Sanders, Murray Introduce Bill to Strengthen Protections for Service Members

WASHINGTON, March 17 – Sens. Bernie Sanders and Patty Murray introduced the SCRA Enhancement and Improvement Act of 2016 today to increase protections for service members, who in recent years have been subjected to unfair treatment when serving on active duty.

The bill, which strengthens the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), would increase protections on student loans, mortgages, credit cards and contracts by lowering the cap on all loan interest rates to 3 percent when service members are called to active duty and 0 percent if they are serving in areas where they are eligible for hostile fire or imminent danger pay. It would also permanently require federal student loan servicers to automatically extend the interest rate cap to military borrowers and increase oversight of student loan servicers to make sure they are complying with the law. And the bill would enhance the legal tools servicemembers and the Department of Justice can use to enforce the SCRA and double fines against those who violate service members’ rights under SCRA.

“After risking their lives to defend this country, our men and women in uniform should not have to fight loan companies and banks for the basic benefits and fair treatment they're entitled to. We must put an end to student loan companies overcharging service members and ensure they will no longer have to jump through hoops to get the answers they deserve.” Sanders said. “Further, this bill combats the abusive and illegal practices of banks that have shamefully foreclosed or overcharged service members. It's past time to put the interests of the brave men and women who have served this country ahead of the profits of predatory banks.”

Click here to read a one page fact sheet on The SCRA Enhancement and Improvement Act of 2016