A bug in the database that lenders and repossession agents can use to determine whether an individual is an active duty member of the military has not been working for a week, and may not start working until later tonight, at the earliest, according to a notice posted by the Department of Defense on the website used to check military status.
The glitch is being caused in the Servicemember’s Civil Relief Act website, which is used to check the status of whether individuals are on active duty. Military members on active duty are covered with additional consumer protections, especially when dealing with debt collections and automotive repossessions.
A bug in the SCRA website is causing the site to give false negatives for some National Guard members whose service should be positively reported by the site. DMDC is working on a fix for this issue, which should be in place the evening of Thursday, 6 October. Until the fix is implemented, any user that believes the SCRA website is incorrectly reporting active service can contact the SCRA Help Desk at [email protected] for assistance.
In the meantime, as a practical matter, it is virtually impossible for lenders to verify that they are in compliance with the SCRA. In these circumstances, it would be prudent for creditors to consider putting a temporary hold on all collection activities against individuals until the issue is resolved and to advise their counsel and other vendors enaged in collection activities accordingly.
UPDATED 10/7/16, 7:00am: The planned patch that would fix the problem did not work, according to an updated notice on the SCRA website. The federal agency responsible for trying to fix the problem was not able to do so. No updated timeline to fix the problem has been provided.
UPDATED, 10/10/16, 7:00am: The glitch has been fixed, as of Friday at 7:20am EDT, according to an update on the website.