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Proposal Would Create Financial Safeguards For Military

Zoeller’s proposed bill builds on protection provided by the federal Service Member’s Civil Relief Act.

General Umbarger

Photo: Gretchen Frazee

Major General Martin Umbarger (center) speaks at a press conference alongside Attorney General Greg Zoeller (right), proposing new legislation that would protect military members from foreclosure and other obligations while they are deployed.

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller wants to enhance consumer protection measures for active-duty military servicemembers.

Zoeller’s proposed bill which the legislature will consider next session, builds on protection provided by the federal Service Member’s Civil Relief Act.

It allows military members who’ve been deployed to suspend or postpone debt collections, foreclosures, evictions and other obligations that include cell phone or cable contracts.

Zoeller says the bill also provides greater protection from predatory lenders or scammers who prey on vulnerable service members:

“When you have a first job, you’re in town with your family and friends who might be able to support,” Zoeller says. “But when your job is in Afghanistan or Iraq or someplace, you’re disconnected from the people who you may come to rely on.”

Rep. Jim Baird (R-Greencastle) says the bill can help service members be more effective and efficient:

“Because if we can minimize or reduce those things that might impact them or their families or draw their focus away from what they’re there to do, then I think it’s worthy of our discussion,” says Baird.

Zoeller says he’s had broad, bipartisan support for previous consumer protection legislation and expects the same for this bill.

Brandon Smith

Brandon Smith has previously worked as a reporter and anchor for KBIA Radio in Columbia, MO, and at WSPY Radio in Plano, IL as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.

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