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Soldiers' and Sailors' Civil Relief Act

SSCRA Eligibility and Reimbursement Requests

Under the Soldiers' and Sailors' Civil Relief Act, mortgage lenders are required to charge 6 percent interest for active duty military personnel. Ginnie Mae has traditionally reimbursed issuers for the interest shortfall only when the borrower was called to active duty in Bosnia, Kosovo or Southwest Asia, as well as Afghanistan or other areas within Operation Enduring Freedom.

SSCRA Individual Borrowers Graph

In October 2002, Ginnie Mae began to expand the reimbursement policy under the act to include all active-duty military personnel, as well as National Guard and Reservists called to federal active duty. Effective retroactive to September 11, 2001, Ginnie Mae will reimburse issuers for mortgage interest in excess of 6 percent – regardless of where the national guardsperson or reservist is called to serve.

This modernization means a much smoother process for lenders. We estimate it will save our issuer community about $7.5 million this year in lost interest.

Ginnie Mae will make payments of interest on pooled loans backing mortgage-backed securities to an issuer for interest in excess of 6 percent for payments collected. To receive a reimbursement of interest, an issuer must demonstrate that the borrower meets the criteria for interest forgiveness. Issuers must also prove the amount of interest that needs to be reimbursed.

Eligibility requirements for the SSCRA interest reduction include a letter from the borrower stating that he or she is a member of the U.S. Military Reserves or National Guard who was called to active duty (a spouse or an attorney may also make the request). The loan must be a contractual obligation of the service member, who can be the borrower or co-borrower.

Servicers must also verify:

  • The date on the induction order (activation date) and the mortgage date to ensure that the mortgage pre-dates the induction order
  • The rank, branch of service, and service number for the borrower

Issuers must keep the request and appropriate records for Ginnie Mae's inspection in both the loan and pool files. Before making a request for reimbursement, issuers must submit a SSCRA Loan Eligibility Information form in both hard copy and electronic format. Instructions for generating a hard copy and the data file for electronic transmission of the form are included in Ginnie Mae’s All Participants Memoranda 96-9 and 99-14 (PDF).

Each month, servicers must account for SSCRA loans on their Monthly Accounting Report. An attachment to the All Participants Memorandums explains how to report payments on eligible loans.

Issuers may submit requests for reimbursement on a quarterly basis only. Requests are to be submitted by August 10, November 10, February 10, and May 10.

If you have any questions about our SSCRA program, please e-mail Ginnie Mae's SSCRA Coordinator or call our SSCRA Hotline at: 1-888-GINNIE4 (option 4).

 
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