California Service Members have the distinct advantage of being able to reduce their financial burden while on Orders through both the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (50 USC Section 3911) as well as the California Military and Veterans Code (aka California Military Families Financial Relief Act of 2005). The relevant sections relating to deferment are located below.
CALIFORNIA MILITARY AND VETERANS CODE (MVC)
California Military and Veterans Code (MVC) § 800 et seq. allow for servicemembers (or the spouse of a Servicemember) who are called to active duty to obtain deferment of payments of various obligations, including but not limited to the following:
1) Mortgage obligations
2) Credit Cards
3) Vehicle Loans (up to 2 vehicles)
4) Vehicle Leases
5) Property Tax Obligations
6) Utility Bills
7) Student Loans
To qualify for a deferment, Servicemembers are required to provide a written request along with a copy of their Orders to the company that is their creditor. Our firm provides Servicemembers who would like help in preparing their written request a free no-obligation consultation. We review the Servicemember's specific situation and assist him/her in the preparation of the written request to ensure proper compliance. More importantly, we try to reduce the numerous tasks and reminders that a Servicemember and his/her family have to complete before leaving on Orders.
If any company fails to comply with the Servicemember's written request, we make sure they are held accountable. Any company that fails to comply with the request is subject to damages caused to the Servicemember and his/her family, including actual damages as well as any and all emotional distress that results. When this happens, we make ourselves available to represent Servicemembers on a contingency basis, which means that Servicemembers do not pay us any money upfront, and we only get paid if we are able to successfully prosecute their civil case. Also, since the California Military and Veterans Code provides for reasonable attorney’s fees, we are able to recovery our hourly attorney’s fees from the company that violates this section. Ultimately, we take steps to further allow the Servicemember and his/her family to focus on their mission while we prosecute their civil case by seeking the actual and emotional damages caused against the company that failed to comply with the Servicemember's request as provided by The California Military and Veteran's Code.
Realizing that the benefits of this statue are generally needed at a time that the Servicemember is either preparing for a mission or has already left to complete his/her mission, we provide the Servicemember and his/her spouse consultation at a time that is convenient for them, 7 days a week, during the day or at night, via phone, email, text, or zoom.