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Q: When does the SCRA protect me?

A: Most SCRA protection starts the day you receive your orders to active duty. Be prepared to present a copy of your orders when asking about a right or benefit.

Q: How do I get loans reduced to 6%?
A: You must meet the following requirements to have loans reduced to 6% during Service:

  • You were not on active duty in any branch of the military when you took out the loan.
  • Your current annual interest rate exceeds 6%.
  • You have provided the lender with proper notice and a copy of your orders.
  • Military Service affects your ability to pay the loan at the regular interest rate (i.e., you earn less in the military than as a civilian).
Special legal issues apply to this benefit. Discuss your financial situation with an AFLA attorney to make sure you are eligible.

Q: Can I get out of the lease on my apartment?

A: To terminate a lease on a house, apartment or business location, you must meet the following requirements:
  • You have been called to active duty.
  • You signed the lease before entering Service.

Provide your landlord with written notice and a copy of your orders as soon as possible. Your landlord can charge rent up to 30 days after the next rental payment’s due date. Special considerations apply to business leases. Before terminating a lease on a business location, consult an AFLA attorney.
Q: How can I get a lawsuit delayed?
A: If you are involved in a civil suit while on active duty, your Commander can ask the judge for a stay of proceedings. Your Commander must show that military duty is preventing you from appearing in court. This provision does not apply to criminal charges. This can be a complicated issue, so have your civilian lawyer contact an AFLA attorney to discuss the best way to proceed.

Q: As a self-employed worker, can I stop my health coverage and then restart it?

A: As long as you are on active duty, your health care needs are covered by military medical facilities. Your family members also become eligible, so you may want to stop your private health insurance coverage. If you do so, your private insurer must reinstate your coverage once you are released from Service. The insurance company is also required to cover most pre-existing conditions.
Q: Do I have to pay state income taxes while on active duty?

A: If your home state taxes military income, you must pay those taxes. If you receive PCS orders relocating you to another state, only your permanent legal residence is considered for tax purposes. The state where you are temporarily located cannot tax your military income. However, it can tax any additional income you earn as a civilian through moonlighting or other sources.

Glossary Of Terms

Written declaration made under oath or sworn to be true before a person legally authorized to administer an oath.
Default Judgment: Binding judgment in favor of the plaintiff when the defendant fails to respond to a claim or comply with court orders.
Defendant: Person being sued or accused.
Execution: Process of enforcing a court sentence or order.
Plaintiff: Person serving a complaint in a court of law.
Statute of Limitations: Federal or state law restricting the time within which a legal action may be taken.
Stay of Execution: Order to temporarily stop a judgment from being carried out.
Stay of Proceedings: Order to stop the judicial process temporarily or indefinitely.