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Attorney General Zoeller, State Lawmakers Discuss Legislative Proposal to Provide More Consumer Protections to Military Service Members
Start Date: 8/19/2014Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 8/19/2014
Entry Description

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller was joined today by several state lawmakers to discuss a legislative proposal that would increase consumer protections for military service members.  

As proposed, the Indiana Service Member’s Civil Relief Act would provide state remedies for violations of the federal Service Member’s Civil Relief Act (SCRA), which allows current serving National Guardsmen and Reservists to suspend or postpone certain obligations, such as debt collections, foreclosures, evictions, judicial and administrative proceedings, and certain lease or service terminations. It would also include protection from additional state-specific obligations not covered by the SCRA.

“When Hoosier military members are in the line of duty, they should not have to worry about these complicated, time-consuming and often expensive obligations that could have life-altering consequences,” Zoeller said. “Expanding the SCRA at the state level will allow our service men and women to devote their full attention to military duties and relieve stress on the family members back home.”

Indiana has a long tradition of military service, and is home to about 550,000 veterans. The Hoosier State serves one of the largest veteran populations in the U.S. Many states, including Illinois and Kentucky, already have laws in place that complement the SCRA to protect state military members.

“Concerns about repeat deployments of our National Guard troops and Reservists have been brought to our attention,” State Sen. Sue Glick (R-LaGrange) said. “Those who are deployed time and time again can experience not only physical and mental hardships, but also financial struggles due to extended leaves from their regular employment. This is an issue that needs to be addressed in order to protect the stability of our service members and their families when they return home.”

Zoeller said the proposed Indiana Service Member’s Civil Relief Act would also guard against companies attempting to scam military members.

Last month, Zoeller joined 12 other state attorneys general to take action against a company that was offering false and misleading credit options to military members. As a result, the company – Rome Finance – must now pay back nearly $92 million in debt relief to more than 17,000 U.S. service members and other consumers harmed by the company’s lending schemes. Almost $1.5 million of that relief will be paid to 261 Hoosier service members.

“Tragically, military members and their families are often targeted and can fall victim to scammers taking advantage of a deployment or on-the-go lifestyle,” Zoeller said. “Today’s proposal would add an extra line of defense against this unfortunate trend, and serve as a reminder that Indiana takes care of its military families.”

To become law, the Indiana Service Member’s Civil Relief Act must be approved by the Indiana General Assembly. The next legislative session convenes in January.

Military service members can visit www.IndianaConsumer.com/military/ or military.ncpw.gov for additional resources, including the toolkit of tips with military consumer advice.

Major General R. Martin Umbarger, adjutant general of the Indiana National Guard, also attended today’s event.

-30-

NOTE:  Consumer protection of Indiana’s military service members was the focus of the Attorney General’s Civil Justice Summit in October 2011, in cooperation with the Indiana National Guard and federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Please see this link:  http://bit.ly/1tbccwH

Contact Information:
Name: Molly Johnson
Phone: 317.232.0168
Email: Molly.Johnson@atg.in.gov
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Entry Type:
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  • IN.gov Category:
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  • Agency Name
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