Military Divorces Being Investigated by the Justice Department

Justice DepartmentThe Service Members Civil Relief Act prevents financial institutions from bringing foreclosure proceedings against individuals in the United States Armed Forces. The Justice Department is currently investigating allegations that a division of Morgan Stanley that handles mortgages improperly foreclosed on more than twenty-four military families between 2006 and 2008, in violation of the Service Members Civil Relief Act.

Service Members Civil Relief Act

Pursuant to the Service Members Civil Relief Act, a court must be convened and a Judge must hold a hearing before a foreclosure can be initiated. At the hearing, the member of the Armed Services can be represented by an attorney. The lender must obtain a court order to move forward with foreclosure proceedings.

Sargeant James B. Hurley

Sargeant Hurly was stationed in Iraq. In December of 2005, he returned to his home in Hartford, Michigan. What he found shocked him. His home had been foreclosed and sold to someone else. He brought a lawsuit against Sackson Mortgage Service, which is a sub-division of Morgan Stanley. He claimed that his home had been foreclosed and sold at auction in violation of the Civil Relief Act. Sackson eventually settled the case with him by paying him monetary damages in an undisclosed amount. There are currently approximately twenty-two other cases pending against Sackson. It is claimed in each of those cases that they improperly foreclosed on homes of individuals in active duty in the military service of the United States.

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