Saturday, February 14, 2015

Soldier Relief Act of 1940 to stop a Foreclosure

If a Real Estate Agents client (seller) is in foreclosure and the property is owned by military personnel and the mortgage payments are not made, then this relief act may stop foreclosure based on certain criteria. The person has to be on active duty in order to qualify. The mortgage loan had to be established before the soldier was called out to active duty. Not only will this stop foreclosure, but it will stop seizure of any personal property while the soldier is actively serving. This is one tool that can allow a Realtor as well as the client buy a little more time to make a productive deal rather than have to take the first offer. This will also allow more time in escrow. If this is a married couple, this will relieve a great deal of stress on the serviceman and the spouse. We all know a reprieve is conducive to clear thinking and decision making skills by all parties.

Homestead Act of 1862

Signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln, the Act, which became law on Jan. 1, 1863, allowed anyone to file for a quarter-section of free land (160 acres). The land was yours at the end of five years if you had built a house on it, dug a well, broken (plowed) 10 acres, fenced a specified amount, and actually lived there. Additionally, one could claim a quarter-section of land by "timber culture" (commonly called a "tree claim"). This required that you plant and successfully cultivate 10 acres of timber. The Homestead Act remained in effect until it was repealed in 1976, with provisions for homesteading in Alaska until 1986. Alaska was one of the last places in the country where homesteading remained a viable option into the latter part of the 1900s. The Taylor Grazing Act of 1934 substantially decreased the amount of land available to homesteaders in the West. Because much of the prime land had been homesteaded decades earlier, successful Homestead claims dropped sharply after this time.

Here is a sample of a Declaration of Homestead

Norma Hoag, Escrow Officer
Originally Posted: