SB 33/Nevada's Servicemembers' Civil Relief Act Update

SB33 (Nevada’s Servicemembers’ Civil Relief Act) became effective in Nevada on May 29, 2017.  This bill added a new section to NRS Chapter 116, although the new section number has not yet been designated. 

The text of the bill can be found at: https://www.leg.state.nv.us/App/NELIS/REL/79th2017/Bill/4641/Overview

This bill is Nevada’s version of the federal Service members Civil Relief Act (SCRA).  Under the federal SCRA, you cannot file a foreclosure action during or within 1 year after a service member’s period of military service.  A dependent of a service member is entitled to the same protections if the ability of the dependent to pay the mortgage is materially affected by the service member’s military service.  (Beginning January 1, 2018, the protection period under the federal SCRA is reduced from 1 year to 90 days.)  Note that all associations and collection companies should have been complying with the federal SCRA even before May 29, 2017.  But with the passage of SB33 there are additional requirements.

The Nevada version will keep the protection period at 1 year (even after January 1, 2018).  Under the new law, an owners’ association cannot “initiate the foreclosure of a lien” while a service member is on active duty or deployment, or for 1 year immediately afterward.  (There is an exception if a court determines that the ability of the service member to pay the association lien is not materially affected by the service member’s active duty or deployment.)  This same protection also applies to a service member’s successor in interest, and his dependents, if the ability of the dependent to pay the association lien is materially affected by the service member’s active duty or deployment.

“Initiate the foreclosure of a lien” means taking any action after issuing the notice required by NRS 116.31162(4)(a), commonly referred to as the “60 day notice.”  This would preclude sending an intent to lien or notice of delinquent assessment lien.

All associations must immediately provide notice to all unit owners of the protections offered by Senate Bill 33.  A sample form is attached on the following page.  In addition, all subsequent notices involving collection activity sent to homeowners must contain this notice.  In addition, each resale disclosure packet must contain this notice.

Note that even if a service member or dependent does not provide the association with the information requested below, the association still has an affirmative obligation to search the database maintained by the U.S. Department of Defense before it sends the 60-day Notice.  This website is https://scra.dmdc.osd.mil/.  It is free of charge if you have the service member’s birth date or social security number.  Otherwise, you can use a centralized verification service at https://ServiceMembersCivilReliefAct.com/, for which there is a charge.  It is unclear whether the association must use the latter before sending the 60-day Notice, but it should use this service for any subsequent activity if the service member cannot be located free of charge on the U.S. Department of Defense website.

Chris Anthony