SCRA FAQs

What is the SCRA?

SCRA is short for The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. This law protects your financial and legal affairs while you are on active duty military service. For example, SCRA requires your creditors to provide certain relief from debt that you incurred before entering active duty. It also suspends some legal actions against you if the action will interfere with your military service.

The interest rate cap protection is one of the major benefits of the SCRA. If you are eligible for SCRA benefits, the interest rate on debts you incurred prior to your military service will be reduced to 6% per year and the required payments will also be reduced to reflect this lower interest rate.

Back to top

What specific obligations can SCRA help me with?

  • Mortgage loans
  • Home equity loans and lines of credit
  • Car loans
  • Overdraft lines of credit
  • Credit cards
  • Personal loans and lines of credit
  • Business purpose loans

Back to top

Who is Eligible for SCRA Benefits?

SCRA benefits are available to:

  • All active duty servicemembers of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps or Coast Guard
  • Activated reservists
  • Commissioned officers of the Public Health Service or National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association
  • National Guard members called to active duty
  • The spouse and dependents of active duty servicemembers

Back to top

How do I apply for SCRA benefits?

The quickest way to request benefits is by completing the following online forms:

You may also request benefits in person at any California Bank & Trust branch or by sending an email to:

It may be more convenient for you to mail your written request:

  • California Bank & Trust
  • SCRA Servicing Unit
  • Mail Code: UT UTSC 0973
  • 1875 South Redwood Road
  • Salt Lake City, UT 84104

Written requests should include:

  • Your name and social security number
  • All of your account numbers associated with California Bank & Trust
  • Completed copy of Servicemembers Civil Relief Act Request for Relief Form (This form is not a condition of eligibility if the bank is in receipt of your military orders)
  • Servicemembers Civil Relief Act Reimbursement Consent Form
  • A copy of your active duty orders, or a letter from your executive or commanding officer on official letterhead, which the bank will accept as written notice of eligibility for SCRA benefits and protections, will need to include:
    • Your name and social security number
    • Active duty start date
    • Branch of service

Back to top

What do I have to do to get my interest rate on a debt reduced to 6%?

You must do three things:

  1. Show that you incurred the debt before you entered military service;
  2. Request benefits within 180 days of the end of your active duty; and
  3. Provide a copy of your active duty orders or a letter from your commanding officer on letterhead. This letter must contain the following information:
    • Your full name
    • Social security number
    • Date of birth
    • Home address
    • Active duty start date
    • Commanding officer's telephone number, unit number, and statement confirming your active duty status

Back to top

How long do SCRA benefits and protections last?

An interest rate reduction on your home mortgage expires 12 months after you complete your military service. The interest rate reductions on all other eligible loans expire 6 months after you complete your military service.

Back to top

Are all of my accounts eligible for benefits?

California Bank & Trust makes every effort to ensure all eligible accounts are identified when you submit your request for SCRA benefits. If you find that one of your accounts is not receiving benefits, or if you have concerns about a specific account, please contact:

Back to top

Is my spouse eligible for interest rate benefits?

SCRA benefits and protections apply to debts that you incur individually or jointly with your spouse before you enter active duty military service. You may request an interest rate reduction for a credit card account only if you are a signer on the account or otherwise responsible for paying the account balance. If you and your spouse have a joint credit card account, SCRA benefits may apply.

Back to top

Will my spouse be able to handle questions about SCRA for me in my absence?

Your spouse is able to obtain information and make any decisions on your behalf regarding your joint accounts.

For individual accounts in your name only, your spouse will need a properly executed power of attorney from you. For full details about establishing a power of attorney, be sure to contact your military legal service office or your private attorney.

Back to top

What are my SCRA protections from foreclosure on my home?

If you obtained your mortgage before entering military service, California Bank & Trust may not foreclose on your home without first getting a court order. This SCRA protection covers you not only while you are on active duty but also for 12 months after your military service ends.

It is always a good idea to notify California Bank & Trust of your call to military service.

Back to top

What are my SCRA protections from repossession?

During your military service, the Bank must obtain a court order before repossessing personal property securing non-mortgage related installment loans obtained before you entered military service. This protection ends when your military service ends. However, California Bank & Trust extends this protection to you for an additional 6 months after your military service ends.

Back to top

What are my SCRA protections for my deposit accounts?

California Bank & Trust will not charge insufficient funds fees or daily overdraft fees to your deposit accounts during your military service and for an additional 6 months after your military service ends.

Back to top

What are my SCRA protections for my Safe Deposit Box?

California Bank & Trust will not open your safe deposit box or claim any right to the contents of your safe deposit box without a court order. This protection lasts throughout the term of your military service and for an additional 6 months after your military service ends.

Back to top

If I'm protected from foreclosure, and repossession, do I have to make my payments?

Yes, payments are still required. Although the SCRA protects you from foreclosure, and repossession without a court order, California Bank & Trust may take any of these actions if a court considers it appropriate. Also, the Bank will continue to report any delinquent payments to the credit bureau. Any missed or late payments, even if during a covered active duty period, will affect your credit rating.

Back to top

Why did one of my bank loans get approved for SCRA benefits while my other loan(s) did not? Doesn't SCRA cover all my loan accounts once I am called to active duty?

For a loan account to qualify for SCRA benefits and protections, including interest rate reduction and foreclosure protections, you must have opened the account before going on active duty. Loan accounts opened during the term of your military service are not eligible for SCRA benefits or protections.

Back to top

Why did I receive a letter asking me to send in additional information?

You may have received this letter because California Bank & Trust was unable to verify your active duty status through a search on the Department of Defense (DOD) website or with the documentation you provided. To help us determine your eligibility for SCRA benefits and protections, we need a copy of active duty orders or a letter from your commanding officer on official letterhead that includes:

  • Your name and Social Security Number
  • Active duty start date
  • Branch of service

Back to top

I'm currently receiving SCRA benefits, yet the bank reported me to the credit bureau as being past due. Why did this happen?

You must make timely and full payments on bank accounts receiving SCRA protections. If you fail to do that, the Bank is required to report to the credit reporting agencies that you are past due on those accounts.

Back to top

Why did California Bank & Trust decline my request for SCRA benefits on my loan account(s)?

Requests are generally declined for one or more of the following reasons:

  • The account was opened after you started active duty military service.
  • The eligibility period for SCRA benefits ended more than 6 months (180 days) before you requested SCRA benefits.
  • The account was settled or paid in full before the start of your active duty military service.

Back to top

What if I need additional SCRA information?

California Bank & Trust has dedicated SCRA personnel who are happy to respond to questions you may have. Just call 1-844-818-4952 or send an email request to SCRAunit@zionsbancorp.com.

Back to top

Download the PDF version