While protecting our country, some service members may have trouble meeting their financial obligations for a variety of reasons such as an unexpected activation, deployment, injury, or extension of service. The Servicemembers' Civil Relief Act (SCRA) was enacted in 2003 to offer these service members and their families special protections and benefits.

The SCRA covers all active duty service members, Reservists, and the members of the National Guard while on active duty. The protection begins on the date of entering active duty and generally ends 30 to 90 days after the date when the service member is discharged from active duty.


Automobile Leases

A service member who is called to active duty for at least 180 days may terminate a motor vehicle lease signed before being called to active duty without paying an early termination fee or other penalty. To avoid fees or penalties, the service member must give the lessor, grantee, or agent (i.e., the person or company that leased the vehicle) written notice of the termination and a copy of the service member's military orders. The vehicle must be returned to the lessor or lessor's agent within 15 days of the delivery of the notice.

If the service member signs a motor vehicle lease after being called to active duty, that lease can be terminated if the service member receives orders for a permanent change of station outside the U.S. or to deploy with a military unit for 180 days or more.

View a sample letter to automobile leaseholders: