subdivision of a State. The court may issue such orders or enter such judgments as the court determines necessary to protect the rights of the defendant under this Act [sections 501 to 515 and 516 to 597b of this Appendix].

(4) Satisfaction of requirement for affidavit

The requirement for an affidavit under paragraph (1) may be satisfied by a statement, declaration, verification, or certificate, in writing, subscribed and certified or declared to be true under penalty of perjury.

(c) Penalty for making or using false affidavit

A person who makes or uses an affidavit permitted under subsection (b) (or a statement, declaration, verification, or certificate as authorized under subsection (b)(4)) knowing it to be false, shall be fined as provided in title 18, United States Code, or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.

(d) Stay of proceedings

In an action covered by this section in which the defendant is in military service, the court shall grant a stay of proceedings for a minimum period of 90 days under this subsection upon application of counsel, or on the court's own motion, if the court determines that—

(1) there may be a defense to the action and a defense cannot be presented without the presence of the defendant; or

(2) after due diligence, counsel has been unable to contact the defendant or otherwise determine if a meritorious defense exists.

(e) Inapplicability of section 202 procedures

A stay of proceedings under subsection (d) shall not be controlled by procedures or requirements under section 202 [section 522 of this Appendix].

(f) Section 202 protection

If a servicemember who is a defendant in an action covered by this section receives actual notice of the action, the servicemember may request a stay of proceeding under section 202 [section 522 of this Appendix].

(g) Vacation or setting aside of default judgments

(1) Authority for court to vacate or set aside judgment

If a default judgment is entered in an action covered by this section against a servicemember during the servicemember's period of military service (or within 60 days after termination of or release from such military service), the court entering the judgment shall, upon application by or on behalf of the servicemember, reopen the judgment for the purpose of allowing the servicemember to defend the action if it appears that—

(A) the servicemember was materially affected by reason of that military service in making a defense to the action; and

(B) the servicemember has a meritorious or legal defense to the action or some part of it.

(2) Time for filing application

An application under this subsection must be filed not later than 90 days after the date of the termination of or release from military service.

(h) Protection of bona fide purchaser

If a court vacates, sets aside, or reverses a default judgment against a servicemember and the vacating, setting aside, or reversing is because of a provision of this Act [sections 501 to 515 and 516 to 597b of this Appendix], that action shall not impair a right or title acquired by a bona fide purchaser for value under the default judgment.

(Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, title II, §201, as added Pub. L. 108–189, §1, Dec. 19, 2003, 117 Stat. 2840; amended Pub. L. 110–181, div. A, title V, §584(a), Jan. 28, 2008, 122 Stat. 128.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 521, act Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, art. II, §201, 54 Stat. 1181, related to stay of proceedings where military service affects conduct thereof, prior to the general amendment of this Act by Pub. L. 108–189. See section 522 of this Appendix.

Amendments

2008—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 110–181 inserted “, including any child custody proceeding,” after “proceeding”.

§522. Stay of proceedings when servicemember has notice

(a) Applicability of section

This section applies to any civil action or proceeding, including any child custody proceeding, in which the plaintiff or defendant at the time of filing an application under this section—

(1) is in military service or is within 90 days after termination of or release from military service; and

(2) has received notice of the action or proceeding.

(b) Stay of proceedings

(1) Authority for stay

At any stage before final judgment in a civil action or proceeding in which a servicemember described in subsection (a) is a party, the court may on its own motion and shall, upon application by the servicemember, stay the action for a period of not less than 90 days, if the conditions in paragraph (2) are met.

(2) Conditions for stay

An application for a stay under paragraph (1) shall include the following:

(A) A letter or other communication setting forth facts stating the manner in which current military duty requirements materially affect the servicemember's ability to appear and stating a date when the servicemember will be available to appear.

(B) A letter or other communication from the servicemember's commanding officer stating that the servicemember's current military duty prevents appearance and that military leave is not authorized for the servicemember at the time of the letter.

(c) Application not a waiver of defenses

An application for a stay under this section does not constitute an appearance for jurisdictional purposes and does not constitute a waiver of any substantive or procedural defense (including a defense relating to lack of personal jurisdiction).

(d) Additional stay

(1) Application

A servicemember who is granted a stay of a civil action or proceeding under subsection (b) may apply for an additional stay based on continuing material affect of military duty on the servicemember's ability to appear. Such an application may be made by the servicemember at the time of the initial application under subsection (b) or when it appears that the servicemember is unavailable to prosecute or defend the action. The same information required under subsection (b)(2) shall be included in an application under this subsection.

(2) Appointment of counsel when additional stay refused

If the court refuses to grant an additional stay of proceedings under paragraph (1), the court shall appoint counsel to represent the servicemember in the action or proceeding.

(e) Coordination with section 201

A servicemember who applies for a stay under this section and is unsuccessful may not seek the protections afforded by section 201 [section 521 of this Appendix].

(f) Inapplicability to section 301

The protections of this section do not apply to section 301 [section 531 of this Appendix].

(Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, title II, §202, as added Pub. L. 108–189, §1, Dec. 19, 2003, 117 Stat. 2842; amended Pub. L. 108–454, title VII, §703, Dec. 10, 2004, 118 Stat. 3624; Pub. L. 110–181, div. A, title V, §584(b), Jan. 28, 2008, 122 Stat. 128.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 522, act Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, art. II, §202, 54 Stat. 1181, related to fines and penalties on contracts, prior to the general amendment of this Act by Pub. L. 108–189. See section 523 of this Appendix.

Amendments

2008—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 110–181 inserted “, including any child custody proceeding,” after “civil action or proceeding” in introductory provisions.

2004—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 108–454 inserted “plaintiff or” before “defendant” in introductory provisions.

Stay of Judicial Proceedings

Pub. L. 102–12, §6, Mar. 18, 1991, 105 Stat. 37, provided that:

“(a) Stay of Action or Proceeding.—In any judicial action or proceeding (other than a criminal proceeding) in which a member of the Armed Forces described in subsection (b) is involved (either as plaintiff or defendant), the court shall, upon application by such member (or some other person on the member's behalf) at any stage before final judgment is entered, stay the action or proceeding until a date after June 30, 1991.

“(b) Members Covered.—A member of the Armed Forces is covered by subsection (a) if at the time of application for the stay of a judicial action or proceeding the member—

“(1) is on active duty; and

“(2) is serving outside the State in which the court having jurisdiction over the action or proceeding is located.

“(c) Definition.—For purposes of this section, the term ‘State’ includes the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Guam.”

§523. Fines and penalties under contracts

(a) Prohibition of penalties

When an action for compliance with the terms of a contract is stayed pursuant to this Act [sections 501 to 515 and 516 to 597b of this Appendix], a penalty shall not accrue for failure to comply with the terms of the contract during the period of the stay.

(b) Reduction or waiver of fines or penalties

If a servicemember fails to perform an obligation arising under a contract and a penalty is incurred arising from that nonperformance, a court may reduce or waive the fine or penalty if—

(1) the servicemember was in military service at the time the fine or penalty was incurred; and

(2) the ability of the servicemember to perform the obligation was materially affected by such military service.

(Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, title II, §203, as added Pub. L. 108–189, §1, Dec. 19, 2003, 117 Stat. 2843.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 523, act Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, art. II, §203, 54 Stat. 1181, related to stay or vacation of execution of judgments and attachments, prior to the general amendment of this Act by Pub. L. 108–189. See section 524 of this Appendix.

§524. Stay or vacation of execution of judgments, attachments, and garnishments

(a) Court action upon material affect determination

If a servicemember, in the opinion of the court, is materially affected by reason of military service in complying with a court judgment or order, the court may on its own motion and shall on application by the servicemember—

(1) stay the execution of any judgment or order entered against the servicemember; and

(2) vacate or stay an attachment or garnishment of property, money, or debts in the possession of the servicemember or a third party, whether before or after judgment.

(b) Applicability

This section applies to an action or proceeding commenced in a court against a servicemember before or during the period of the servicemember's military service or within 90 days after such service terminates.

(Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, title II, §204, as added Pub. L. 108–189, §1, Dec. 19, 2003, 117 Stat. 2843.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 524, act Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, art. II, §204, 54 Stat. 1181, related to duration and term of stays and codefendants not in service, prior to the general amendment of this Act by Pub. L. 108–189. See section 525 of this Appendix.

§525. Duration and term of stays; codefendants not in service

(a) Period of stay

A stay of an action, proceeding, attachment, or execution made pursuant to the provisions of this Act [sections 501 to 515 and 516 to 597b of this Appendix] by a court may be ordered for the period of military service and 90 days thereafter, or for any part of that period. The court may set the terms and amounts for such installment payments as is considered reasonable by the court.

(b) Codefendants

If the servicemember is a codefendant with others who are not in military service and who are not entitled to the relief and protections provided under this Act [sections 501 to 515 and 516 to 597b of this Appendix], the plaintiff may proceed against those other defendants with the approval of the court.

(c) Inapplicability of section

This section does not apply to sections 202 and 701 [sections 522 and 591 of this Appendix].

(Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, title II, §205, as added Pub. L. 108–189, §1, Dec. 19, 2003, 117 Stat. 2844.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 525, acts Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, art. II, §205, 54 Stat. 1181; Oct. 6, 1942, ch. 581, §5, 56 Stat. 770; Pub. L. 102–12, §9(6), Mar. 18, 1991, 105 Stat. 39, related to statutes of limitations as affected by period of service, prior to the general amendment of this Act by Pub. L. 108–189. See section 526 of this Appendix.

§526. Statute of limitations

(a) Tolling of statutes of limitation during military service

The period of a servicemember's military service may not be included in computing any period limited by law, regulation, or order for the bringing of any action or proceeding in a court, or in any board, bureau, commission, department, or other agency of a State (or political subdivision of a State) or the United States by or against the servicemember or the servicemember's heirs, executors, administrators, or assigns.

(b) Redemption of real property

A period of military service may not be included in computing any period provided by law for the redemption of real property sold or forfeited to enforce an obligation, tax, or assessment.

(c) Inapplicability to internal revenue laws

This section does not apply to any period of limitation prescribed by or under the internal revenue laws of the United States.

(Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, title II, §206, as added Pub. L. 108–189, §1, Dec. 19, 2003, 117 Stat. 2844.)

References in Text

The internal revenue laws of the United States, referred to in subsec. (c), are classified generally to Title 26, Internal Revenue Code.

Prior Provisions

A prior section 526, act Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, art. II, §206, as added Oct. 6, 1942, ch. 581, §6, 56 Stat. 771; amended Pub. L. 102–12, §9(7), Mar. 18, 1991, 105 Stat. 39, related to maximum rate of interest, prior to the general amendment of this Act by Pub. L. 108–189. See section 527 of this Appendix.

§527. Maximum rate of interest on debts incurred before military service

(a) Interest rate limitation

(1) Limitation to 6 percent

An obligation or liability bearing interest at a rate in excess of 6 percent per year that is incurred by a servicemember, or the servicemember and the servicemember's spouse jointly, before the servicemember enters military service shall not bear interest at a rate in excess of 6 percent—

(A) during the period of military service and one year thereafter, in the case of an obligation or liability consisting of a mortgage, trust deed, or other security in the nature of a mortgage; or

(B) during the period of military service, in the case of any other obligation or liability.

(2) Forgiveness of interest in excess of 6 percent

Interest at a rate in excess of 6 percent per year that would otherwise be incurred but for the prohibition in paragraph (1) is forgiven.

(3) Prevention of acceleration of principal

The amount of any periodic payment due from a servicemember under the terms of the instrument that created an obligation or liability covered by this section shall be reduced by the amount of the interest forgiven under paragraph (2) that is allocable to the period for which such payment is made.

(b) Implementation of limitation

(1) Written notice to creditor

In order for an obligation or liability of a servicemember to be subject to the interest rate limitation in subsection (a), the servicemember shall provide to the creditor written notice and a copy of the military orders calling the servicemember to military service and any orders further extending military service, not later than 180 days after the date of the servicemember's termination or release from military service.

(2) Limitation effective as of date of order to active duty

Upon receipt of written notice and a copy of orders calling a servicemember to military service, the creditor shall treat the debt in accordance with subsection (a), effective as of the date on which the servicemember is called to military service.

(c) Creditor protection

A court may grant a creditor relief from the limitations of this section if, in the opinion of the court, the ability of the servicemember to pay interest upon the obligation or liability at a rate in excess of 6 percent per year is not materially affected by reason of the servicemember's military service.

(d) Definitions

In this section:

(1) Interest

The term “interest” includes service charges, renewal charges, fees, or any other charges (except bona fide insurance) with respect to an obligation or liability.

(2) Obligation or liability

The term “obligation or liability” includes an obligation or liability consisting of a mortgage, trust deed, or other security in the nature of a mortgage.

(e) Penalty

Whoever knowingly violates subsection (a) shall be fined as provided in title 18, United States Code, imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.

(Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, title II, §207, as added Pub. L. 108–189, §1, Dec. 19, 2003, 117 Stat. 2844; amended Pub. L. 110–289, div. B, title II, §2203(b), July 30, 2008, 122 Stat. 2849; Pub. L. 110–389, title VIII, §807, Oct. 10, 2008, 122 Stat. 4189; Pub. L. 111–275, title III, §303(b)(1), Oct. 13, 2010, 124 Stat. 2877.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 527, act Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, art. II, §207, as added Oct. 21, 1942, ch. 619, title V, §507(b)(2)(B), 56 Stat. 964, related to limitations prescribed by internal revenue laws as affected by period of service, prior to the general amendment of this Act by Pub. L. 108–189. See section 526 of this Appendix.

Amendments

2010—Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 111–275 struck out subsec. (f). Text read as follows: “The penalties provided under subsection (e) are in addition to and do not preclude any other remedy available under law to a person claiming relief under this section, including any award for consequential or punitive damages.”

2008—Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 110–289, §2203(b)(1), substituted “in excess of 6 percent—” for “in excess of 6 percent per year during the period of military service.” and added subpars. (A) and (B).

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 110–289, §2203(b)(2), added subsec. (d) and struck out former subsec. (d). Prior to amendment, text read as follows: “As used in this section, the term ‘interest’ includes service charges, renewal charges, fees, or any other charges (except bona fide insurance) with respect to an obligation or liability.”

Subsecs. (e), (f). Pub. L. 110–389 added subsecs. (e) and (f).

TITLE III—RENT, INSTALLMENT CONTRACTS, MORTGAGES, LIENS, ASSIGNMENT, LEASES, TELEPHONE SERVICE CONTRACTS

Prior Provisions

A prior section 530, acts Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, art. III, §300, 54 Stat. 1181; Oct. 6, 1942, ch. 581, §8, 56 Stat. 771; Pub. L. 89–358, §10, Mar. 3, 1966, 80 Stat. 28; Pub. L. 102–12, §§2(a), (b), 9(8), Mar. 18, 1991, 105 Stat. 34, 39, related to eviction or distress during military service, prior to the general amendment of this Act by Pub. L. 108–189. See section 531 of this Appendix.

Amendments

2010—Pub. L. 111–275, title III, §302(b), Oct. 13, 2010, 124 Stat. 2876, inserted “, TELEPHONE SERVICE CONTRACTS” after “LEASES” in heading.

§531. Evictions and distress

(a) Court-ordered eviction

(1) In general

Except by court order, a landlord (or another person with paramount title) may not—

(A) evict a servicemember, or the dependents of a servicemember, during a period of military service of the servicemember, from premises—

(i) that are occupied or intended to be occupied primarily as a residence; and

(ii) for which the monthly rent does not exceed $2,400, as adjusted under paragraph (2) for years after 2003; or


(B) subject such premises to a distress during the period of military service.

(2) Housing price inflation adjustment

(A) For calendar years beginning with 2004, the amount in effect under paragraph (1)(A)(ii) shall be increased by the housing price inflation adjustment for the calendar year involved.

(B) For purposes of this paragraph—

(i) The housing price inflation adjustment for any calendar year is the percentage change (if any) by which—

(I) the CPI housing component for November of the preceding calendar year, exceeds

(II) the CPI housing component for November of 1984.


(ii) The term “CPI housing component” means the index published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the Department of Labor known as the Consumer Price Index, All Urban Consumers, Rent of Primary Residence, U.S. City Average.

(3) Publication of housing price inflation adjustment

The Secretary of Defense shall cause to be published in the Federal Register each year the amount in effect under paragraph (1)(A)(ii) for that year following the housing price inflation adjustment for that year pursuant to paragraph (2). Such publication shall be made for a year not later than 60 days after such adjustment is made for that year.

(b) Stay of execution

(1) Court authority

Upon an application for eviction or distress with respect to premises covered by this section, the court may on its own motion and shall, if a request is made by or on behalf of a servicemember whose ability to pay the agreed rent is materially affected by military service—

(A) stay the proceedings for a period of 90 days, unless in the opinion of the court, justice and equity require a longer or shorter period of time; or

(B) adjust the obligation under the lease to preserve the interests of all parties.

(2) Relief to landlord

If a stay is granted under paragraph (1), the court may grant to the landlord (or other person with paramount title) such relief as equity may require.

(c) Misdemeanor

Except as provided in subsection (a), a person who knowingly takes part in an eviction or distress described in subsection (a), or who knowingly attempts to do so, shall be fined as provided in title 18, United States Code, or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.

(d) Rent allotment from pay of servicemember

To the extent required by a court order related to property which is the subject of a court action under this section, the Secretary concerned shall make an allotment from the pay of a servicemember to satisfy the terms of such order, except that any such allotment shall be subject to regulations prescribed by the Secretary concerned establishing the maximum amount of pay of servicemembers that may be allotted under this subsection.

(e) Limitation of applicability

Section 202 [section 522 of this Appendix] is not applicable to this section.

(Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, title III, §301, as added Pub. L. 108–189, §1, Dec. 19, 2003, 117 Stat. 2845; amended Pub. L. 111–275, title III, §303(b)(2), Oct. 13, 2010, 124 Stat. 2877.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 531, acts Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, art. III, §301, 54 Stat. 1182; Oct. 6, 1942, ch. 581, §9(a), (c), (d), 56 Stat. 771; Pub. L. 102–12, §9(9), Mar. 18, 1991, 105 Stat. 40, related to installment contracts for purchase of property, prior to the general amendment of this Act by Pub. L. 108–189. See section 532 of this Appendix.

Amendments

2010—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 111–275 amended subsec. (c) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (c) related to penalties.

§532. Protection under installment contracts for purchase or lease

(a) Protection upon breach of contract

(1) Protection after entering military service

After a servicemember enters military service, a contract by the servicemember for—

(A) the purchase of real or personal property (including a motor vehicle); or

(B) the lease or bailment of such property,


may not be rescinded or terminated for a breach of terms of the contract occurring before or during that person's military service, nor may the property be repossessed for such breach without a court order.

(2) Applicability

This section applies only to a contract for which a deposit or installment has been paid by the servicemember before the servicemember enters military service.

(b) Misdemeanor

A person who knowingly resumes possession of property in violation of subsection (a), or in violation of section 107 of this Act [section 517 of this Appendix], or who knowingly attempts to do so, shall be fined as provided in title 18, United States Code, or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.

(c) Authority of court

In a hearing based on this section, the court—

(1) may order repayment to the servicemember of all or part of the prior installments or deposits as a condition of terminating the contract and resuming possession of the property;

(2) may, on its own motion, and shall on application by a servicemember when the servicemember's ability to comply with the contract is materially affected by military service, stay the proceedings for a period of time as, in the opinion of the court, justice and equity require; or

(3) may make other disposition as is equitable to preserve the interests of all parties.

(Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, title III, §302, as added Pub. L. 108–189, §1, Dec. 19, 2003, 117 Stat. 2846; amended Pub. L. 111–275, title III, §303(b)(3), Oct. 13, 2010, 124 Stat. 2878.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 532, acts Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, art. III, §302, 54 Stat. 1182; Oct. 6, 1942, ch. 581, §§9(b), (c), 10, 56 Stat. 771, 772; June 23, 1952, ch. 450, 66 Stat. 151; Pub. L. 102–12, §9(9), (10), Mar. 18, 1991, 105 Stat. 40, related to mortgages and trust deeds, prior to the general amendment of this Act by Pub. L. 108–189. See section 533 of this Appendix.

Amendments

2010—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 111–275 amended subsec. (b) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (b) related to penalties.

§533. Mortgages and trust deeds

(a) Mortgage as security

This section applies only to an obligation on real or personal property owned by a servicemember that—

(1) originated before the period of the servicemember's military service and for which the servicemember is still obligated; and

(2) is secured by a mortgage, trust deed, or other security in the nature of a mortgage.

(b) Stay of proceedings and adjustment of obligation

In an action filed during, or within 9 months after, a servicemember's period of military service to enforce an obligation described in subsection (a), the court may after a hearing and on its own motion and shall upon application by a servicemember when the servicemember's ability to comply with the obligation is materially affected by military service—

(1) stay the proceedings for a period of time as justice and equity require, or

(2) adjust the obligation to preserve the interests of all parties.

(c) Sale or foreclosure

A sale, foreclosure, or seizure of property for a breach of an obligation described in subsection (a) shall not be valid if made during, or within 9 months after, the period of the servicemember's military service except—

(1) upon a court order granted before such sale, foreclosure, or seizure with a return made and approved by the court; or

(2) if made pursuant to an agreement as provided in section 107 [section 517 of this Appendix].

(d) Misdemeanor

A person who knowingly makes or causes to be made a sale, foreclosure, or seizure of property that is prohibited by subsection (c), or who knowingly attempts to do so, shall be fined as provided in title 18, United States Code, or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.

(Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, title III, §303, as added Pub. L. 108–189, §1, Dec. 19, 2003, 117 Stat. 2847; amended Pub. L. 110–289, div. B, title II, §2203(a), July 30, 2008, 122 Stat. 2849; Pub. L. 111–275, title III, §303(b)(4), Oct. 13, 2010, 124 Stat. 2878.)

Amendment of Subsections (b) and (c)

For termination of amendment by section 2203(c) of Pub. L. 110–289, see Effective and Termination Dates of 2008 Amendment note below.

Prior Provisions

A prior section 533, act Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, art. III, §303, as added Oct. 6, 1942, ch. 581, §12, 56 Stat. 772, related to settlement of cases involving stayed proceedings to foreclose mortgage on, resume possession of, or terminate contract for purchase of, personal property, prior to the general amendment of this Act by Pub. L. 108–189. See section 534 of this Appendix.

Another prior section 533, act Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, art. III, §303, 54 Stat. 1183, related to stay of action to resume possession of motor vehicle, tractor, or their accessories, encumbered by purchase money mortgage, conditional sales contract, etc., prior to repeal by act Oct. 6, 1942, ch. 581, §11, 56 Stat. 772.

Amendments

2010—Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 111–275 amended subsec. (d) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (d) related to penalties.

2008—Subsecs. (b), (c). Pub. L. 110–289 temporarily substituted “9 months” for “90 days” in introductory provisions. See Effective and Termination Dates of 2008 Amendment note below.

Effective and Termination Dates of 2008 Amendment

Pub. L. 110–289, div. B, title II, §2203(c), July 30, 2008, 122 Stat. 2850, as amended by Pub. L. 111–346, §2, Dec. 29, 2010, 124 Stat. 3622, provided that:

“(1) Effective date.—The amendment made by subsection (a) [amending this section] shall take effect on the date of enactment of this Act [July 30, 2008].

“(2) Sunset.—The amendments made by subsection (a) shall expire on December 31, 2012. Effective January 1, 2013, the provisions of subsections (b) and (c) of section 303 of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act [50 U.S.C. App. 533(b), (c)], as in effect on the day before the date of the enactment of this Act [July 30, 2008], are hereby revived.”

§534. Settlement of stayed cases relating to personal property

(a) Appraisal of property

When a stay is granted pursuant to this Act [sections 501 to 515 and 516 to 597b of this Appendix] in a proceeding to foreclose a mortgage on or to repossess personal property, or to rescind or terminate a contract for the purchase of personal property, the court may appoint three disinterested parties to appraise the property.

(b) Equity payment

Based on the appraisal, and if undue hardship to the servicemember's dependents will not result, the court may order that the amount of the servicemember's equity in the property be paid to the servicemember, or the servicemember's dependents, as a condition of foreclosing the mortgage, repossessing the property, or rescinding or terminating the contract.

(Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, title III, §304, as added Pub. L. 108–189, §1, Dec. 19, 2003, 117 Stat. 2848.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 534, act Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, art. III, §304, as added Oct. 6, 1942, ch. 581, §12, 56 Stat. 772; amended Pub. L. 102–12, §9(9), Mar. 18, 1991, 105 Stat. 40, related to termination of leases by lessees, prior to the general amendment of this Act by Pub. L. 108–189. See section 535 of this Appendix.

§535. Termination of residential or motor vehicle leases

(a) Termination by lessee

(1) In general

The lessee on a lease described in subsection (b) may, at the lessee's option, terminate the lease at any time after—

(A) the lessee's entry into military service; or

(B) the date of the lessee's military orders described in paragraph (1)(B) or (2)(B) of subsection (b), as the case may be.

(2) Joint leases

A lessee's termination of a lease pursuant to this subsection shall terminate any obligation a dependent of the lessee may have under the lease.

(b) Covered leases

This section applies to the following leases:

(1) Leases of premises

A lease of premises occupied, or intended to be occupied, by a servicemember or a servicemember's dependents for a residential, professional, business, agricultural, or similar purpose if—

(A) the lease is executed by or on behalf of a person who thereafter and during the term of the lease enters military service; or

(B) the servicemember, while in military service, executes the lease and thereafter receives military orders for a permanent change of station or to deploy with a military unit, or as an individual in support of a military operation, for a period of not less than 90 days.

(2) Leases of motor vehicles

A lease of a motor vehicle used, or intended to be used, by a servicemember or a servicemember's dependents for personal or business transportation if—

(A) the lease is executed by or on behalf of a person who thereafter and during the term of the lease enters military service under a call or order specifying a period of not less than 180 days (or who enters military service under a call or order specifying a period of 180 days or less and who, without a break in service, receives orders extending the period of military service to a period of not less than 180 days); or

(B) the servicemember, while in military service, executes the lease and thereafter receives military orders—

(i) for a change of permanent station—

(I) from a location in the continental United States to a location outside the continental United States; or

(II) from a location in a State outside the continental United States to any location outside that State; or


(ii) to deploy with a military unit, or as an individual in support of a military operation, for a period of not less than 180 days.

(c) Manner of termination

(1) In general

Termination of a lease under subsection (a) is made—

(A) by delivery by the lessee of written notice of such termination, and a copy of the servicemember's military orders, to the lessor (or the lessor's grantee), or to the lessor's agent (or the agent's grantee); and

(B) in the case of a lease of a motor vehicle, by return of the motor vehicle by the lessee to the lessor (or the lessor's grantee), or to the lessor's agent (or the agent's grantee), not later than 15 days after the date of the delivery of written notice under subparagraph (A).

(2) Delivery of notice

Delivery of notice under paragraph (1)(A) may be accomplished—

(A) by hand delivery;

(B) by private business carrier; or

(C) by placing the written notice in an envelope with sufficient postage and with return receipt requested, and addressed as designated by the lessor (or the lessor's grantee) or to the lessor's agent (or the agent's grantee), and depositing the written notice in the United States mails.

(d) Effective date of lease termination

(1) Lease of premises

In the case of a lease described in subsection (b)(1) that provides for monthly payment of rent, termination of the lease under subsection (a) is effective 30 days after the first date on which the next rental payment is due and payable after the date on which the notice under subsection (c) is delivered. In the case of any other lease described in subsection (b)(1), termination of the lease under subsection (a) is effective on the last day of the month following the month in which the notice is delivered.

(2) Lease of motor vehicles

In the case of a lease described in subsection (b)(2), termination of the lease under subsection (a) is effective on the day on which the requirements of subsection (c) are met for such termination.

(e) Arrearages and other obligations and liabilities

(1) Leases of premises

Rent amounts for a lease described in subsection (b)(1) that are unpaid for the period preceding the effective date of the lease termination shall be paid on a prorated basis. The lessor may not impose an early termination charge, but any taxes, summonses, or other obligations and liabilities of the lessee in accordance with the terms of the lease, including reasonable charges to the lessee for excess wear, that are due and unpaid at the time of termination of the lease shall be paid by the lessee.

(2) Leases of motor vehicles

Lease amounts for a lease described in subsection (b)(2) that are unpaid for the period preceding the effective date of the lease termination shall be paid on a prorated basis. The lessor may not impose an early termination charge, but any taxes, summonses, title and registration fees, or other obligations and liabilities of the lessee in accordance with the terms of the lease, including reasonable charges to the lessee for excess wear or use and mileage, that are due and unpaid at the time of termination of the lease shall be paid by the lessee.

(f) Rent paid in advance

Rents or lease amounts paid in advance for a period after the effective date of the termination of the lease shall be refunded to the lessee by the lessor (or the lessor's assignee or the assignee's agent) within 30 days of the effective date of the termination of the lease.

(g) Relief to lessor

Upon application by the lessor to a court before the termination date provided in the written notice, relief granted by this section to a servicemember may be modified as justice and equity require.

(h) Misdemeanor

Any person who knowingly seizes, holds, or detains the personal effects, security deposit, or other property of a servicemember or a servicemember's dependent who lawfully terminates a lease covered by this section, or who knowingly interferes with the removal of such property from premises covered by such lease, for the purpose of subjecting or attempting to subject any of such property to a claim for rent accruing subsequent to the date of termination of such lease, or attempts to do so, shall be fined as provided in title 18, United States Code, or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.

(i) Definitions

(1) Military orders

The term “military orders”, with respect to a servicemember, means official military orders, or any notification, certification, or verification from the servicemember's commanding officer, with respect to the servicemember's current or future military duty status.

(2) ConUS

The term “continental United States” means the 48 contiguous States and the District of Columbia.

(Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, title III, §305, as added Pub. L. 108–189, §1, Dec. 19, 2003, 117 Stat. 2848; amended Pub. L. 108–454, title VII, §704, Dec. 10, 2004, 118 Stat. 3624; Pub. L. 111–275, title III, §§301, 303(b)(5), Oct. 13, 2010, 124 Stat. 2875, 2878.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 535, act Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, art. III, §305, as added Oct. 6, 1942, ch. 581, §12, 56 Stat. 773; amended Pub. L. 102–12, §9(9), Mar. 18, 1991, 105 Stat. 40, related to protection of assignor of life insurance policy, enforcement of storage liens, and penalties, prior to the general amendment of this Act by Pub. L. 108–189. See sections 536 and 537 of this Appendix.

Amendments

2010—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 111–275, §301, amended subsec. (e) generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows: “Rents or lease amounts unpaid for the period preceding the effective date of the lease termination shall be paid on a prorated basis. In the case of the lease of a motor vehicle, the lessor may not impose an early termination charge, but any taxes, summonses, and title and registration fees and any other obligation and liability of the lessee in accordance with the terms of the lease, including reasonable charges to the lessee for excess wear, use and mileage, that are due and unpaid at the time of termination of the lease shall be paid by the lessee.”

Subsec. (h). Pub. L. 111–275, §303(b)(5), amended subsec. (h) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (h) related to penalties.

2004—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 108–454, §704(a), amended subsec. (a) generally, designating existing provisions as par. (1), inserting par. heading, and adding par. (2).

Subsec. (b)(1)(B). Pub. L. 108–454, §704(c), inserted “, or as an individual in support of a military operation,” after “deploy with a military unit”.

Subsec. (b)(2)(B). Pub. L. 108–454, §704(b)(1), substituted “military orders—” for “military orders for a permanent change of station outside of the continental United States or to deploy”, added cl.(i), and inserted “(ii) to deploy” before “with a military unit”.

Subsec. (b)(2)(B)(ii). Pub. L. 108–454, §704(c), inserted “, or as an individual in support of a military operation,” after “deploy with a military unit”.

Subsec. (i). Pub. L. 108–454, §704(b)(2), added subsec. (i).

§535a. Termination of telephone service contracts

(a) Termination by servicemember

(1) Termination

A servicemember may terminate a contract described in subsection (b) at any time after the date the servicemember receives military orders to relocate for a period of not less than 90 days to a location that does not support the contract.

(2) Notice

In the case that a servicemember terminates a contract as described in paragraph (1), the service provider under the contract shall provide such servicemember with written or electronic notice of the servicemember's rights under such paragraph.

(3) Manner of termination

Termination of a contract under paragraph (1) shall be made by delivery of a written or electronic notice of such termination and a copy of the servicemember's military orders to the service provider, delivered in accordance with industry standards for notification of terminations, together with the date on which the service is to be terminated.

(b) Covered contracts

A contract described in this subsection is a contract for cellular telephone service or telephone exchange service entered into by the servicemember before receiving the military orders referred to in subsection (a)(1).

(c) Retention of telephone number

In the case of a contract terminated under subsection (a) by a servicemember whose period of relocation is for a period of three years or less, the service provider under the contract shall, notwithstanding any other provision of law, allow the servicemember to keep the telephone number the servicemember has under the contract if the servicemember re-subscribes to the service during the 90-day period beginning on the last day of such period of relocation.

(d) Family plans

In the case of a contract for cellular telephone service entered into by any individual in which a servicemember is a designated beneficiary of the contract, the individual who entered into the contract may terminate the contract—

(1) with respect to the servicemember if the servicemember is eligible to terminate contracts pursuant to subsection (a); and

(2) with respect to all of the designated beneficiaries of such contract if all such beneficiaries accompany the servicemember during the servicemember's period of relocation.

(e) Other obligations and liabilities

For any contract terminated under this section, the service provider under the contract may not impose an early termination charge, but any tax or any other obligation or liability of the servicemember that, in accordance with the terms of the contract, is due and unpaid or unperformed at the time of termination of the contract shall be paid or performed by the servicemember. If the servicemember re-subscribes to the service provided under a covered contract during the 90-day period beginning on the last day of the servicemember's period of relocation, the service provider may not impose a charge for reinstating service, other than the usual and customary charges for the installation or acquisition of customer equipment imposed on any other subscriber.

(f) Return of advance payments

Not later than 60 days after the effective date of the termination of a contract under this section, the service provider under the contract shall refund to the servicemember any fee or other amount to the extent paid for a period extending until after such date, except for the remainder of the monthly or similar billing period in which the termination occurs.

(g) Definitions

For purposes of this section:

(1) The term “cellular telephone service” means commercial mobile service, as that term is defined in section 332(d) of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 332(d)).

(2) The term “telephone exchange service” has the meaning given that term under section 3 of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 153).

(Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, title III, §305A, as added Pub. L. 110–389, title VIII, §805(a), Oct. 10, 2008, 122 Stat. 4188; amended Pub. L. 111–275, title III, §302(a), Oct. 13, 2010, 124 Stat. 2875.)

Amendments

2010—Pub. L. 111–275 amended section generally, substituting provisions relating to termination of telephone service contracts for provisions relating to termination or suspension of contracts for cellular telephone service.

§536. Protection of life insurance policy

(a) Assignment of policy protected

If a life insurance policy on the life of a servicemember is assigned before military service to secure the payment of an obligation, the assignee of the policy (except the insurer in connection with a policy loan) may not exercise, during a period of military service of the servicemember or within one year thereafter, any right or option obtained under the assignment without a court order.

(b) Exception

The prohibition in subsection (a) shall not apply—

(1) if the assignee has the written consent of the insured made during the period described in subsection (a);

(2) when the premiums on the policy are due and unpaid; or

(3) upon the death of the insured.

(c) Order refused because of material affect

A court which receives an application for an order required under subsection (a) may refuse to grant such order if the court determines the ability of the servicemember to comply with the terms of the obligation is materially affected by military service.

(d) Treatment of guaranteed premiums

For purposes of this subsection, premiums guaranteed under the provisions of title IV of this Act [sections 541 to 549 of this Appendix] shall not be considered due and unpaid.

(e) Misdemeanor

A person who knowingly takes an action contrary to this section, or attempts to do so, shall be fined as provided in title 18, United States Code, or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.

(Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, title III, §306, as added Pub. L. 108–189, §1, Dec. 19, 2003, 117 Stat. 2850; amended Pub. L. 111–275, title III, §303(b)(6), Oct. 13, 2010, 124 Stat. 2878.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 536, act Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, art. III, §306, as added Oct. 6, 1942, ch. 581, §12, 56 Stat. 773, related to extension of benefits to dependents, prior to the general amendment of this Act by Pub. L. 108–189. See section 538 of this Appendix.

Amendments

2010—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 111–275 amended subsec. (e) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (e) related to penalties.

§537. Enforcement of storage liens

(a) Liens

(1) Limitation on foreclosure or enforcement

A person holding a lien on the property or effects of a servicemember may not, during any period of military service of the servicemember and for 90 days thereafter, foreclose or enforce any lien on such property or effects without a court order granted before foreclosure or enforcement.

(2) Lien defined

For the purposes of paragraph (1), the term “lien” includes a lien for storage, repair, or cleaning of the property or effects of a servicemember or a lien on such property or effects for any other reason.

(b) Stay of proceedings

In a proceeding to foreclose or enforce a lien subject to this section, the court may on its own motion, and shall if requested by a servicemember whose ability to comply with the obligation resulting in the proceeding is materially affected by military service—

(1) stay the proceeding for a period of time as justice and equity require; or

(2) adjust the obligation to preserve the interests of all parties.


The provisions of this subsection do not affect the scope of section 303 [section 533 of this Appendix].

(c) Misdemeanor

A person who knowingly takes an action contrary to this section, or attempts to do so, shall be fined as provided in title 18, United States Code, or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.

(Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, title III, §307, as added Pub. L. 108–189, §1, Dec. 19, 2003, 117 Stat. 2851; amended Pub. L. 111–275, title III, §303(b)(7), Oct. 13, 2010, 124 Stat. 2878.)

Amendments

2010—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 111–275 amended subsec. (c) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (c) related to penalties.

§538. Extension of protections to dependents

Upon application to a court, a dependent of a servicemember is entitled to the protections of this title [sections 531 to 538 of this Appendix] if the dependent's ability to comply with a lease, contract, bailment, or other obligation is materially affected by reason of the servicemember's military service.

(Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, title III, §308, as added Pub. L. 108–189, §1, Dec. 19, 2003, 117 Stat. 2851.)

TITLE IV—LIFE INSURANCE

Prior Provisions

A prior section 540, acts Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, art. IV, §400, 54 Stat. 1183; Oct. 6, 1942, ch. 581, §13, 56 Stat. 773; July 11, 1956, ch. 570, §1, 70 Stat. 528; Pub. L. 102–12, §9(11), Mar. 18, 1991, 105 Stat. 40, related to definitions, prior to the general amendment of this Act by Pub. L. 108–189. See section 541 of this Appendix.

§541. Definitions

For the purposes of this title [sections 541 to 549 of this Appendix]:

(1) Policy

The term “policy” means any individual contract for whole, endowment, universal, or term life insurance (other than group term life insurance coverage), including any benefit in the nature of such insurance arising out of membership in any fraternal or beneficial association which—

(A) provides that the insurer may not—

(i) decrease the amount of coverage or require the payment of an additional amount as premiums if the insured engages in military service (except increases in premiums in individual term insurance based upon age); or

(ii) limit or restrict coverage for any activity required by military service; and


(B) is in force not less than 180 days before the date of the insured's entry into military service and at the time of application under this title.

(2) Premium

The term “premium” means the amount specified in an insurance policy to be paid to keep the policy in force.

(3) Insured

The term “insured” means a servicemember whose life is insured under a policy.

(4) Insurer

The term “insurer” includes any firm, corporation, partnership, association, or business that is chartered or authorized to provide insurance and issue contracts or policies by the laws of a State or the United States.

(Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, title IV, §401, as added Pub. L. 108–189, §1, Dec. 19, 2003, 117 Stat. 2851.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 541, acts Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, art. IV, §401, 54 Stat. 1183; Oct. 6, 1942, ch. 581, §13, 56 Stat. 774; Pub. L. 102–12, §9(12), Mar. 18, 1991, 105 Stat. 40, related to persons entitled to benefits of former article IV of this Act, applications, and amount of insurance protected, prior to the general amendment of this Act by Pub. L. 108–189. See section 542 of this Appendix.

§542. Insurance rights and protections

(a) Rights and protections

The rights and protections under this title [sections 541 to 549 of this Appendix] apply to the insured when—

(1) the insured,

(2) the insured's legal representative, or

(3) the insured's beneficiary in the case of an insured who is outside a State,


applies in writing for protection under this title, unless the Secretary of Veterans Affairs determines that the insured's policy is not entitled to protection under this title.

(b) Notification and application

The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall notify the Secretary concerned of the procedures to be used to apply for the protections provided under this title [sections 541 to 549 of this Appendix]. The applicant shall send the original application to the insurer and a copy to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

(c) Limitation on amount

The total amount of life insurance coverage protection provided by this title [sections 541 to 549 of this Appendix] for a servicemember may not exceed $250,000, or an amount equal to the Servicemember's Group Life Insurance maximum limit, whichever is greater, regardless of the number of policies submitted.

(Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, title IV, §402, as added Pub. L. 108–189, §1, Dec. 19, 2003, 117 Stat. 2852.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 542, acts Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, art. IV, §402, 54 Stat. 1183; Oct. 6, 1942, ch. 581, §13, 56 Stat. 774; Pub. L. 102–12, §9(13), Mar. 18, 1991, 105 Stat. 40, related to form of application, reports to Secretary of Veterans Affairs by insurer, and policy deemed modified upon application for protection, prior to the general amendment of this Act by Pub. L. 108–189. See section 543 of this Appendix.

§543. Application for insurance protection

(a) Application procedure

An application for protection under this title [sections 541 to 549 of this Appendix] shall—

(1) be in writing and signed by the insured, the insured's legal representative, or the insured's beneficiary, as the case may be;

(2) identify the policy and the insurer; and

(3) include an acknowledgement that the insured's rights under the policy are subject to and modified by the provisions of this title.

(b) Additional requirements

The Secretary of Veterans Affairs may require additional information from the applicant, the insured and the insurer to determine if the policy is entitled to protection under this title [sections 541 to 549 of this Appendix].

(c) Notice to the Secretary by the insurer

Upon receipt of the application of the insured, the insurer shall furnish a report concerning the policy to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs as required by regulations prescribed by the Secretary.

(d) Policy modification

Upon application for protection under this title [sections 541 to 549 of this Appendix], the insured and the insurer shall have constructively agreed to any policy modification necessary to give this title full force and effect.

(Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, title IV, §403, as added Pub. L. 108–189, §1, Dec. 19, 2003, 117 Stat. 2852.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 543, acts Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, art. IV, §403, 54 Stat. 1184; Oct. 6, 1942, ch. 581, §13, 56 Stat. 775; Pub. L. 102–12, §9(14), Mar. 18, 1991, 105 Stat. 40, related to determination of policies entitled to protection, notice to parties, and lapse of policies for nonpayment of premiums, prior to the general amendment of this Act by Pub. L. 108–189. See section 544 of this Appendix.

§544. Policies entitled to protection and lapse of policies

(a) Determination

The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall determine whether a policy is entitled to protection under this title [sections 541 to 549 of this Appendix] and shall notify the insured and the insurer of that determination.

(b) Lapse protection

A policy that the Secretary determines is entitled to protection under this title [sections 541 to 549 of this Appendix] shall not lapse or otherwise terminate or be forfeited for the nonpayment of a premium, or interest or indebtedness on a premium, after the date on which the application for protection is received by the Secretary.

(c) Time application

The protection provided by this title [sections 541 to 549 of this Appendix] applies during the insured's period of military service and for a period of two years thereafter.

(Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, title IV, §404, as added Pub. L. 108–189, §1, Dec. 19, 2003, 117 Stat. 2853.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 544, acts Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, art. IV, §404, 54 Stat. 1184; Oct. 6, 1942, ch. 581, §13, 56 Stat. 775; Pub. L. 102–12, §9(15), Mar. 18, 1991, 105 Stat. 40, related to rights and privileges of insured during period of protection, prior to the general amendment of this Act by Pub. L. 108–189. See section 545 of this Appendix.

§545. Policy restrictions

(a) Dividends

While a policy is protected under this title [sections 541 to 549 of this Appendix], a dividend or other monetary benefit under a policy may not be paid to an insured or used to purchase dividend additions without the approval of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs. If such approval is not obtained, the dividends or benefits shall be added to the value of the policy to be used as a credit when final settlement is made with the insurer.

(b) Specific restrictions

While a policy is protected under this title [sections 541 to 549 of this Appendix], cash value, loan value, withdrawal of dividend accumulation, unearned premiums, or other value of similar character may not be available to the insured without the approval of the Secretary. The right of the insured to change a beneficiary designation or select an optional settlement for a beneficiary shall not be affected by the provisions of this title.

(Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, title IV, §405, as added Pub. L. 108–189, §1, Dec. 19, 2003, 117 Stat. 2853.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 545, acts Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, art. IV, §405, 54 Stat. 1184; Oct. 6, 1942, ch. 581, §13, 56 Stat. 775; Pub. L. 102–12, §9(16), Mar. 18, 1991, 105 Stat. 40, related to deduction of unpaid premiums upon settlement of policies maturing during protection, prior to the general amendment of this Act by Pub. L. 108–189. See section 546 of this Appendix.

§546. Deduction of unpaid premiums

(a) Settlement of proceeds

If a policy matures as a result of a servicemember's death or otherwise during the period of protection of the policy under this title [sections 541 to 549 of this Appendix], the insurer in making settlement shall deduct from the insurance proceeds the amount of the unpaid premiums guaranteed under this title, together with interest due at the rate fixed in the policy for policy loans.

(b) Interest rate

If the interest rate is not specifically fixed in the policy, the rate shall be the same as for policy loans in other policies issued by the insurer at the time the insured's policy was issued.

(c) Reporting requirement

The amount deducted under this section, if any, shall be reported by the insurer to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

(Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, title IV, §406, as added Pub. L. 108–189, §1, Dec. 19, 2003, 117 Stat. 2853.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 546, acts Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, art. IV, §406, 54 Stat. 1184; Oct. 6, 1942, ch. 581, §13, 56 Stat. 775; Apr. 3, 1948, ch. 170, §6, 62 Stat. 160, related to guaranty of premiums and interest by United States, settlement of amounts due upon expiration of protection, subrogation of United States, and crediting debt repayments, prior to the general amendment of this Act by Pub. L. 108–189. See section 547 of this Appendix.

§547. Premiums and interest guaranteed by United States

(a) Guarantee of premiums and interest by the United States

(1) Guarantee

Payment of premiums, and interest on premiums at the rate specified in section 406 [section 546 of this Appendix], which become due on a policy under the protection of this title [sections 541 to 549 of this Appendix] is guaranteed by the United States. If the amount guaranteed is not paid to the insurer before the period of insurance protection under this title expires, the amount due shall be treated by the insurer as a policy loan on the policy.

(2) Policy termination

If, at the expiration of insurance protection under this title, the cash surrender value of a policy is less than the amount due to pay premiums and interest on premiums on the policy, the policy shall terminate. Upon such termination, the United States shall pay the insurer the difference between the amount due and the cash surrender value.

(b) Recovery from insured of amounts paid by the United States

(1) Debt payable to the United States

The amount paid by the United States to an insurer under this title [sections 541 to 549 of this Appendix] shall be a debt payable to the United States by the insured on whose policy payment was made.

(2) Collection

Such amount may be collected by the United States, either as an offset from any amount due the insured by the United States or as otherwise authorized by law.

(3) Debt not dischargeable in bankruptcy

Such debt payable to the United States is not dischargeable in bankruptcy proceedings.

(c) Crediting of amounts recovered

Any amounts received by the United States as repayment of debts incurred by an insured under this title [sections 541 to 549 of this Appendix] shall be credited to the appropriation for the payment of claims under this title.

(Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, title IV, §407, as added Pub. L. 108–189, §1, Dec. 19, 2003, 117 Stat. 2853.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 547, acts Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, art. IV, §407, 54 Stat. 1185; Oct. 6, 1942, ch. 581, §13, 56 Stat. 775; Pub. L. 85–857, §14(76), Sept. 2, 1958, 72 Stat. 1272; Pub. L. 102–12, §9(17), Mar. 18, 1991, 105 Stat. 40, related to regulations and finality of determinations, prior to the general amendment of this Act by Pub. L. 108–189. See sections 548 and 549 of this Appendix.

§548. Regulations

The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall prescribe regulations for the implementation of this title [sections 541 to 549 of this Appendix].

(Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, title IV, §408, as added Pub. L. 108–189, §1, Dec. 19, 2003, 117 Stat. 2854.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 548, acts Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, art. IV, §408, 54 Stat. 1185; Oct. 6, 1942, ch. 581, §13, 56 Stat. 776, related to law governing applications for protection prior to Oct. 6, 1942, prior to repeal by Pub. L. 102–12, §9(18), Mar. 18, 1991, 105 Stat. 40.

§549. Review of findings of fact and conclusions of law

The findings of fact and conclusions of law made by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs in administering this title [sections 541 to 549 of this Appendix] are subject to review on appeal to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals pursuant to chapter 71 of title 38, United States Code, and to judicial review only as provided in chapter 72 of such title.

(Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, title IV, §409, as added Pub. L. 108–189, §1, Dec. 19, 2003, 117 Stat. 2854.)

Prior Provisions

Prior sections 549 to 554 of this Appendix were omitted in the general amendment of article IV of this Act by act Oct. 6, 1942, ch. 581, §13, 56 Stat. 773.

Section 549, act Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, art. IV, §409, 54 Stat. 1185, related to deduction of unpaid premiums from proceeds of policies.

Section 550, act Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, art. IV, §410, 54 Stat. 1185, related to lapsing of policy for failure to pay past due premiums upon termination of service.

Section 551, act Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, art. IV, §411, 54 Stat. 1185, related to accounts stated between insurers and United States.

Section 552, act Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, art. IV, §412, 54 Stat. 1185, related to payment of balances due insurers by Secretary of the Treasury.

Section 553, act Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, art. IV, §413, 54 Stat. 1186, related to policies excepted from application of article.

Section 554, act Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, art. IV, §414, 54 Stat. 1186, related to insurers within application of article.

TITLE V—TAXES AND PUBLIC LANDS

Prior Provisions

A prior section 560, acts Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, art. V, §500, 54 Stat. 1186; Oct. 6, 1942, ch. 581, §14, 56 Stat. 776, related to taxes respecting personalty, money, credits, or realty, sale of property to enforce collection, redemption of property sold, penalty for nonpayment, and notice of rights to beneficiaries of section, prior to the general amendment of this Act by Pub. L. 108–189. See section 561 of this Appendix.

§561. Taxes respecting personal property, money, credits, and real property

(a) Application

This section applies in any case in which a tax or assessment, whether general or special (other than a tax on personal income), falls due and remains unpaid before or during a period of military service with respect to a servicemember's—

(1) personal property (including motor vehicles); or

(2) real property occupied for dwelling, professional, business, or agricultural purposes by a servicemember or the servicemember's dependents or employees—

(A) before the servicemember's entry into military service; and

(B) during the time the tax or assessment remains unpaid.

(b) Sale of property

(1) Limitation on sale of property to enforce tax assessment

Property described in subsection (a) may not be sold to enforce the collection of such tax or assessment except by court order and upon the determination by the court that military service does not materially affect the servicemember's ability to pay the unpaid tax or assessment.

(2) Stay of court proceedings

A court may stay a proceeding to enforce the collection of such tax or assessment, or sale of such property, during a period of military service of the servicemember and for a period not more than 180 days after the termination of, or release of the servicemember from, military service.

(c) Redemption

When property described in subsection (a) is sold or forfeited to enforce the collection of a tax or assessment, a servicemember shall have the right to redeem or commence an action to redeem the servicemember's property during the period of military service or within 180 days after termination of or release from military service. This subsection may not be construed to shorten any period provided by the law of a State (including any political subdivision of a State) for redemption.

(d) Interest on tax or assessment

Whenever a servicemember does not pay a tax or assessment on property described in subsection (a) when due, the amount of the tax or assessment due and unpaid shall bear interest until paid at the rate of 6 percent per year. An additional penalty or interest shall not be incurred by reason of nonpayment. A lien for such unpaid tax or assessment may include interest under this subsection.

(e) Joint ownership application

This section applies to all forms of property described in subsection (a) owned individually by a servicemember or jointly by a servicemember and a dependent or dependents.

(Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, title V, §501, as added Pub. L. 108–189, §1, Dec. 19, 2003, 117 Stat. 2854.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 561, act Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, art. V, §501, 54 Stat. 1187, related to rights in public lands and grazing lands, prior to the general amendment of this Act by Pub. L. 108–189. See section 562 of this Appendix.

§562. Rights in public lands

(a) Rights not forfeited

The rights of a servicemember to lands owned or controlled by the United States, and initiated or acquired by the servicemember under the laws of the United States (including the mining and mineral leasing laws) before military service, shall not be forfeited or prejudiced as a result of being absent from the land, or by failing to begin or complete any work or improvements to the land, during the period of military service.

(b) Temporary suspension of permits or licenses

If a permittee or licensee under the Act of June 28, 1934 (43 U.S.C. 315 et seq.), enters military service, the permittee or licensee may suspend the permit or license for the period of military service and for 180 days after termination of or release from military service.

(c) Regulations

Regulations prescribed by the Secretary of the Interior shall provide for such suspension of permits and licenses and for the remission, reduction, or refund of grazing fees during the period of such suspension.

(Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, title V, §502, as added Pub. L. 108–189, §1, Dec. 19, 2003, 117 Stat. 2855.)

References in Text

Act of June 28, 1934, referred to in subsec. (b), is act June 28, 1934, ch. 865, 48 Stat. 1269, as amended, popularly known as the Taylor Grazing Act, which is classified principally to subchapter I (§315 et seq.) of chapter 8A of Title 43, Public Lands. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 315 of Title 43 and Tables.

Prior Provisions

A prior section 562, act Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, art. V, §502, 54 Stat. 1187, related to homestead entries and settlement claims, prior to the general amendment of this Act by Pub. L. 108–189.

§563. Desert-land entries

(a) Desert-land rights not forfeited

A desert-land entry made or held under the desert-land laws before the entrance of the entryman or the entryman's successor in interest into military service shall not be subject to contest or cancellation—

(1) for failure to expend any required amount per acre per year in improvements upon the claim;

(2) for failure to effect the reclamation of the claim during the period the entryman or the entryman's successor in interest is in the military service, or for 180 days after termination of or release from military service; or

(3) during any period of hospitalization or rehabilitation due to an injury or disability incurred in the line of duty.


The time within which the entryman or claimant is required to make such expenditures and effect reclamation of the land shall be exclusive of the time periods described in paragraphs (2) and (3).

(b) Service-related disability

If an entryman or claimant is honorably discharged and is unable to accomplish reclamation of, and payment for, desert land due to a disability incurred in the line of duty, the entryman or claimant may make proof without further reclamation or payments, under regulations prescribed by the Secretary of the Interior, and receive a patent for the land entered or claimed.

(c) Filing requirement

In order to obtain the protection of this section, the entryman or claimant shall, within 180 days after entry into military service, cause to be filed in the land office of the district where the claim is situated a notice communicating the fact of military service and the desire to hold the claim under this section.

(Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, title V, §503, as added Pub. L. 108–189, §1, Dec. 19, 2003, 117 Stat. 2856.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 563, act Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, art. V, §503, 54 Stat. 1187, related to death or incapacity during or resulting from service as affecting rights and perfection of rights, prior to the general amendment of this Act by Pub. L. 108–189. See section 566 of this Appendix.

§564. Mining claims

(a) Requirements suspended

The provisions of section 2324 of the Revised Statutes of the United States (30 U.S.C. 28) specified in subsection (b) shall not apply to a servicemember's claims or interests in claims, regularly located and recorded, during a period of military service and 180 days thereafter, or during any period of hospitalization or rehabilitation due to injuries or disabilities incurred in the line of duty.

(b) Requirements

The provisions in section 2324 of the Revised Statutes that shall not apply under subsection (a) are those which require that on each mining claim located after May 10, 1872, and until a patent has been issued for such claim, not less than $100 worth of labor shall be performed or improvements made during each year.

(c) Period of protection from forfeiture

A mining claim or an interest in a claim owned by a servicemember that has been regularly located and recorded shall not be subject to forfeiture for nonperformance of annual assessments during the period of military service and for 180 days thereafter, or for any period of hospitalization or rehabilitation described in subsection (a).

(d) Filing requirement

In order to obtain the protections of this section, the claimant of a mining location shall, before the end of the assessment year in which military service is begun or within 60 days after the end of such assessment year, cause to be filed in the office where the location notice or certificate is recorded a notice communicating the fact of military service and the desire to hold the mining claim under this section.

(Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, title V, §504, as added Pub. L. 108–189, §1, Dec. 19, 2003, 117 Stat. 2856.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 564, acts Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, art. V, §504, 54 Stat. 1187; Pub. L. 102–12, §9(19), Mar. 18, 1991, 105 Stat. 40, related to desert-land entries and the suspension of requirements, prior to the general amendment of this Act by Pub. L. 108–189. See section 563 of this Appendix.

§565. Mineral permits and leases

(a) Suspension during military service

A person holding a permit or lease on the public domain under the Federal mineral leasing laws who enters military service may suspend all operations under the permit or lease for the duration of military service and for 180 days thereafter. The term of the permit or lease shall not run during the period of suspension, nor shall any rental or royalties be charged against the permit or lease during the period of suspension.

(b) Notification

In order to obtain the protection of this section, the permittee or lessee shall, within 180 days after entry into military service, notify the Secretary of the Interior by registered mail of the fact that military service has begun and of the desire to hold the claim under this section.

(c) Contract modification

This section shall not be construed to supersede the terms of any contract for operation of a permit or lease.

(Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, title V, §505, as added Pub. L. 108–189, §1, Dec. 19, 2003, 117 Stat. 2857.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 565, act Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, art. V, §505, 54 Stat. 1188; Pub. L. 102–12, §9(20), Mar. 18, 1991, 105 Stat. 41, related to mining claims and the suspension of requirements, prior to the general amendment of this Act by Pub. L. 108–189. See section 564 of this Appendix.

§566. Perfection or defense of rights

(a) Right to take action not affected

This title [sections 561 to 571 of this Appendix] shall not affect the right of a servicemember to take action during a period of military service that is authorized by law or regulations of the Department of the Interior, for the perfection, defense, or further assertion of rights initiated or acquired before entering military service.

(b) Affidavits and proofs

(1) In general

A servicemember during a period of military service may make any affidavit or submit any proof required by law, practice, or regulation of the Department of the Interior in connection with the entry, perfection, defense, or further assertion of rights initiated or acquired before entering military service before an officer authorized to provide notary services under section 1044a of title 10, United States Code, or any superior commissioned officer.

(2) Legal status of affidavits

Such affidavits shall be binding in law and subject to the same penalties as prescribed by section 1001 of title 18, United State 1 Code.

(Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, title V, §506, as added Pub. L. 108–189, §1, Dec. 19, 2003, 117 Stat. 2857.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 566, acts Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, art. V, §506, 54 Stat. 1188; Pub. L. 102–12, §9(21), Mar. 18, 1991, 105 Stat. 41, related to mineral permits and leases and the suspension of operations and term of permits and leases, prior to the general amendment of this Act by Pub. L. 108–189. See section 565 of this Appendix.

1 So in original. Probably should be “States”.

§567. Distribution of information concerning benefits of title

(a) Distribution of information by Secretary concerned

The Secretary concerned shall issue to servicemembers information explaining the provisions of this title [sections 561 to 571 of this Appendix].

(b) Application forms

The Secretary concerned shall provide application forms to servicemembers requesting relief under this title [sections 561 to 571 of this Appendix].

(c) Information from Secretary of the Interior

The Secretary of the Interior shall furnish to the Secretary concerned information explaining the provisions of this title [sections 561 to 571 of this Appendix] (other than sections 501, 510, and 511) [sections 561, 570, and 571 of this Appendix] and related application forms.

(Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, title V, §507, as added Pub. L. 108–189, §1, Dec. 19, 2003, 117 Stat. 2857.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 567, acts Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, art. V, §507, 54 Stat. 1188; Pub. L. 102–12, §9(22), Mar. 18, 1991, 105 Stat. 41, related to right to take action for perfection and defense of rights as unaffected, and affidavits and proofs, prior to the general amendment of this Act by Pub. L. 108–189. See section 566 of this Appendix.

§568. Land rights of servicemembers

(a) No age limitations

Any servicemember under the age of 21 in military service shall be entitled to the same rights under the laws relating to lands owned or controlled by the United States, including mining and mineral leasing laws, as those servicemembers who are 21 years of age.

(b) Residency requirement

Any requirement related to the establishment of a residence within a limited time shall be suspended as to entry by a servicemember in military service or the spouse of such servicemember until 180 days after termination of or release from military service.

(c) Entry applications

Applications for entry may be verified before a person authorized to administer oaths under section 1044a of title 10, United States Code, or under the laws of the State where the land is situated.

(Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, title V, §508, as added Pub. L. 108–189, §1, Dec. 19, 2003, 117 Stat. 2857; amended Pub. L. 111–97, §4(a), Nov. 11, 2009, 123 Stat. 3008.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 568, act Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, art. V, §508, 54 Stat. 1189, related to irrigation rights and suspension of residence requirements, prior to the general amendment of this Act by Pub. L. 108–189.

Amendments

2009—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 111–97 inserted “or the spouse of such servicemember” after “a servicemember in military service”.

Effective Date of 2009 Amendment

Pub. L. 111–97, §4(b), Nov. 11, 2009, 123 Stat. 3008, provided that: “The amendment made by subsection (a) [amending this section] shall apply with respect to servicemembers in military service (as defined in section 101 of such Act (50 U.S.C. App. 511)) on or after the date of the enactment of this Act [Nov. 11, 2009].”

§569. Regulations

The Secretary of the Interior may issue regulations necessary to carry out this title [sections 561 to 571 of this Appendix] (other than sections 501, 510, and 511) [sections 561, 570, and 571 of this Appendix].

(Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, title V, §509, as added Pub. L. 108–189, §1, Dec. 19, 2003, 117 Stat. 2858.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 569, acts Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, art. V, §509, 54 Stat. 1189; Oct. 6, 1942, ch. 581, §15, 56 Stat. 776, related to distribution of information concerning benefits of tax and public lands provisions and forms, prior to the general amendment of this Act by Pub. L. 108–189. See section 567 of this Appendix.

§570. Income taxes

(a) Deferral of tax

Upon notice to the Internal Revenue Service or the tax authority of a State or a political subdivision of a State, the collection of income tax on the income of a servicemember falling due before or during military service shall be deferred for a period not more than 180 days after termination of or release from military service, if a servicemember's ability to pay such income tax is materially affected by military service.

(b) Accrual of interest or penalty

No interest or penalty shall accrue for the period of deferment by reason of nonpayment on any amount of tax deferred under this section.

(c) Statute of limitations

The running of a statute of limitations against the collection of tax deferred under this section, by seizure or otherwise, shall be suspended for the period of military service of the servicemember and for an additional period of 270 days thereafter.

(d) Application limitation

This section shall not apply to the tax imposed on employees by section 3101 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 [26 U.S.C. 3101].

(Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, title V, §510, as added Pub. L. 108–189, §1, Dec. 19, 2003, 117 Stat. 2858.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 570, acts Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, art. V, §510, 54 Stat. 1189; Pub. L. 102–12, §9(23), Mar. 18, 1991, 105 Stat. 41, related to homestead entrymen permitted to leave entries to perform farm labor, prior to the general amendment of this Act by Pub. L. 108–189.

§571. Residence for tax purposes

(a) Residence or domicile

(1) In general

A servicemember shall neither lose nor acquire a residence or domicile for purposes of taxation with respect to the person, personal property, or income of the servicemember by reason of being absent or present in any tax jurisdiction of the United States solely in compliance with military orders.

(2) Spouses

A spouse of a servicemember shall neither lose nor acquire a residence or domicile for purposes of taxation with respect to the person, personal property, or income of the spouse by reason of being absent or present in any tax jurisdiction of the United States solely to be with the servicemember in compliance with the servicemember's military orders if the residence or domicile, as the case may be, is the same for the servicemember and the spouse.

(b) Military service compensation

Compensation of a servicemember for military service shall not be deemed to be income for services performed or from sources within a tax jurisdiction of the United States if the servicemember is not a resident or domiciliary of the jurisdiction in which the servicemember is serving in compliance with military orders.

(c) Income of a military spouse

Income for services performed by the spouse of a servicemember shall not be deemed to be income for services performed or from sources within a tax jurisdiction of the United States if the spouse is not a resident or domiciliary of the jurisdiction in which the income is earned because the spouse is in the jurisdiction solely to be with the servicemember serving in compliance with military orders.

(d) Personal property

(1) Relief from personal property taxes

The personal property of a servicemember or the spouse of a servicemember shall not be deemed to be located or present in, or to have a situs for taxation in, the tax jurisdiction in which the servicemember is serving in compliance with military orders.

(2) Exception for property within member's domicile or residence

This subsection applies to personal property or its use within any tax jurisdiction other than the servicemember's or the spouse's domicile or residence.

(3) Exception for property used in trade or business

This section does not prevent taxation by a tax jurisdiction with respect to personal property used in or arising from a trade or business, if it has jurisdiction.

(4) Relationship to law of State of domicile

Eligibility for relief from personal property taxes under this subsection is not contingent on whether or not such taxes are paid to the State of domicile.

(e) Increase of tax liability

A tax jurisdiction may not use the military compensation of a nonresident servicemember to increase the tax liability imposed on other income earned by the nonresident servicemember or spouse subject to tax by the jurisdiction.

(f) Federal Indian reservations

An Indian servicemember whose legal residence or domicile is a Federal Indian reservation shall be taxed by the laws applicable to Federal Indian reservations and not the State where the reservation is located.

(g) Definitions

For purposes of this section:

(1) Personal property

The term “personal property” means intangible and tangible property (including motor vehicles).

(2) Taxation

The term “taxation” includes licenses, fees, or excises imposed with respect to motor vehicles and their use, if the license, fee, or excise is paid by the servicemember in the servicemember's State of domicile or residence.

(3) Tax jurisdiction

The term “tax jurisdiction” means a State or a political subdivision of a State.

(Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, title V, §511, as added Pub. L. 108–189, §1, Dec. 19, 2003, 117 Stat. 2858; amended Pub. L. 111–97, §3(a), Nov. 11, 2009, 123 Stat. 3008.)

Prior Provisions

Prior sections 571 to 574 were omitted in the general amendment of this Act by Pub. L. 108–189.

Section 571, act Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, art. V, §511, 54 Stat. 1189, related to land rights of persons under 21. See section 568 of this Appendix.

Section 572, acts Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, art. V, §512, 54 Stat. 1190; Oct. 6, 1942, ch. 581, §16, 56 Stat. 776, related to extension of benefits to persons serving with war allies of the United States. See section 514 of this Appendix.

Section 573, act Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, art. V, §513, 54 Stat. 1190, related to deferral of income tax collection and the statute of limitations. See section 570 of this Appendix.

Section 574, act Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, art. V, §514, as added Oct. 6, 1942, ch. 581, §17, 56 Stat. 777; amended July 3, 1944, ch. 397, §1, 58 Stat. 722; Pub. L. 87–771, Oct. 9, 1962, 76 Stat. 768; Pub. L. 102–12, §9(24), Mar. 18, 1991, 105 Stat. 41, related to residence for tax purposes. See section 571 of this Appendix.

Amendments

2009—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 111–97, §3(a)(1), designated existing provisions as par. (1), inserted heading, and added par. (2).

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 111–97, §3(a)(3), added subsec. (c). Former subsec. (c) redesignated (d).

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 111–97, §3(a)(2), redesignated subsec. (c) as (d). Former subsec. (d) redesignated (e).

Subsec. (d)(1). Pub. L. 111–97, §3(a)(4)(A), inserted “or the spouse of a servicemember” after “The personal property of a servicemember”.

Subsec. (d)(2). Pub. L. 111–97, §3(a)(4)(B), inserted “or the spouse's” after “servicemember's”.

Subsecs. (e) to (g). Pub. L. 111–97, §3(a)(2), redesignated subsecs. (d) to (f) as (e) to (g), respectively.

Effective Date of 2009 Amendment

Pub. L. 111–97, §3(b), Nov. 11, 2009, 123 Stat. 3008, provided that: “Subsections (a)(2) and (c) of section 511 of such Act [Servicemembers Civil Relief Act] (50 U.S.C. App. 571), as added by subsection (a) of this section, and the amendments made to such section 511 by subsection (a)(4) of this section [amending this section], shall apply with respect to any return of State or local income tax filed for any taxable year beginning with the taxable year that includes the date of the enactment of this Act [Nov. 11, 2009].”

TITLE VI—ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDIES

Prior Provisions

A prior section 580, acts Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, art. VI, §600, 54 Stat. 1190; Pub. L. 102–12, §9(25), Mar. 18, 1991, 105 Stat. 41, related to transfers to take advantage of this Act, prior to the general amendment of this Act by Pub. L. 108–189. See section 581 of this Appendix.

§581. Inappropriate use of Act

If a court determines, in any proceeding to enforce a civil right, that any interest, property, or contract has been transferred or acquired with the intent to delay the just enforcement of such right by taking advantage of this Act [sections 501 to 515 and 516 to 597b of this Appendix], the court shall enter such judgment or make such order as might lawfully be entered or made concerning such transfer or acquisition.

(Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, title VI, §601, as added Pub. L. 108–189, §1, Dec. 19, 2003, 117 Stat. 2859.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 581, acts Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, art. VI, §601, 54 Stat. 1190; Jan. 20, 1942, ch. 10, §§1, 2, 56 Stat. 10; Pub. L. 102–12, §9(26), Mar. 18, 1991, 105 Stat. 41, related to certificates of service and persons reported missing, prior to the general amendment of this Act by Pub. L. 108–189. See section 582 of this Appendix.

§582. Certificates of service; persons reported missing

(a) Prima facie evidence

In any proceeding under this Act [sections 501 to 515 and 516 to 597b of this Appendix], a certificate signed by the Secretary concerned is prima facie evidence as to any of the following facts stated in the certificate:

(1) That a person named is, is not, has been, or has not been in military service.

(2) The time and the place the person entered military service.

(3) The person's residence at the time the person entered military service.

(4) The rank, branch, and unit of military service of the person upon entry.

(5) The inclusive dates of the person's military service.

(6) The monthly pay received by the person at the date of the certificate's issuance.

(7) The time and place of the person's termination of or release from military service, or the person's death during military service.

(b) Certificates

The Secretary concerned shall furnish a certificate under subsection (a) upon receipt of an application for such a certificate. A certificate appearing to be signed by the Secretary concerned is prima facie evidence of its contents and of the signer's authority to issue it.

(c) Treatment of servicemembers in missing status

A servicemember who has been reported missing is presumed to continue in service until accounted for. A requirement under this Act [sections 501 to 515 and 516 to 597b of this Appendix] that begins or ends with the death of a servicemember does not begin or end until the servicemember's death is reported to, or determined by, the Secretary concerned or by a court of competent jurisdiction.

(Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, title VI, §602, as added Pub. L. 108–189, §1, Dec. 19, 2003, 117 Stat. 2859.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 582, act Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, art. VI, §602, 54 Stat. 1191, related to revocation of interlocutory orders, prior to the general amendment of this Act by Pub. L. 108–189. See section 583 of this Appendix.

§583. Interlocutory orders

An interlocutory order issued by a court under this Act [sections 501 to 515 and 516 to 597b of this Appendix] may be revoked, modified, or extended by that court upon its own motion or otherwise, upon notification to affected parties as required by the court.

(Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, title VI, §603, as added Pub. L. 108–189, §1, Dec. 19, 2003, 117 Stat. 2860.)

Prior Provisions

Prior sections 583 to 585 were omitted in the general amendment of this Act by Pub. L. 108–189.

Section 583, act Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, art. VI, §603, 54 Stat. 1191, related to separability.

Section 584, acts Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, art. VI, §604, 54 Stat. 1191; Pub. L. 102–12, §9(27), Mar. 18, 1991, 105 Stat. 41, related to termination date.

Section 585, act Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, art. VI, §605, 54 Stat. 1191, related to the inapplicability of the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Relief Act of 1918 (section 101 et seq. of this Appendix), to military service performed after Oct. 17, 1940.

TITLE VII—FURTHER RELIEF

Prior Provisions

A prior section 590, act Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, art. VII, §700, as added Oct. 6, 1942, ch. 581, §18, 56 Stat. 777, related to stay of enforcement of obligations, liabilities, and taxes, prior to the general amendment of this Act by Pub. L. 108–189. See section 591 of this Appendix.

§591. Anticipatory relief

(a) Application for relief

A servicemember may, during military service or within 180 days of termination of or release from military service, apply to a court for relief—

(1) from any obligation or liability incurred by the servicemember before the servicemember's military service; or

(2) from a tax or assessment falling due before or during the servicemember's military service.

(b) Tax liability or assessment

In a case covered by subsection (a), the court may, if the ability of the servicemember to comply with the terms of such obligation or liability or pay such tax or assessment has been materially affected by reason of military service, after appropriate notice and hearing, grant the following relief:

(1) Stay of enforcement of real estate contracts

(A) In the case of an obligation payable in installments under a contract for the purchase of real estate, or secured by a mortgage or other instrument in the nature of a mortgage upon real estate, the court may grant a stay of the enforcement of the obligation—

(i) during the servicemember's period of military service; and

(ii) from the date of termination of or release from military service, or from the date of application if made after termination of or release from military service.


(B) Any stay under this paragraph shall be—

(i) for a period equal to the remaining life of the installment contract or other instrument, plus a period of time equal to the period of military service of the servicemember, or any part of such combined period; and

(ii) subject to payment of the balance of the principal and accumulated interest due and unpaid at the date of termination or release from the applicant's military service or from the date of application in equal installments during the combined period at the rate of interest on the unpaid balance prescribed in the contract or other instrument evidencing the obligation, and subject to other terms as may be equitable.

(2) Stay of enforcement of other contracts

(A) In the case of any other obligation, liability, tax, or assessment, the court may grant a stay of enforcement—

(i) during the servicemember's military service; and

(ii) from the date of termination of or release from military service, or from the date of application if made after termination or release from military service.


(B) Any stay under this paragraph shall be—

(i) for a period of time equal to the period of the servicemember's military service or any part of such period; and

(ii) subject to payment of the balance of principal and accumulated interest due and unpaid at the date of termination or release from military service, or the date of application, in equal periodic installments during this extended period at the rate of interest as may be prescribed for this obligation, liability, tax, or assessment, if paid when due, and subject to other terms as may be equitable.

(c) Affect 1 of stay on fine or penalty

When a court grants a stay under this section, a fine or penalty shall not accrue on the obligation, liability, tax, or assessment for the period of compliance with the terms and conditions of the stay.

(Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, title VII, §701, as added Pub. L. 108–189, §1, Dec. 19, 2003, 117 Stat. 2860.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 591, act Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, art. VII, §701, as added Pub. L. 92–540, title V, §504(2), Oct. 24, 1972, 86 Stat. 1098; amended Pub. L. 102–12, §3, Mar. 18, 1991, 105 Stat. 34, related to power of attorney, prior to the general amendment of this Act by Pub. L. 108–189. See section 592 of this Appendix.

1 So in original. Probably should be “Effect”.

§592. Power of attorney

(a) Automatic extension

A power of attorney of a servicemember shall be automatically extended for the period the servicemember is in a missing status (as defined in section 551(2) of title 37, United States Code) if the power of attorney—

(1) was duly executed by the servicemember—

(A) while in military service; or

(B) before entry into military service but after the servicemember—

(i) received a call or order to report for military service; or

(ii) was notified by an official of the Department of Defense that the person could receive a call or order to report for military service;


(2) designates the servicemember's spouse, parent, or other named relative as the servicemember's attorney in fact for certain, specified, or all purposes; and

(3) expires by its terms after the servicemember entered a missing status.

(b) Limitation on power of attorney extension

A power of attorney executed by a servicemember may not be extended under subsection (a) if the document by its terms clearly indicates that the power granted expires on the date specified even though the servicemember, after the date of execution of the document, enters a missing status.

(Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, title VII, §702, as added Pub. L. 108–189, §1, Dec. 19, 2003, 117 Stat. 2861.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 592, act Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, art. VII, §702, as added Pub. L. 102–12, §4, Mar. 18, 1991, 105 Stat. 34; amended Pub. L. 104–106, div. A, title XV, §1501(e)(3), Feb. 10, 1996, 110 Stat. 501, related to professional liability protection for certain persons ordered to active duty in armed forces, prior to the general amendment of this Act by Pub. L. 108–189. See section 593 of this Appendix.

§593. Professional liability protection

(a) Applicability

This section applies to a servicemember who—

(1) after July 31, 1990, is ordered to active duty (other than for training) pursuant to sections 688, 12301(a), 12301(g), 12302, 12304, 12306, or 12307 of title 10, United States Code, or who is ordered to active duty under section 12301(d) of such title during a period when members are on active duty pursuant to any of the preceding sections; and

(2) immediately before receiving the order to active duty—

(A) was engaged in the furnishing of health-care or legal services or other services determined by the Secretary of Defense to be professional services; and

(B) had in effect a professional liability insurance policy that does not continue to cover claims filed with respect to the servicemember during the period of the servicemember's active duty unless the premiums are paid for such coverage for such period.

(b) Suspension of coverage

(1) Suspension

Coverage of a servicemember referred to in subsection (a) by a professional liability insurance policy shall be suspended by the insurance carrier in accordance with this subsection upon receipt of a written request from the servicemember by the insurance carrier.

(2) Premiums for suspended contracts

A professional liability insurance carrier—

(A) may not require that premiums be paid by or on behalf of a servicemember for any professional liability insurance coverage suspended pursuant to paragraph (1); and

(B) shall refund any amount paid for coverage for the period of such suspension or, upon the election of such servicemember, apply such amount for the payment of any premium becoming due upon the reinstatement of such coverage.

(3) Nonliability of carrier during suspension

A professional liability insurance carrier shall not be liable with respect to any claim that is based on professional conduct (including any failure to take any action in a professional capacity) of a servicemember that occurs during a period of suspension of that servicemember's professional liability insurance under this subsection.

(4) Certain claims considered to arise before suspension

For the purposes of paragraph (3), a claim based upon the failure of a professional to make adequate provision for a patient, client, or other person to receive professional services or other assistance during the period of the professional's active duty service shall be considered to be based on an action or failure to take action before the beginning of the period of the suspension of professional liability insurance under this subsection, except in a case in which professional services were provided after the date of the beginning of such period.

(c) Reinstatement of coverage

(1) Reinstatement required

Professional liability insurance coverage suspended in the case of any servicemember pursuant to subsection (b) shall be reinstated by the insurance carrier on the date on which that servicemember transmits to the insurance carrier a written request for reinstatement.

(2) Time and premium for reinstatement

The request of a servicemember for reinstatement shall be effective only if the servicemember transmits the request to the insurance carrier within 30 days after the date on which the servicemember is released from active duty. The insurance carrier shall notify the servicemember of the due date for payment of the premium of such insurance. Such premium shall be paid by the servicemember within 30 days after receipt of that notice.

(3) Period of reinstated coverage

The period for which professional liability insurance coverage shall be reinstated for a servicemember under this subsection may not be less than the balance of the period for which coverage would have continued under the insurance policy if the coverage had not been suspended.

(d) Increase in premium

(1) Limitation on premium increases

An insurance carrier may not increase the amount of the premium charged for professional liability insurance coverage of any servicemember for the minimum period of the reinstatement of such coverage required under subsection (c)(3) to an amount greater than the amount chargeable for such coverage for such period before the suspension.

(2) Exception

Paragraph (1) does not prevent an increase in premium to the extent of any general increase in the premiums charged by that carrier for the same professional liability coverage for persons similarly covered by such insurance during the period of the suspension.

(e) Continuation of coverage of unaffected persons

This section does not—

(1) require a suspension of professional liability insurance protection for any person who is not a person referred to in subsection (a) and who is covered by the same professional liability insurance as a person referred to in such subsection; or

(2) relieve any person of the obligation to pay premiums for the coverage not required to be suspended.

(f) Stay of civil or administrative actions

(1) Stay of actions

A civil or administrative action for damages on the basis of the alleged professional negligence or other professional liability of a servicemember whose professional liability insurance coverage has been suspended under subsection (b) shall be stayed until the end of the period of the suspension if—

(A) the action was commenced during the period of the suspension;

(B) the action is based on an act or omission that occurred before the date on which the suspension became effective; and

(C) the suspended professional liability insurance would, except for the suspension, on its face cover the alleged professional negligence or other professional liability negligence or other professional liability of the servicemember.

(2) Date of commencement of action

Whenever a civil or administrative action for damages is stayed under paragraph (1) in the case of any servicemember, the action shall have been deemed to have been filed on the date on which the professional liability insurance coverage of the servicemember is reinstated under subsection (c).

(g) Effect of suspension upon limitations period

In the case of a civil or administrative action for which a stay could have been granted under subsection (f) by reason of the suspension of professional liability insurance coverage of the defendant under this section, the period of the suspension of the coverage shall be excluded from the computation of any statutory period of limitation on the commencement of such action.

(h) Death during period of suspension

If a servicemember whose professional liability insurance coverage is suspended under subsection (b) dies during the period of the suspension—

(1) the requirement for the grant or continuance of a stay in any civil or administrative action against such servicemember under subsection (f)(1) shall terminate on the date of the death of such servicemember; and

(2) the carrier of the professional liability insurance so suspended shall be liable for any claim for damages for professional negligence or other professional liability of the deceased servicemember in the same manner and to the same extent as such carrier would be liable if the servicemember had died while covered by such insurance but before the claim was filed.

(i) Definitions

For purposes of this section:

(1) Active duty

The term “active duty” has the meaning given that term in section 101(d)(1) of title 10, United States Code.

(2) Profession

The term “profession” includes occupation.

(3) Professional

The term “professional” includes occupational.

(Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, title VII, §703, as added Pub. L. 108–189, §1, Dec. 19, 2003, 117 Stat. 2862.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 593, act Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, art. VII, §703, as added Pub. L. 102–12, §5(b), Mar. 18, 1991, 105 Stat. 37, related to reinstatement of health coverage upon release from service, prior to the general amendment of this Act by Pub. L. 108–189. See section 594 of this Appendix.

§594. Health insurance reinstatement

(a) Reinstatement of health insurance

A servicemember who, by reason of military service as defined in section 703(a)(1) [section 593(a)(1) of this Appendix], is entitled to the rights and protections of this Act [sections 501 to 515 and 516 to 597b of this Appendix] shall also be entitled upon termination or release from such service to reinstatement of any health insurance that—

(1) was in effect on the day before such service commenced; and

(2) was terminated effective on a date during the period of such service.

(b) No exclusion or waiting period

The reinstatement of health care insurance coverage for the health or physical condition of a servicemember described in subsection (a), or any other person who is covered by the insurance by reason of the coverage of the servicemember, shall not be subject to an exclusion or a waiting period, if—

(1) the condition arose before or during the period of such service;

(2) an exclusion or a waiting period would not have been imposed for the condition during the period of coverage; and

(3) in a case in which the condition relates to the servicemember, the condition has not been determined by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to be a disability incurred or aggravated in the line of duty (within the meaning of section 105 of title 38, United States Code).

(c) Exceptions

Subsection (a) does not apply to a servicemember entitled to participate in employer-offered insurance benefits pursuant to the provisions of chapter 43 of title 38, United States Code.

(d) Time for applying for reinstatement

An application under this section must be filed not later than 120 days after the date of the termination of or release from military service.

(e) Limitation on premium increases

(1) Premium protection

The amount of the premium for health insurance coverage that was terminated by a servicemember and required to be reinstated under subsection (a) may not be increased, for the balance of the period for which coverage would have been continued had the coverage not been terminated, to an amount greater than the amount chargeable for such coverage before the termination.

(2) Increases of general applicability not precluded

Paragraph (1) does not prevent an increase in premium to the extent of any general increase in the premiums charged by the carrier of the health care insurance for the same health insurance coverage for persons similarly covered by such insurance during the period between the termination and the reinstatement.

(Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, title VII, §704, as added Pub. L. 108–189, §1, Dec. 19, 2003, 117 Stat. 2864; amended Pub. L. 109–233, title III, §302, June 15, 2006, 120 Stat. 406.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 594, act Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, art. VII, §704, as added Pub. L. 107–107, div. A, title XVI, §1603, Dec. 28, 2001, 115 Stat. 1276, related to guarantee of residency for military personnel, prior to the general amendment of this Act by Pub. L. 108–189. See section 595 of this Appendix.

Amendments

2006—Subsec. (b)(3). Pub. L. 109–233, §302(b), substituted “in a case in which the” for “if the”.

Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 109–233, §302(a), added subsec. (e).

§595. Guarantee of residency for military personnel and spouses of military personnel

(a) In general

For the purposes of voting for any Federal office (as defined in section 301 of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (2 U.S.C. 431)) or a State or local office, a person who is absent from a State in compliance with military or naval orders shall not, solely by reason of that absence—

(1) be deemed to have lost a residence or domicile in that State, without regard to whether or not the person intends to return to that State;

(2) be deemed to have acquired a residence or domicile in any other State; or

(3) be deemed to have become a resident in or a resident of any other State.

(b) Spouses

For the purposes of voting for any Federal office (as defined in section 301 of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (2 U.S.C. 431)) or a State or local office, a person who is absent from a State because the person is accompanying the person's spouse who is absent from that same State in compliance with military or naval orders shall not, solely by reason of that absence—

(1) be deemed to have lost a residence or domicile in that State, without regard to whether or not the person intends to return to that State;

(2) be deemed to have acquired a residence or domicile in any other State; or

(3) be deemed to have become a resident in or a resident of any other State.

(Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, title VII, §705, as added Pub. L. 108–189, §1, Dec. 19, 2003, 117 Stat. 2865; amended Pub. L. 111–97, §2(a), Nov. 11, 2009, 123 Stat. 3007.)

Amendments

2009—Pub. L. 111–97 inserted “and spouses of military personnel” after “military personnel” in section catchline, designated existing provisions as subsec.(a), inserted heading, and added subsec. (b).

Effective Date of 2009 Amendment

Pub. L. 111–97, §2(c), Nov. 11, 2009, 123 Stat. 3007, provided that: “Subsection (b) of section 705 of such Act [Servicemembers Civil Relief Act] (50 U.S.C. App. 595), as added by subsection (a) of this section, shall apply with respect to absences from States described in such subsection (b) on or after the date of the enactment of this Act [Nov. 11, 2009], regardless of the date of the military or naval order concerned.”

§596. Business or trade obligations

(a) Availability of non-business assets to satisfy obligations

If the trade or business (without regard to the form in which such trade or business is carried out) of a servicemember has an obligation or liability for which the servicemember is personally liable, the assets of the servicemember not held in connection with the trade or business may not be available for satisfaction of the obligation or liability during the servicemember's military service.

(b) Relief to obligors

Upon application to a court by the holder of an obligation or liability covered by this section, relief granted by this section to a servicemember may be modified as justice and equity require.

(Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, title VII, §706, as added Pub. L. 108–189, §1, Dec. 19, 2003, 117 Stat. 2865.)

TITLE VIII—CIVIL LIABILITY

§597. Enforcement by the Attorney General

(a) Civil action

The Attorney General may commence a civil action in any appropriate district court of the United States against any person who—

(1) engages in a pattern or practice of violating this Act [sections 501 to 515 and 516 to 597b of this Appendix]; or

(2) engages in a violation of this Act that raises an issue of significant public importance.

(b) Relief

In a civil action commenced under subsection (a), the court may—

(1) grant any appropriate equitable or declaratory relief with respect to the violation of this Act [sections 501 to 515 and 516 to 597b of this Appendix];

(2) award all other appropriate relief, including monetary damages, to any person aggrieved by the violation; and

(3) may, to vindicate the public interest, assess a civil penalty—

(A) in an amount not exceeding $55,000 for a first violation; and

(B) in an amount not exceeding $110,000 for any subsequent violation.

(c) Intervention

Upon timely application, a person aggrieved by a violation of this Act [sections 501 to 515 and 516 to 597b of this Appendix] with respect to which the civil action is commenced may intervene in such action, and may obtain such appropriate relief as the person could obtain in a civil action under section 802 [section 597a of this Appendix] with respect to that violation, along with costs and a reasonable attorney fee.

(Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, title VIII, §801, as added Pub. L. 111–275, title III, §303(a), Oct. 13, 2010, 124 Stat. 2877.)

§597a. Private right of action

(a) In general

Any person aggrieved by a violation of this Act [sections 501 to 515 and 516 to 597b of this Appendix] may in a civil action—

(1) obtain any appropriate equitable or declaratory relief with respect to the violation; and

(2) recover all other appropriate relief, including monetary damages.

(b) Costs and attorney fees

The court may award to a person aggrieved by a violation of this Act [sections 501 to 515 and 516 to 597b of this Appendix] who prevails in an action brought under subsection (a) the costs of the action, including a reasonable attorney fee.

(Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, title VIII, §802, as added Pub. L. 111–275, title III, §303(a), Oct. 13, 2010, 124 Stat. 2877.)

§597b. Preservation of remedies

Nothing in section 801 or 802 [section 597 or 597a of this Appendix] shall be construed to preclude or limit any remedy otherwise available under other law, including consequential and punitive damages.

(Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, title VIII, §803, as added Pub. L. 111–275, title III, §303(a), Oct. 13, 2010, 124 Stat. 2877.)