April 14, 2011

SCRA Seminar a Success for Public-Private Partnerships

For more information, contact: Amy K. Mitchell, (202) 225-3527

WASHINGTON, DC–Today, the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs held a seminar entitled, “Educating the Financial Service Industry on the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act and the VA Loan Guaranty Program.” The seminar was designed to educate attendees from the financial industry about the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) and for participants to discuss best practices in outreach and compliance in an open forum.

“It is our duty, collectively, to make sure that when one of our men or women in uniform must leave their home to defend this nation, their mortgage is in full compliance with the law and that the servicemember is fully aware of their rights and responsibilities under the law,” stated Representative Jeff Miller (FL-01), Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

Before the open forum session, Colonel Shawn Shumake (U.S. Army), director of the Office of Legal Policy at the Department of Defense (DoD), discussed improvements to SCRA education within the department, including the expanded use of new media to reach younger servicemembers.

Mike Frueh, acting director of the Loan Guaranty Service program at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), presented the safeguards the VA has put in place for veterans under SCRA who have mortgages and noted the improvements to the guaranty program over the past 10 years for America’s veterans.

During the question and answer portion of the seminar, several major financial institutions thanked the participants and expressed their shared hope to work more collaboratively with the government in the future.

“It is my hope that we never have to hold another hearing on compliance with SCRA or on compliance with VA Loan Guaranty laws and regulations. I want to thank the members of the financial services industry for their participation in this seminar and for their efforts to better recognize the sacrifices of our nation’s servicemembers and their families,” said Miller.