Text: H.R.100 — 108th Congress (2003-2004)All Bill Information (Except Text)

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Public Law No: 108-189 (12/19/2003)

 
[108th Congress Public Law 189]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]


[DOCID: f:publ189.108]

[[Page 117 STAT. 2835]]

Public Law 108-189
108th Congress

                                 An Act


 
To restate, clarify, and revise the Soliders' and Sailors' Civil Relief 
           Act of 1940. <<NOTE: Dec. 19, 2003 -  [H.R. 100]>> 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. RESTATEMENT OF ACT.

    The Soldiers' and Sailors' Civil Relief Act of 1940 (50 U.S.C. App. 
501 et seq.) is amended to read as follows:

``SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

    ``(a) Short Title.--This <<NOTE: 50 USC app. 501.>> Act may be cited 
as the `Servicemembers Civil Relief Act'.

    ``(b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents of this Act is as 
follows:

``Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.
``Sec. 2. Purpose.

                      ``TITLE I--GENERAL PROVISIONS

``Sec. 101. Definitions.
``Sec. 102. Jurisdiction and applicability of Act.
``Sec. 103. Protection of persons secondarily liable.
``Sec. 104. Extension of protections to citizens serving with allied 
           forces.
``Sec. 105. Notification of benefits.
``Sec. 106. Extension of rights and protections to Reserves ordered to 
           report for military service and to persons ordered to report 
           for induction.
``Sec. 107. Waiver of rights pursuant to written agreement.
``Sec. 108. Exercise of rights under Act not to affect certain future 
           financial transactions.
``Sec. 109. Legal representatives.

                       ``TITLE II--GENERAL RELIEF

``Sec. 201. Protection of servicemembers against default judgments.
``Sec. 202. Stay of proceedings when servicemember has notice.
``Sec. 203. Fines and penalties under contracts.
``Sec. 204. Stay or vacation of execution of judgments, attachments, and 
           garnishments.
``Sec. 205. Duration and term of stays; codefendants not in service.
``Sec. 206. Statute of limitations.
``Sec. 207. Maximum rate of interest on debts incurred before military 
           service.

``TITLE III--RENT, INSTALLMENT CONTRACTS, MORTGAGES, LIENS, ASSIGNMENT, 
                                 LEASES

``Sec. 301. Evictions and distress.
``Sec. 302. Protection under installment contracts for purchase or 
           lease.
``Sec. 303. Mortgages and trust deeds.
``Sec. 304. Settlement of stayed cases relating to personal property.
``Sec. 305. Termination of residential or motor vehicle leases.
``Sec. 306. Protection of life insurance policy.
``Sec. 307. Enforcement of storage liens.
``Sec. 308. Extension of protections to dependents.

[[Page 117 STAT. 2836]]

                       ``TITLE IV--LIFE INSURANCE

``Sec. 401. Definitions.
``Sec. 402. Insurance rights and protections.
``Sec. 403. Application for insurance protection.
``Sec. 404. Policies entitled to protection and lapse of policies.
``Sec. 405. Policy restrictions.
``Sec. 406. Deduction of unpaid premiums.
``Sec. 407. Premiums and interest guaranteed by United States.
``Sec. 408. Regulations.
``Sec. 409. Review of findings of fact and conclusions of law.

                    ``TITLE V--TAXES AND PUBLIC LANDS

``Sec. 501. Taxes respecting personal property, money, credits, and real 
           property.
``Sec. 502. Rights in public lands.
``Sec. 503. Desert-land entries.
``Sec. 504. Mining claims.
``Sec. 505. Mineral permits and leases.
``Sec. 506. Perfection or defense of rights.
``Sec. 507. Distribution of information concerning benefits of title.
``Sec. 508. Land rights of servicemembers.
``Sec. 509. Regulations.
``Sec. 510. Income taxes.
``Sec. 511. Residence for tax purposes.

                   ``TITLE VI--ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDIES

``Sec. 601. Inappropriate use of Act.
``Sec. 602. Certificates of service; persons reported missing.
``Sec. 603. Interlocutory orders.

                       ``TITLE VII--FURTHER RELIEF

``Sec. 701. Anticipatory relief.
``Sec. 702. Power of attorney.
``Sec. 703. Professional liability protection.
``Sec. 704. Health insurance reinstatement.
``Sec. 705. Guarantee of residency for military personnel.
``Sec. 706. Business or trade obligations.

``SEC. 2. <<NOTE: 50 USC app. 502.>> PURPOSE.

    ``The purposes of this Act are--
            ``(1) to provide for, strengthen, and expedite the national 
        defense through protection extended by this Act to 
        servicemembers of the United States to enable such persons to 
        devote their entire energy to the defense needs of the Nation; 
        and
            ``(2) to provide for the temporary suspension of judicial 
        and administrative proceedings and transactions that may 
        adversely affect the civil rights of servicemembers during their 
        military service.

                      ``TITLE I--GENERAL PROVISIONS

``SEC. 101. <<NOTE: 50 USC app. 511.>> DEFINITIONS.

    ``For the purposes of this Act:
            ``(1) Servicemember.--The term `servicemember' means a 
        member of the uniformed services, as that term is defined in 
        section 101(a)(5) of title 10, United States Code.
            ``(2) Military service.--The term `military service' means--
                    ``(A) in the case of a servicemember who is a member 
                of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast 
                Guard--
                          ``(i) active duty, as defined in section 
                      101(d)(1) of title 10, United States Code, and

[[Page 117 STAT. 2837]]

                          ``(ii) in the case of a member of the National 
                      Guard, includes service under a call to active 
                      service authorized by the President or the 
                      Secretary of Defense for a period of more than 30 
                      consecutive days under section 502(f) of title 32, 
                      United States Code, for purposes of responding to 
                      a national emergency declared by the President and 
                      supported by Federal funds;
                    ``(B) in the case of a servicemember who is a 
                commissioned officer of the Public Health Service or the 
                National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, active 
                service; and
                    ``(C) any period during which a servicemember is 
                absent from duty on account of sickness, wounds, leave, 
                or other lawful cause.
            ``(3) Period of military service.--The term `period of 
        military service' means the period beginning on the date on 
        which a servicemember enters military service and ending on the 
        date on which the servicemember is released from military 
        service or dies while in military service.
            ``(4) Dependent.--The term `dependent', with respect to a 
        servicemember, means--
                    ``(A) the servicemember's spouse;
                    ``(B) the servicemember's child (as defined in 
                section 101(4) of title 38, United States Code); or
                    ``(C) an individual for whom the servicemember 
                provided more than one-half of the individual's support 
                for 180 days immediately preceding an application for 
                relief under this Act.
            ``(5) Court.--The term `court' means a court or an 
        administrative agency of the United States or of any State 
        (including any political subdivision of a State), whether or not 
        a court or administrative agency of record.
            ``(6) State.--The term `State' includes--
                    ``(A) a commonwealth, territory, or possession of 
                the United States; and
                    ``(B) the District of Columbia.
            ``(7) Secretary concerned.--The term `Secretary concerned'--
                    ``(A) with respect to a member of the armed forces, 
                has the meaning given that term in section 101(a)(9) of 
                title 10, United States Code;
                    ``(B) with respect to a commissioned officer of the 
                Public Health Service, means the Secretary of Health and 
                Human Services; and
                    ``(C) with respect to a commissioned officer of the 
                National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, means 
                the Secretary of Commerce.
            ``(8) Motor vehicle.--The term `motor vehicle' has the 
        meaning given that term in section 30102(a)(6) of title 49, 
        United States Code.

``SEC. 102. <<NOTE: 50 USC app. 512.>> JURISDICTION AND APPLICABILITY OF 
            ACT.

    ``(a) Jurisdiction.--This Act applies to--
            ``(1) the United States;
            ``(2) each of the States, including the political 
        subdivisions thereof; and

[[Page 117 STAT. 2838]]

            ``(3) all territory subject to the jurisdiction of the 
        United States.

    ``(b) Applicability to Proceedings.--This Act applies to any 
judicial or administrative proceeding commenced in any court or agency 
in any jurisdiction subject to this Act. This Act does not apply to 
criminal proceedings.
    ``(c) Court in Which Application May Be Made.--When under this Act 
any application is required to be made to a court in which no proceeding 
has already been commenced with respect to the matter, such application 
may be made to any court which would otherwise have jurisdiction over 
the matter.

``SEC. 103. <<NOTE: 50 USC app. 513.>> PROTECTION OF PERSONS SECONDARILY 
            LIABLE.

    ``(a) Extension of Protection When Actions Stayed, Postponed, or 
Suspended.--Whenever pursuant to this Act a court stays, postpones, or 
suspends (1) the enforcement of an obligation or liability, (2) the 
prosecution of a suit or proceeding, (3) the entry or enforcement of an 
order, writ, judgment, or decree, or (4) the performance of any other 
act, the court may likewise grant such a stay, postponement, or 
suspension to a surety, guarantor, endorser, accommodation maker, 
comaker, or other person who is or may be primarily or secondarily 
subject to the obligation or liability the performance or enforcement of 
which is stayed, postponed, or suspended.
    ``(b) Vacation or Set-Aside of Judgments.--When a judgment or decree 
is vacated or set aside, in whole or in part, pursuant to this Act, the 
court may also set aside or vacate, as the case may be, the judgment or 
decree as to a surety, guarantor, endorser, accommodation maker, 
comaker, or other person who is or may be primarily or secondarily 
liable on the contract or liability for the enforcement of the judgment 
or decree.
    ``(c) Bail Bond Not To Be Enforced During Period of Military 
Service.--A court may not enforce a bail bond during the period of 
military service of the principal on the bond when military service 
prevents the surety from obtaining the attendance of the principal. The 
court may discharge the surety and exonerate the bail, in accordance 
with principles of equity and justice, during or after the period of 
military service of the principal.
    ``(d) Waiver of Rights.--
            ``(1) Waivers not precluded.--This Act does not prevent a 
        waiver in writing by a surety, guarantor, endorser, 
        accommodation maker, comaker, or other person (whether primarily 
        or secondarily liable on an obligation or liability) of the 
        protections provided under subsections (a) and (b). Any such 
        waiver is effective only if it is executed as an instrument 
        separate from the obligation or liability with respect to which 
        it applies.
            ``(2) Waiver invalidated upon entrance to military 
        service.--If a waiver under paragraph (1) is executed by an 
        individual who after the execution of the waiver enters military 
        service, or by a dependent of an individual who after the 
        execution of the waiver enters military service, the waiver is 
        not valid after the beginning of the period of such military 
        service unless the waiver was executed by such individual or 
        dependent during the period specified in section 106.

[[Page 117 STAT. 2839]]

``SEC. 104. <<NOTE: 50 USC app. 514.>> EXTENSION OF PROTECTIONS TO 
            CITIZENS SERVING WITH ALLIED FORCES.

    ``A citizen of the United States who is serving with the forces of a 
nation with which the United States is allied in the prosecution of a 
war or military action is entitled to the relief and protections 
provided under this Act if that service with the allied force is similar 
to military service as defined in this Act. <<NOTE: Termination 
date.>> The relief and protections provided to such citizen shall 
terminate on the date of discharge or release from such service.

``SEC. 105. <<NOTE: 50 USC app. 515.>> NOTIFICATION OF BENEFITS.

    ``The Secretary concerned shall ensure that notice of the benefits 
accorded by this Act is provided in writing to persons in military 
service and to persons entering military service.

``SEC. 106. <<NOTE: 50 USC app. 516.>> EXTENSION OF RIGHTS AND 
            PROTECTIONS TO RESERVES ORDERED TO REPORT FOR MILITARY 
            SERVICE AND TO PERSONS ORDERED TO REPORT FOR INDUCTION.

    ``(a) Reserves Ordered To Report for Military Service.--A member of 
a reserve component who is ordered to report for military service is 
entitled to the rights and protections of this title and titles II and 
III during the period beginning on the date of the member's receipt of 
the order and ending on the date on which the member reports for 
military service (or, if the order is revoked before the member so 
reports, or the date on which the order is revoked).
    ``(b) Persons Ordered To Report for Induction.--A person who has 
been ordered to report for induction under the Military Selective 
Service Act (50 U.S.C. App. 451 et seq.) is entitled to the rights and 
protections provided a servicemember under this title and titles II and 
III during the period beginning on the date of receipt of the order for 
induction and ending on the date on which the person reports for 
induction (or, if the order to report for induction is revoked before 
the date on which the person reports for induction, on the date on which 
the order is revoked).

``SEC. 107. <<NOTE: 50 USC app. 517.>> WAIVER OF RIGHTS PURSUANT TO 
            WRITTEN AGREEMENT.

    ``(a) In General.--A servicemember may waive any of the rights and 
protections provided by this Act. In the case of a waiver that permits 
an action described in subsection (b), the waiver is effective only if 
made pursuant to a written agreement of the parties that is executed 
during or after the servicemember's period of military service. The 
written agreement shall specify the legal instrument to which the waiver 
applies and, if the servicemember is not a party to that instrument, the 
servicemember concerned.
    ``(b) Actions Requiring Waivers in Writing.--The requirement in 
subsection (a) for a written waiver applies to the following:
            ``(1) The modification, termination, or cancellation of--
                    ``(A) a contract, lease, or bailment; or
                    ``(B) an obligation secured by a mortgage, trust, 
                deed, lien, or other security in the nature of a 
                mortgage.
            ``(2) The repossession, retention, foreclosure, sale, 
        forfeiture, or taking possession of property that--
                    ``(A) is security for any obligation; or
                    ``(B) was purchased or received under a contract, 
                lease, or bailment.

    ``(c) Coverage of Periods After Orders Received.--For the purposes 
of this section--

[[Page 117 STAT. 2840]]

            ``(1) a person to whom section 106 applies shall be 
        considered to be a servicemember; and
            ``(2) the period with respect to such a person specified in 
        subsection (a) or (b), as the case may be, of section 106 shall 
        be considered to be a period of military service.

``SEC. 108. <<NOTE: 50 USC app. 518.>> EXERCISE OF RIGHTS UNDER ACT NOT 
            TO AFFECT CERTAIN FUTURE FINANCIAL TRANSACTIONS.

    ``Application by a servicemember for, or receipt by a servicemember 
of, a stay, postponement, or suspension pursuant to this Act in the 
payment of a tax, fine, penalty, insurance premium, or other civil 
obligation or liability of that servicemember shall not itself (without 
regard to other considerations) provide the basis for any of the 
following:
            ``(1) A determination by a lender or other person that the 
        servicemember is unable to pay the civil obligation or liability 
        in accordance with its terms.
            ``(2) With respect to a credit transaction between a 
        creditor and the servicemember--
                    ``(A) a denial or revocation of credit by the 
                creditor;
                    ``(B) a change by the creditor in the terms of an 
                existing credit arrangement; or
                    ``(C) a refusal by the creditor to grant credit to 
                the servicemember in substantially the amount or on 
                substantially the terms requested.
            ``(3) An adverse report relating to the creditworthiness of 
        the servicemember by or to a person engaged in the practice of 
        assembling or evaluating consumer credit information.
            ``(4) A refusal by an insurer to insure the servicemember.
            ``(5) An annotation in a servicemember's record by a 
        creditor or a person engaged in the practice of assembling or 
        evaluating consumer credit information, identifying the 
        servicemember as a member of the National Guard or a reserve 
        component.
            ``(6) A change in the terms offered or conditions required 
        for the issuance of insurance.

``SEC. 109. <<NOTE: 50 USC app. 519.>> LEGAL REPRESENTATIVES.

    ``(a) Representative.--A legal representative of a servicemember for 
purposes of this Act is either of the following:
            ``(1) An attorney acting on the behalf of a servicemember.
            ``(2) An individual possessing a power of attorney.

    ``(b) Application.--Whenever the term `servicemember' is used in 
this Act, such term shall be treated as including a reference to a legal 
representative of the servicemember.

                       ``TITLE II--GENERAL RELIEF

``SEC. 201. <<NOTE: 50 USC app. 521.>> PROTECTION OF SERVICEMEMBERS 
            AGAINST DEFAULT JUDGMENTS.

    ``(a) Applicability of Section.--This section applies to any civil 
action or proceeding in which the defendant does not make an appearance.
    ``(b) Affidavit Requirement.--
            ``(1) Plaintiff to file affidavit.--In any action or 
        proceeding covered by this section, the court, before entering 
        judgment for the plaintiff, shall require the plaintiff to file 
        with the court an affidavit--

[[Page 117 STAT. 2841]]

                    ``(A) stating whether or not the defendant is in 
                military service and showing necessary facts to support 
                the affidavit; or
                    ``(B) if the plaintiff is unable to determine 
                whether or not the defendant is in military service, 
                stating that the plaintiff is unable to determine 
                whether or not the defendant is in military service.
            ``(2) Appointment of attorney to represent defendant in 
        military service.--If in an action covered by this section it 
        appears that the defendant is in military service, the court may 
        not enter a judgment until after the court appoints an attorney 
        to represent the defendant. If an attorney appointed under this 
        section to represent a servicemember cannot locate the 
        servicemember, actions by the attorney in the case shall not 
        waive any defense of the servicemember or otherwise bind the 
        servicemember.
            ``(3) Defendant's military status not ascertained by 
        affidavit.--If based upon the affidavits filed in such an 
        action, the court is unable to determine whether the defendant 
        is in military service, the court, before entering judgment, may 
        require the plaintiff to file a bond in an amount approved by 
        the court. If the defendant is later found to be in military 
        service, the bond shall be available to indemnify the defendant 
        against any loss or damage the defendant may suffer by reason of 
        any judgment for the plaintiff against the defendant, should the 
        judgment be set aside in whole or in part. The bond shall remain 
        in effect until expiration of the time for appeal and setting 
        aside of a judgment under applicable Federal or State law or 
        regulation or under any applicable ordinance of a political 
        subdivision of a State. The court may issue such orders or enter 
        such judgments as the court determines necessary to protect the 
        rights of the defendant under this Act.
            ``(4) Satisfaction of requirement for affidavit.--The 
        requirement for an affidavit under paragraph (1) may be 
        satisfied by a statement, declaration, verification, or 
        certificate, in writing, subscribed and certified or declared to 
        be true under penalty of perjury.

    ``(c) Penalty for Making or Using False Affidavit.--A person who 
makes or uses an affidavit permitted under subsection (b) (or a 
statement, declaration, verification, or certificate as authorized under 
subsection (b)(4)) knowing it to be false, shall be fined as provided in 
title 18, United States Code, or imprisoned for not more than one year, 
or both.
    ``(d) Stay of Proceedings.--In an action covered by this section in 
which the defendant is in military service, the court shall grant a stay 
of proceedings for a minimum period of 90 days under this subsection 
upon application of counsel, or on the court's own motion, if the court 
determines that--
            ``(1) there may be a defense to the action and a defense 
        cannot be presented without the presence of the defendant; or
            ``(2) after due diligence, counsel has been unable to 
        contact the defendant or otherwise determine if a meritorious 
        defense exists.

    ``(e) Inapplicability of Section 202 Procedures.--A stay of 
proceedings under subsection (d) shall not be controlled by procedures 
or requirements under section 202.

[[Page 117 STAT. 2842]]

    ``(f) Section 202 Protection.--If a servicemember who is a defendant 
in an action covered by this section receives actual notice of the 
action, the servicemember may request a stay of proceeding under section 
202.
    ``(g) Vacation or Setting Aside of Default Judgments.--
            ``(1) Authority for court to vacate or set aside judgment.--
        If a default judgment is entered in an action covered by this 
        section against a servicemember during the servicemember's 
        period of military service (or within 60 days after termination 
        of or release from such military service), the court entering 
        the judgment shall, upon application by or on behalf of the 
        servicemember, reopen the judgment for the purpose of allowing 
        the servicemember to defend the action if it appears that--
                    ``(A) the servicemember was materially affected by 
                reason of that military service in making a defense to 
                the action; and
                    ``(B) the servicemember has a meritorious or legal 
                defense to the action or some part of it.
            ``(2) Time <<NOTE: Deadline.>> for filing application.--An 
        application under this subsection must be filed not later than 
        90 days after the date of the termination of or release from 
        military service.

    ``(h) Protection of Bona Fide Purchaser.--If a court vacates, sets 
aside, or reverses a default judgment against a servicemember and the 
vacating, setting aside, or reversing is because of a provision of this 
Act, that action shall not impair a right or title acquired by a bona 
fide purchaser for value under the default judgment.

``SEC. 202. <<NOTE: 50 USC app. 522.>> STAY OF PROCEEDINGS WHEN 
            SERVICEMEMBER HAS NOTICE.

    ``(a) Applicability of Section.--This section applies to any civil 
action or proceeding in which the defendant at the time of filing an 
application under this section--
            ``(1) is in military service or is within 90 days after 
        termination of or release from military service; and
            ``(2) has received notice of the action or proceeding.

    ``(b) Stay of Proceedings.--
            ``(1) Authority for stay.--At any stage before final 
        judgment in a civil action or proceeding in which a 
        servicemember described in subsection (a) is a party, the court 
        may on its own motion and shall, upon application by the 
        servicemember, stay the action for a period of not less than 90 
        days, if the conditions in paragraph (2) are met.
            ``(2) Conditions for stay.--An application for a stay under 
        paragraph (1) shall include the following:
                    ``(A) A letter or other communication setting forth 
                facts stating the manner in which current military duty 
                requirements materially affect the servicemember's 
                ability to appear and stating a date when the 
                servicemember will be available to appear.
                    ``(B) A letter or other communication from the 
                servicemember's commanding officer stating that the 
                servicemember's current military duty prevents 
                appearance and that military leave is not authorized for 
                the servicemember at the time of the letter.

    ``(c) Application Not a Waiver of Defenses.--An application for a 
stay under this section does not constitute an appearance

[[Page 117 STAT. 2843]]

for jurisdictional purposes and does not constitute a waiver of any 
substantive or procedural defense (including a defense relating to lack 
of personal jurisdiction).
    ``(d) Additional Stay.--
            ``(1) Application.--A servicemember who is granted a stay of 
        a civil action or proceeding under subsection (b) may apply for 
        an additional stay based on continuing material affect of 
        military duty on the servicemember's ability to appear. Such an 
        application may be made by the servicemember at the time of the 
        initial application under subsection (b) or when it appears that 
        the servicemember is unavailable to prosecute or defend the 
        action. The same information required under subsection (b)(2) 
        shall be included in an application under this subsection.
            ``(2) Appointment of counsel when additional stay refused.--
        If the court refuses to grant an additional stay of proceedings 
        under paragraph (1), the court shall appoint counsel to 
        represent the servicemember in the action or proceeding.

    ``(e) Coordination With Section 201.--A servicemember who applies 
for a stay under this section and is unsuccessful may not seek the 
protections afforded by section 201.
    ``(f) Inapplicability to Section 301.--The protections of this 
section do not apply to section 301.

``SEC. 203. <<NOTE: 50 USC app. 523.>> FINES AND PENALTIES UNDER 
            CONTRACTS.

    ``(a) Prohibition of Penalties.--When an action for compliance with 
the terms of a contract is stayed pursuant to this Act, a penalty shall 
not accrue for failure to comply with the terms of the contract during 
the period of the stay.
    ``(b) Reduction or Waiver of Fines or Penalties.--If a servicemember 
fails to perform an obligation arising under a contract and a penalty is 
incurred arising from that nonperformance, a court may reduce or waive 
the fine or penalty if--
            ``(1) the servicemember was in military service at the time 
        the fine or penalty was incurred; and
            ``(2) the ability of the servicemember to perform the 
        obligation was materially affected by such military service.

``SEC. 204. <<NOTE: 50 USC app. 524.>> STAY OR VACATION OF EXECUTION OF 
            JUDGMENTS, ATTACHMENTS, AND GARNISHMENTS.

    ``(a) Court Action Upon Material Affect Determination.--If a 
servicemember, in the opinion of the court, is materially affected by 
reason of military service in complying with a court judgment or order, 
the court may on its own motion and shall on application by the 
servicemember--
            ``(1) stay the execution of any judgment or order entered 
        against the servicemember; and
            ``(2) vacate or stay an attachment or garnishment of 
        property, money, or debts in the possession of the servicemember 
        or a third party, whether before or after judgment.

    ``(b) Applicability.--This section applies to an action or 
proceeding commenced in a court against a servicemember before or during 
the period of the servicemember's military service or within 90 days 
after such service terminates.

[[Page 117 STAT. 2844]]

``SEC. 205. <<NOTE: 50 USC app. 525.>> DURATION AND TERM OF STAYS; 
            CODEFENDANTS NOT IN SERVICE.

    ``(a) Period of Stay.--A stay of an action, proceeding, attachment, 
or execution made pursuant to the provisions of this Act by a court may 
be ordered for the period of military service and 90 days thereafter, or 
for any part of that period. The court may set the terms and amounts for 
such installment payments as is considered reasonable by the court.
    ``(b) Codefendants.--If the servicemember is a codefendant with 
others who are not in military service and who are not entitled to the 
relief and protections provided under this Act, the plaintiff may 
proceed against those other defendants with the approval of the court.
    ``(c) Inapplicability of Section.--This section does not apply to 
sections 202 and 701.

``SEC. 206. <<NOTE: 50 USC app. 526.>> STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS.

    ``(a) Tolling of Statutes of Limitation During Military Service.--
The period of a servicemember's military service may not be included in 
computing any period limited by law, regulation, or order for the 
bringing of any action or proceeding in a court, or in any board, 
bureau, commission, department, or other agency of a State (or political 
subdivision of a State) or the United States by or against the 
servicemember or the servicemember's heirs, executors, administrators, 
or assigns.
    ``(b) Redemption of Real Property.--A period of military service may 
not be included in computing any period provided by law for the 
redemption of real property sold or forfeited to enforce an obligation, 
tax, or assessment.
    ``(c) Inapplicability to Internal Revenue Laws.--This section does 
not apply to any period of limitation prescribed by or under the 
internal revenue laws of the United States.

``SEC. <<NOTE: 50 USC app. 527.>>  207. MAXIMUM RATE OF INTEREST ON 
            DEBTS INCURRED BEFORE MILITARY SERVICE.

    ``(a) Interest Rate Limitation.--
            ``(1) Limitation to 6 percent.--An obligation or liability 
        bearing interest at a rate in excess of 6 percent per year that 
        is incurred by a servicemember, or the servicemember and the 
        servicemember's spouse jointly, before the servicemember enters 
        military service shall not bear interest at a rate in excess of 
        6 percent per year during the period of military service.
            ``(2) Forgiveness of interest in excess of 6 percent.--
        Interest at a rate in excess of 6 percent per year that would 
        otherwise be incurred but for the prohibition in paragraph (1) 
        is forgiven.
            ``(3) Prevention of acceleration of principal.--The amount 
        of any periodic payment due from a servicemember under the terms 
        of the instrument that created an obligation or liability 
        covered by this section shall be reduced by the amount of the 
        interest forgiven under paragraph (2) that is allocable to the 
        period for which such payment is made.

    ``(b) Implementation of Limitation.--
            ``(1) Written notice to creditor.--
        In <<NOTE: Deadline.>> order for an obligation or liability of a 
        servicemember to be subject to the interest

[[Page 117 STAT. 2845]]

        rate limitation in subsection (a), the servicemember shall 
        provide to the creditor written notice and a copy of the 
        military orders calling the servicemember to military service 
        and any orders further extending military service, not later 
        than 180 days after the date of the servicemember's termination 
        or release from military service.
            ``(2) Limitation effective as of date of order to active 
        duty.--Upon receipt of written notice and a copy of orders 
        calling a servicemember to military service, the creditor shall 
        treat the debt in accordance with subsection (a), effective as 
        of the date on which the servicemember is called to military 
        service.

    ``(c) Creditor Protection.--A court may grant a creditor relief from 
the limitations of this section if, in the opinion of the court, the 
ability of the servicemember to pay interest upon the obligation or 
liability at a rate in excess of 6 percent per year is not materially 
affected by reason of the servicemember's military service.
    ``(d) Interest.--As used in this section, the term `interest' 
includes service charges, renewal charges, fees, or any other charges 
(except bona fide insurance) with respect to an obligation or liability.

``TITLE III--RENT, INSTALLMENT CONTRACTS, MORTGAGES, LIENS, ASSIGNMENT, 
                                 LEASES

``SEC. 301. <<NOTE: 50 USC app. 531.>> EVICTIONS AND DISTRESS.

    ``(a) Court-Ordered Eviction.--
            ``(1) In general.--Except by court order, a landlord (or 
        another person with paramount title) may not--
                    ``(A) evict a servicemember, or the dependents of a 
                servicemember, during a period of military service of 
                the servicemember, from premises--
                          ``(i) that are occupied or intended to be 
                      occupied primarily as a residence; and
                          ``(ii) for which the monthly rent does not 
                      exceed $2,400, as adjusted under paragraph (2) for 
                      years after 2003; or
                    ``(B) subject such premises to a distress during the 
                period of military service.
            ``(2) Housing price inflation adjustment.--(A) For calendar 
        years beginning with 2004, the amount in effect under paragraph 
        (1)(A)(ii) shall be increased by the housing price inflation 
        adjustment for the calendar year involved.
            ``(B) For purposes of this paragraph--
                    ``(i) The housing price inflation adjustment for any 
                calendar year is the percentage change (if any) by 
                which--
                          ``(I) the CPI housing component for November 
                      of the preceding calendar year, exceeds
                          ``(II) the CPI housing component for November 
                      of 1984.
                    ``(ii) The term `CPI housing component' means the 
                index published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the 
                Department of Labor known as the Consumer Price Index, 
                All Urban Consumers, Rent of Primary Residence, U.S. 
                City Average.

[[Page 117 STAT. 2846]]

            ``(3) Publication <<NOTE: Federal Register, 
        publication.>> of housing price inflation adjustment.--The 
        Secretary of Defense shall cause to be published in the Federal 
        Register each year the amount in effect under paragraph 
        (1)(A)(ii) for that year following the housing price inflation 
        adjustment for that year pursuant to paragraph (2). 
        Such <<NOTE: Deadline.>> publication shall be made for a year 
        not later than 60 days after such adjustment is made for that 
        year.

    ``(b) Stay of Execution.--
            ``(1) Court authority.--Upon an application for eviction or 
        distress with respect to premises covered by this section, the 
        court may on its own motion and shall, if a request is made by 
        or on behalf of a servicemember whose ability to pay the agreed 
        rent is materially affected by military service--
                    ``(A) stay the proceedings for a period of 90 days, 
                unless in the opinion of the court, justice and equity 
                require a longer or shorter period of time; or
                    ``(B) adjust the obligation under the lease to 
                preserve the interests of all parties.
            ``(2) Relief to landlord.--If a stay is granted under 
        paragraph (1), the court may grant to the landlord (or other 
        person with paramount title) such relief as equity may require.

    ``(c) Penalties.--
            ``(1) Misdemeanor.--Except as provided in subsection (a), a 
        person who knowingly takes part in an eviction or distress 
        described in subsection (a), or who knowingly attempts to do so, 
        shall be fined as provided in title 18, United States Code, or 
        imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.
            ``(2) Preservation of other remedies and rights.--The 
        remedies and rights provided under this section are in addition 
        to and do not preclude any remedy for wrongful conversion (or 
        wrongful eviction) otherwise available under the law to the 
        person claiming relief under this section, including any award 
        for consequential and punitive damages.

    ``(d) Rent Allotment From Pay of Servicemember.--To the extent 
required by a court order related to property which is the subject of a 
court action under this section, the Secretary concerned shall make an 
allotment from the pay of a servicemember to satisfy the terms of such 
order, except that any such allotment shall be subject to regulations 
prescribed by the Secretary concerned establishing the maximum amount of 
pay of servicemembers that may be allotted under this subsection.
    ``(e) Limitation of Applicability.--Section 202 is not applicable to 
this section.

``SEC. 302. <<NOTE: 50 USC app. 532.>> PROTECTION UNDER INSTALLMENT 
            CONTRACTS FOR PURCHASE OR LEASE.

    ``(a) Protection Upon Breach of Contract.--
            ``(1) Protection after entering military service.--After a 
        servicemember enters military service, a contract by the 
        servicemember for--
                    ``(A) the purchase of real or personal property 
                (including a motor vehicle); or
                    ``(B) the lease or bailment of such property,
        may not be rescinded or terminated for a breach of terms of the 
        contract occurring before or during that person's military 
        service, nor may the property be repossessed for such breach 
        without a court order.

[[Page 117 STAT. 2847]]

            ``(2) Applicability.--This section applies only to a 
        contract for which a deposit or installment has been paid by the 
        servicemember before the servicemember enters military service.

    ``(b) Penalties.--
            ``(1) Misdemeanor.--A person who knowingly resumes 
        possession of property in violation of subsection (a), or in 
        violation of section 107 of this Act, or who knowingly attempts 
        to do so, shall be fined as provided in title 18, United States 
        Code, or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.
            ``(2) Preservation of other remedies and rights.--The 
        remedies and rights provided under this section are in addition 
        to and do not preclude any remedy for wrongful conversion 
        otherwise available under law to the person claiming relief 
        under this section, including any award for consequential and 
        punitive damages.

    ``(c) Authority of Court.--In a hearing based on this section, the 
court--
            ``(1) may order repayment to the servicemember of all or 
        part of the prior installments or deposits as a condition of 
        terminating the contract and resuming possession of the 
        property;
            ``(2) may, on its own motion, and shall on application by a 
        servicemember when the servicemember's ability to comply with 
        the contract is materially affected by military service, stay 
        the proceedings for a period of time as, in the opinion of the 
        court, justice and equity require; or
            ``(3) may make other disposition as is equitable to preserve 
        the interests of all parties.

``SEC. 303. <<NOTE: 50 USC app. 533.>> MORTGAGES AND TRUST DEEDS.

    ``(a) Mortgage as Security.--This <<NOTE: Applicability.>> section 
applies only to an obligation on real or personal property owned by a 
servicemember that--
            ``(1) originated before the period of the servicemember's 
        military service and for which the servicemember is still 
        obligated; and
            ``(2) is secured by a mortgage, trust deed, or other 
        security in the nature of a mortgage.

    ``(b) Stay of Proceedings and Adjustment of Obligation.--In an 
action filed during, or within 90 days after, a servicemember's period 
of military service to enforce an obligation described in subsection 
(a), the court may after a hearing and on its own motion and shall upon 
application by a servicemember when the servicemember's ability to 
comply with the obligation is materially affected by military service--
            ``(1) stay the proceedings for a period of time as justice 
        and equity require, or
            ``(2) adjust the obligation to preserve the interests of all 
        parties.

    ``(c) Sale or Foreclosure.--A sale, foreclosure, or seizure of 
property for a breach of an obligation described in subsection (a) shall 
not be valid if made during, or within 90 days after, the period of the 
servicemember's military service except--
            ``(1) upon a court order granted before such sale, 
        foreclosure, or seizure with a return made and approved by the 
        court; or

[[Page 117 STAT. 2848]]

            ``(2) if made pursuant to an agreement as provided in 
        section 107.

    ``(d) Penalties.--
            ``(1) Misdemeanor.--A person who knowingly makes or causes 
        to be made a sale, foreclosure, or seizure of property that is 
        prohibited by subsection (c), or who knowingly attempts to do 
        so, shall be fined as provided in title 18, United States Code, 
        or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.
            ``(2) Preservation of other remedies.--The remedies and 
        rights provided under this section are in addition to and do not 
        preclude any remedy for wrongful conversion otherwise available 
        under law to the person claiming relief under this section, 
        including consequential and punitive damages.

``SEC. 304. <<NOTE: 50 USC app. 534.>> SETTLEMENT OF STAYED CASES 
            RELATING TO PERSONAL PROPERTY.

    ``(a) Appraisal of Property.--When a stay is granted pursuant to 
this Act in a proceeding to foreclose a mortgage on or to repossess 
personal property, or to rescind or terminate a contract for the 
purchase of personal property, the court may appoint three disinterested 
parties to appraise the property.
    ``(b) Equity Payment.--Based on the appraisal, and if undue hardship 
to the servicemember's dependents will not result, the court may order 
that the amount of the servicemember's equity in the property be paid to 
the servicemember, or the servicemember's dependents, as a condition of 
foreclosing the mortgage, repossessing the property, or rescinding or 
terminating the contract.

``SEC. 305. <<NOTE: 50 USC app. 535.>> TERMINATION OF RESIDENTIAL OR 
            MOTOR VEHICLE LEASES.

    ``(a) Termination by Lessee.--The lessee on a lease described in 
subsection (b) may, at the lessee's option, terminate the lease at any 
time after--
            ``(1) the lessee's entry into military service; or
            ``(2) the date of the lessee's military orders described in 
        paragraph (1)(B) or (2)(B) of subsection (b), as the case may 
        be.

    ``(b) Covered Leases.--This <<NOTE: Applicability.>> section applies 
to the following leases:
            ``(1) Leases of premises.--A lease of premises occupied, or 
        intended to be occupied, by a servicemember or a servicemember's 
        dependents for a residential, professional, business, 
        agricultural, or similar purpose if--
                    ``(A) the lease is executed by or on behalf of a 
                person who thereafter and during the term of the lease 
                enters military service; or
                    ``(B) the servicemember, while in military service, 
                executes the lease and thereafter receives military 
                orders for a permanent change of station or to deploy 
                with a military unit for a period of not less than 90 
                days.
            ``(2) Leases of motor vehicles.--A lease of a motor vehicle 
        used, or intended to be used, by a servicemember or a 
        servicemember's dependents for personal or business 
        transportation if--
                    ``(A) the lease is executed by or on behalf of a 
                person who thereafter and during the term of the lease 
                enters military service under a call or order specifying 
                a period

[[Page 117 STAT. 2849]]

                of not less than 180 days (or who enters military 
                service under a call or order specifying a period of 180 
                days or less and who, without a break in service, 
                receives orders extending the period of military service 
                to a period of not less than 180 days); or
                    ``(B) the servicemember, while in military service, 
                executes the lease and thereafter receives military 
                orders for a permanent change of station outside of the 
                continental United States or to deploy with a military 
                unit for a period of not less than 180 days.

    ``(c) Manner of Termination.--
            ``(1) In general.--Termination of a lease under subsection 
        (a) is made--
                    ``(A) by delivery by the lessee of written notice of 
                such termination, and a copy of the servicemember's 
                military orders, to the lessor (or the lessor's 
                grantee), or to the lessor's agent (or the agent's 
                grantee); and
                    ``(B) <<NOTE: Deadline.>> in the case of a lease of 
                a motor vehicle, by return of the motor vehicle by the 
                lessee to the lessor (or the lessor's grantee), or to 
                the lessor's agent (or the agent's grantee), not later 
                than 15 days after the date of the delivery of written 
                notice under subparagraph (A).
            ``(2) Delivery of notice.--Delivery of notice under 
        paragraph (1)(A) may be accomplished--
                    ``(A) by hand delivery;
                    ``(B) by private business carrier; or
                    ``(C) by placing the written notice in an envelope 
                with sufficient postage and with return receipt 
                requested, and addressed as designated by the lessor (or 
                the lessor's grantee) or to the lessor's agent (or the 
                agent's grantee), and depositing the written notice in 
                the United States mails.

    ``(d) Effective Date of Lease Termination.--
            ``(1) Lease of premises.--In the case of a lease described 
        in subsection (b)(1) that provides for monthly payment of rent, 
        termination of the lease under subsection (a) is effective 30 
        days after the first date on which the next rental payment is 
        due and payable after the date on which the notice under 
        subsection (c) is delivered. In the case of any other lease 
        described in subsection (b)(1), termination of the lease under 
        subsection (a) is effective on the last day of the month 
        following the month in which the notice is delivered.
            ``(2) Lease of motor vehicles.--In the case of a lease 
        described in subsection (b)(2), termination of the lease under 
        subsection (a) is effective on the day on which the requirements 
        of subsection (c) are met for such termination.

    ``(e) Arrearages and Other Obligations and Liabilities.--Rents or 
lease amounts unpaid for the period preceding the effective date of the 
lease termination shall be paid on a prorated basis. In the case of the 
lease of a motor vehicle, the lessor may not impose an early termination 
charge, but any taxes, summonses, and title and registration fees and 
any other obligation and liability of the lessee in accordance with the 
terms of the lease, including reasonable charges to the lessee for 
excess wear, use and mileage, that are due and unpaid at the time of 
termination of the lease shall be paid by the lessee.

[[Page 117 STAT. 2850]]

    ``(f) Rent Paid in Advance.--Rents <<NOTE: Deadline.>> or lease 
amounts paid in advance for a period after the effective date of the 
termination of the lease shall be refunded to the lessee by the lessor 
(or the lessor's assignee or the assignee's agent) within 30 days of the 
effective date of the termination of the lease.

    ``(g) Relief to Lessor.--Upon application by the lessor to a court 
before the termination date provided in the written notice, relief 
granted by this section to a servicemember may be modified as justice 
and equity require.
    ``(h) Penalties.--
            ``(1) Misdemeanor.--Any person who knowingly seizes, holds, 
        or detains the personal effects, security deposit, or other 
        property of a servicemember or a servicemember's dependent who 
        lawfully terminates a lease covered by this section, or who 
        knowingly interferes with the removal of such property from 
        premises covered by such lease, for the purpose of subjecting or 
        attempting to subject any of such property to a claim for rent 
        accruing subsequent to the date of termination of such lease, or 
        attempts to do so, shall be fined as provided in title 18, 
        United States Code, or imprisoned for not more than one year, or 
        both.
            ``(2) Preservation of other remedies.--The remedy and rights 
        provided under this section are in addition to and do not 
        preclude any remedy for wrongful conversion otherwise available 
        under law to the person claiming relief under this section, 
        including any award for consequential or punitive damages.

``SEC. 306. <<NOTE: 50 USC app. 536.>> PROTECTION OF LIFE INSURANCE 
            POLICY.

    ``(a) Assignment of Policy Protected.--If a life insurance policy on 
the life of a servicemember is assigned before military service to 
secure the payment of an obligation, the assignee of the policy (except 
the insurer in connection with a policy loan) may not exercise, during a 
period of military service of the servicemember or within one year 
thereafter, any right or option obtained under the assignment without a 
court order.
    ``(b) Exception.--The prohibition in subsection (a) shall not 
apply--
            ``(1) if the assignee has the written consent of the insured 
        made during the period described in subsection (a);
            ``(2) when the premiums on the policy are due and unpaid; or
            ``(3) upon the death of the insured.

    ``(c) Order Refused Because of Material Affect.--A court which 
receives an application for an order required under subsection (a) may 
refuse to grant such order if the court determines the ability of the 
servicemember to comply with the terms of the obligation is materially 
affected by military service.
    ``(d) Treatment of Guaranteed Premiums.--For purposes of this 
subsection, premiums guaranteed under the provisions of title IV of this 
Act shall not be considered due and unpaid.
    ``(e) Penalties.--
            ``(1) Misdemeanor.--A person who knowingly takes an action 
        contrary to this section, or attempts to do so, shall be fined 
        as provided in title 18, United States Code, or imprisoned for 
        not more than one year, or both.

[[Page 117 STAT. 2851]]

            ``(2) Preservation of other remedies.--The remedy and rights 
        provided under this section are in addition to and do not 
        preclude any remedy for wrongful conversion otherwise available 
        under law to the person claiming relief under this section, 
        including any consequential or punitive damages.

``SEC. 307. <<NOTE: 50 USC app. 537.>> ENFORCEMENT OF STORAGE LIENS.

    ``(a) Liens.--
            ``(1) Limitation on foreclosure or enforcement.--A person 
        holding a lien on the property or effects of a servicemember may 
        not, during any period of military service of the servicemember 
        and for 90 days thereafter, foreclose or enforce any lien on 
        such property or effects without a court order granted before 
        foreclosure or enforcement.
            ``(2) Lien defined.--For the purposes of paragraph (1), the 
        term `lien' includes a lien for storage, repair, or cleaning of 
        the property or effects of a servicemember or a lien on such 
        property or effects for any other reason.

    ``(b) Stay of Proceedings.--In a proceeding to foreclose or enforce 
a lien subject to this section, the court may on its own motion, and 
shall if requested by a servicemember whose ability to comply with the 
obligation resulting in the proceeding is materially affected by 
military service--
            ``(1) stay the proceeding for a period of time as justice 
        and equity require; or
            ``(2) adjust the obligation to preserve the interests of all 
        parties.

The provisions of this subsection do not affect the scope of section 
303.
    ``(c) Penalties.--
            ``(1) Misdemeanor.--A person who knowingly takes an action 
        contrary to this section, or attempts to do so, shall be fined 
        as provided in title 18, United States Code, or imprisoned for 
        not more than one year, or both.
            ``(2) Preservation of other remedies.--The remedy and rights 
        provided under this section are in addition to and do not 
        preclude any remedy for wrongful conversion otherwise available 
        under law to the person claiming relief under this section, 
        including any consequential or punitive damages.

``SEC. 308. <<NOTE: 50 USC app. 538.>> EXTENSION OF PROTECTIONS TO 
            DEPENDENTS.

    ``Upon application to a court, a dependent of a servicemember is 
entitled to the protections of this title if the dependent's ability to 
comply with a lease, contract, bailment, or other obligation is 
materially affected by reason of the servicemember's military service.

                       ``TITLE IV--LIFE INSURANCE

``SEC. 401. <<NOTE: 50 USC app. 541.>> DEFINITIONS.

    ``For the purposes of this title:
            ``(1) Policy.--The term `policy' means any individual 
        contract for whole, endowment, universal, or term life insurance 
        (other than group term life insurance coverage), including any 
        benefit in the nature of such insurance arising out of 
        membership in any fraternal or beneficial association which--
                    ``(A) provides that the insurer may not--

[[Page 117 STAT. 2852]]

                          ``(i) decrease the amount of coverage or 
                      require the payment of an additional amount as 
                      premiums if the insured engages in military 
                      service (except increases in premiums in 
                      individual term insurance based upon age); or
                          ``(ii) limit or restrict coverage for any 
                      activity required by military service; and
                    ``(B) is in force not less than 180 days before the 
                date of the insured's entry into military service and at 
                the time of application under this title.
            ``(2) Premium.--The term `premium' means the amount 
        specified in an insurance policy to be paid to keep the policy 
        in force.
            ``(3) Insured.--The term `insured' means a servicemember 
        whose life is insured under a policy.
            ``(4) Insurer.--The term `insurer' includes any firm, 
        corporation, partnership, association, or business that is 
        chartered or authorized to provide insurance and issue contracts 
        or policies by the laws of a State or the United States.

``SEC. 402. <<NOTE: 50 USC app. 542.>> INSURANCE RIGHTS AND PROTECTIONS.

    ``(a) Rights and Protections.--The rights and protections under this 
title apply to the insured when--
            ``(1) the insured,
            ``(2) the insured's legal representative, or
            ``(3) the insured's beneficiary in the case of an insured 
        who is outside a State,

applies in writing for protection under this title, unless the Secretary 
of Veterans Affairs determines that the insured's policy is not entitled 
to protection under this title.
    ``(b) Notification and Application.--The Secretary of Veterans 
Affairs shall notify the Secretary concerned of the procedures to be 
used to apply for the protections provided under this title. The 
applicant shall send the original application to the insurer and a copy 
to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
    ``(c) Limitation on Amount.--The total amount of life insurance 
coverage protection provided by this title for a servicemember may not 
exceed $250,000, or an amount equal to the Servicemember's Group Life 
Insurance maximum limit, whichever is greater, regardless of the number 
of policies submitted.

``SEC. 403. <<NOTE: 50 USC app. 543.>> APPLICATION FOR INSURANCE 
            PROTECTION.

    ``(a) Application Procedure.--An application for protection under 
this title shall--
            ``(1) be in writing and signed by the insured, the insured's 
        legal representative, or the insured's beneficiary, as the case 
        may be;
            ``(2) identify the policy and the insurer; and
            ``(3) include an acknowledgement that the insured's rights 
        under the policy are subject to and modified by the provisions 
        of this title.

    ``(b) Additional Requirements.--The Secretary of Veterans Affairs 
may require additional information from the applicant, the insured and 
the insurer to determine if the policy is entitled to protection under 
this title.
    ``(c) Notice <<NOTE: Reports. Regulations.>> to the Secretary by the 
Insurer.--Upon receipt of the application of the insured, the insurer 
shall furnish a report

[[Page 117 STAT. 2853]]

concerning the policy to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs as required 
by regulations prescribed by the Secretary.

    ``(d) Policy Modification.--Upon application for protection under 
this title, the insured and the insurer shall have constructively agreed 
to any policy modification necessary to give this title full force and 
effect.

``SEC. 404. <<NOTE: 50 USC app. 544.>> POLICIES ENTITLED TO PROTECTION 
            AND LAPSE OF POLICIES.

    ``(a) Determination.--The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall 
determine whether a policy is entitled to protection under this title 
and shall notify the insured and the insurer of that determination.
    ``(b) Lapse Protection.--A policy that the Secretary determines is 
entitled to protection under this title shall not lapse or otherwise 
terminate or be forfeited for the nonpayment of a premium, or interest 
or indebtedness on a premium, after the date on which the application 
for protection is received by the Secretary.
    ``(c) Time Application.--The protection provided by this title 
applies during the insured's period of military service and for a period 
of two years thereafter.

``SEC. 405. <<NOTE: 50 USC app. 545.>> POLICY RESTRICTIONS.

    ``(a) Dividends.--While a policy is protected under this title, a 
dividend or other monetary benefit under a policy may not be paid to an 
insured or used to purchase dividend additions without the approval of 
the Secretary of Veterans Affairs. If such approval is not obtained, the 
dividends or benefits shall be added to the value of the policy to be 
used as a credit when final settlement is made with the insurer.
    ``(b) Specific Restrictions.--While a policy is protected under this 
title, cash value, loan value, withdrawal of dividend accumulation, 
unearned premiums, or other value of similar character may not be 
available to the insured without the approval of the Secretary. The 
right of the insured to change a beneficiary designation or select an 
optional settlement for a beneficiary shall not be affected by the 
provisions of this title.

``SEC. 406. <<NOTE: 50 USC app. 546.>> DEDUCTION OF UNPAID PREMIUMS.

    ``(a) Settlement of Proceeds.--If a policy matures as a result of a 
servicemember's death or otherwise during the period of protection of 
the policy under this title, the insurer in making settlement shall 
deduct from the insurance proceeds the amount of the unpaid premiums 
guaranteed under this title, together with interest due at the rate 
fixed in the policy for policy loans.
    ``(b) Interest Rate.--If the interest rate is not specifically fixed 
in the policy, the rate shall be the same as for policy loans in other 
policies issued by the insurer at the time the insured's policy was 
issued.
    ``(c) Reporting Requirement.--The amount deducted under this 
section, if any, shall be reported by the insurer to the Secretary of 
Veterans Affairs.

``SEC. 407. <<NOTE: 50 USC app. 547.>> PREMIUMS AND INTEREST GUARANTEED 
            BY UNITED STATES.

    ``(a) Guarantee of Premiums and Interest by the United States.--

[[Page 117 STAT. 2854]]

            ``(1) Guarantee.--Payment of premiums, and interest on 
        premiums at the rate specified in section 406, which become due 
        on a policy under the protection of this title is guaranteed by 
        the United States. If the amount guaranteed is not paid to the 
        insurer before the period of insurance protection under this 
        title expires, the amount due shall be treated by the insurer as 
        a policy loan on the policy.
            ``(2) Policy termination.--If, at the expiration of 
        insurance protection under this title, the cash surrender value 
        of a policy is less than the amount due to pay premiums and 
        interest on premiums on the policy, the policy shall terminate. 
        Upon such termination, the United States shall pay the insurer 
        the difference between the amount due and the cash surrender 
        value.

    ``(b) Recovery From Insured of Amounts Paid by the United States.--
            ``(1) Debt payable to the united states.--The amount paid by 
        the United States to an insurer under this title shall be a debt 
        payable to the United States by the insured on whose policy 
        payment was made.
            ``(2) Collection.--Such amount may be collected by the 
        United States, either as an offset from any amount due the 
        insured by the United States or as otherwise authorized by law.
            ``(3) Debt not dischargeable in bankruptcy.--Such debt 
        payable to the United States is not dischargeable in bankruptcy 
        proceedings.

    ``(c) Crediting of Amounts Recovered.--Any amounts received by the 
United States as repayment of debts incurred by an insured under this 
title shall be credited to the appropriation for the payment of claims 
under this title.

``SEC. 408. <<NOTE: 50 USC app. 548.>> REGULATIONS.

    ``The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall prescribe regulations for 
the implementation of this title.

``SEC. 409. <<NOTE: 50 USC app. 549.>> REVIEW OF FINDINGS OF FACT AND 
            CONCLUSIONS OF LAW.

    ``The findings of fact and conclusions of law made by the Secretary 
of Veterans Affairs in administering this title are subject to review on 
appeal to the Board of Veterans' Appeals pursuant to chapter 71 of title 
38, United States Code, and to judicial review only as provided in 
chapter 72 of such title.

                    ``TITLE V--TAXES AND PUBLIC LANDS

``SEC. 501. <<NOTE: 50 USC app. 561.>> TAXES RESPECTING PERSONAL 
            PROPERTY, MONEY, CREDITS, AND REAL PROPERTY.

    ``(a) Application.--This section applies in any case in which a tax 
or assessment, whether general or special (other than a tax on personal 
income), falls due and remains unpaid before or during a period of 
military service with respect to a servicemember's--
            ``(1) personal property (including motor vehicles); or
            ``(2) real property occupied for dwelling, professional, 
        business, or agricultural purposes by a servicemember or the 
        servicemember's dependents or employees--

[[Page 117 STAT. 2855]]

                    ``(A) before the servicemember's entry into military 
                service; and
                    ``(B) during the time the tax or assessment remains 
                unpaid.

    ``(b) Sale of Property.--
            ``(1) Limitation on sale of property to enforce tax 
        assessment.--Property described in subsection (a) may not be 
        sold to enforce the collection of such tax or assessment except 
        by court order and upon the determination by the court that 
        military service does not materially affect the servicemember's 
        ability to pay the unpaid tax or assessment.
            ``(2) Stay of court proceedings.--A court may stay a 
        proceeding to enforce the collection of such tax or assessment, 
        or sale of such property, during a period of military service of 
        the servicemember and for a period not more than 180 days after 
        the termination of, or release of the servicemember from, 
        military service.

    ``(c) Redemption.--When property described in subsection (a) is sold 
or forfeited to enforce the collection of a tax or assessment, a 
servicemember shall have the right to redeem or commence an action to 
redeem the servicemember's property during the period of military 
service or within 180 days after termination of or release from military 
service. This subsection may not be construed to shorten any period 
provided by the law of a State (including any political subdivision of a 
State) for redemption.
    ``(d) Interest on Tax or Assessment.--Whenever a servicemember does 
not pay a tax or assessment on property described in subsection (a) when 
due, the amount of the tax or assessment due and unpaid shall bear 
interest until paid at the rate of 6 percent per year. An additional 
penalty or interest shall not be incurred by reason of nonpayment. A 
lien for such unpaid tax or assessment may include interest under this 
subsection.
    ``(e) Joint Ownership Application.--
This <<NOTE: Applicability.>> section applies to all forms of property 
described in subsection (a) owned individually by a servicemember or 
jointly by a servicemember and a dependent or dependents.

``SEC. 502. <<NOTE: 50 USC app. 562.>> RIGHTS IN PUBLIC LANDS.

    ``(a) Rights Not Forfeited.--The rights of a servicemember to lands 
owned or controlled by the United States, and initiated or acquired by 
the servicemember under the laws of the United States (including the 
mining and mineral leasing laws) before military service, shall not be 
forfeited or prejudiced as a result of being absent from the land, or by 
failing to begin or complete any work or improvements to the land, 
during the period of military service.
    ``(b) Temporary Suspension of Permits or Licenses.--If a permittee 
or licensee under the Act of June 28, 1934 (43 U.S.C. 315 et seq.), 
enters military service, the permittee or licensee may suspend the 
permit or license for the period of military service and for 180 days 
after termination of or release from military service.
    ``(c) Regulations.--Regulations prescribed by the Secretary of the 
Interior shall provide for such suspension of permits and licenses and 
for the remission, reduction, or refund of grazing fees during the 
period of such suspension.

[[Page 117 STAT. 2856]]

``SEC. 503. <<NOTE: 50 USC app. 563.>> DESERT-LAND ENTRIES.

    ``(a) Desert-Land Rights Not Forfeited.--A desert-land entry made or 
held under the desert-land laws before the entrance of the entryman or 
the entryman's successor in interest into military service shall not be 
subject to contest or cancellation--
            ``(1) for failure to expend any required amount per acre per 
        year in improvements upon the claim;
            ``(2) for failure to effect the reclamation of the claim 
        during the period the entryman or the entryman's successor in 
        interest is in the military service, or for 180 days after 
        termination of or release from military service; or
            ``(3) during any period of hospitalization or rehabilitation 
        due to an injury or disability incurred in the line of duty.

The time within which the entryman or claimant is required to make such 
expenditures and effect reclamation of the land shall be exclusive of 
the time periods described in paragraphs (2) and (3).
    ``(b) Service-Related Disability.--If an entryman or claimant is 
honorably discharged and is unable to accomplish reclamation of, and 
payment for, desert land due to a disability incurred in the line of 
duty, the entryman or claimant may make proof without further 
reclamation or payments, under regulations prescribed by the Secretary 
of the Interior, and receive a patent for the land entered or claimed.
    ``(c) Filing Requirement.--In <<NOTE: Deadline.>> order to obtain 
the protection of this section, the entryman or claimant shall, within 
180 days after entry into military service, cause to be filed in the 
land office of the district where the claim is situated a notice 
communicating the fact of military service and the desire to hold the 
claim under this section.

``SEC. 504. <<NOTE: 50 USC app. 564.>> MINING CLAIMS.

    ``(a) Requirements Suspended.--The provisions of section 2324 of the 
Revised Statutes of the United States (30 U.S.C. 28) specified in 
subsection (b) shall not apply to a servicemember's claims or interests 
in claims, regularly located and recorded, during a period of military 
service and 180 days thereafter, or during any period of hospitalization 
or rehabilitation due to injuries or disabilities incurred in the line 
of duty.
    ``(b) Requirements.--The provisions in section 2324 of the Revised 
Statutes that shall not apply under subsection (a) are those which 
require that on each mining claim located after May 10, 1872, and until 
a patent has been issued for such claim, not less than $100 worth of 
labor shall be performed or improvements made during each year.
    ``(c) Period of Protection From Forfeiture.--A mining claim or an 
interest in a claim owned by a servicemember that has been regularly 
located and recorded shall not be subject to forfeiture for 
nonperformance of annual assessments during the period of military 
service and for 180 days thereafter, or for any period of 
hospitalization or rehabilitation described in subsection (a).
    ``(d) Filing Requirement.--In <<NOTE: Deadline.>> order to obtain 
the protections of this section, the claimant of a mining location 
shall, before the end of the assessment year in which military service 
is begun or within 60 days after the end of such assessment year, cause 
to be filed in the office where the location notice or certificate

[[Page 117 STAT. 2857]]

is recorded a notice communicating the fact of military service and the 
desire to hold the mining claim under this section.

``SEC. 505. <<NOTE: 50 USC app. 565.>> MINERAL PERMITS AND LEASES.

    ``(a) Suspension During Military Service.--A person holding a permit 
or lease on the public domain under the Federal mineral leasing laws who 
enters military service may suspend all operations under the permit or 
lease for the duration of military service and for 180 days thereafter. 
The term of the permit or lease shall not run during the period of 
suspension, nor shall any rental or royalties be charged against the 
permit or lease during the period of suspension.
    ``(b) Notification.--In <<NOTE: Deadline.>> order to obtain the 
protection of this section, the permittee or lessee shall, within 180 
days after entry into military service, notify the Secretary of the 
Interior by registered mail of the fact that military service has begun 
and of the desire to hold the claim under this section.

    ``(c) Contract Modification.--This section shall not be construed to 
supersede the terms of any contract for operation of a permit or lease.

``SEC. 506. <<NOTE: 50 USC app. 566.>> PERFECTION OR DEFENSE OF RIGHTS.

    ``(a) Right To Take Action Not Affected.--This title shall not 
affect the right of a servicemember to take action during a period of 
military service that is authorized by law or regulations of the 
Department of the Interior, for the perfection, defense, or further 
assertion of rights initiated or acquired before entering military 
service.
    ``(b) Affidavits and Proofs.--
            ``(1) In general.--A servicemember during a period of 
        military service may make any affidavit or submit any proof 
        required by law, practice, or regulation of the Department of 
        the Interior in connection with the entry, perfection, defense, 
        or further assertion of rights initiated or acquired before 
        entering military service before an officer authorized to 
        provide notary services under section 1044a of title 10, United 
        States Code, or any superior commissioned officer.
            ``(2) Legal status of affidavits.--Such affidavits shall be 
        binding in law and subject to the same penalties as prescribed 
        by section 1001 of title 18, United State Code.

``SEC. 507. <<NOTE: 50 USC app. 567.>> DISTRIBUTION OF INFORMATION 
            CONCERNING BENEFITS OF TITLE.

    ``(a) Distribution of Information by Secretary Concerned.--The 
Secretary concerned shall issue to servicemembers information explaining 
the provisions of this title.
    ``(b) Application Forms.--The Secretary concerned shall provide 
application forms to servicemembers requesting relief under this title.
    ``(c) Information From Secretary of the Interior.--The Secretary of 
the Interior shall furnish to the Secretary concerned information 
explaining the provisions of this title (other than sections 501, 510, 
and 511) and related application forms.

``SEC. 508. <<NOTE: 50 USC app. 568.>> LAND RIGHTS OF SERVICEMEMBERS.

    ``(a) No Age Limitations.--Any servicemember under the age of 21 in 
military service shall be entitled to the same rights under the laws 
relating to lands owned or controlled by the United States,

[[Page 117 STAT. 2858]]

including mining and mineral leasing laws, as those servicemembers who 
are 21 years of age.
    ``(b) Residency Requirement.--Any requirement related to the 
establishment of a residence within a limited time shall be suspended as 
to entry by a servicemember in military service until 180 days after 
termination of or release from military service.
    ``(c) Entry Applications.--Applications for entry may be verified 
before a person authorized to administer oaths under section 1044a of 
title 10, United States Code, or under the laws of the State where the 
land is situated.

``SEC. 509. <<NOTE: 50 USC app. 569.>> REGULATIONS.

    ``The Secretary of the Interior may issue regulations necessary to 
carry out this title (other than sections 501, 510, and 511).

``SEC. 510. <<NOTE: 50 USC app. 570.>> INCOME TAXES.

    ``(a) Deferral of Tax.--Upon notice to the Internal Revenue Service 
or the tax authority of a State or a political subdivision of a State, 
the collection of income tax on the income of a servicemember falling 
due before or during military service shall be deferred for a period not 
more than 180 days after termination of or release from military 
service, if a servicemember's ability to pay such income tax is 
materially affected by military service.
    ``(b) Accrual of Interest or Penalty.--No interest or penalty shall 
accrue for the period of deferment by reason of nonpayment on any amount 
of tax deferred under this section.
    ``(c) Statute of Limitations.--The running of a statute of 
limitations against the collection of tax deferred under this section, 
by seizure or otherwise, shall be suspended for the period of military 
service of the servicemember and for an additional period of 270 days 
thereafter.
    ``(d) Application Limitation.--This section shall not apply to the 
tax imposed on employees by section 3101 of the Internal Revenue Code of 
1986.

``SEC. 511. <<NOTE: 50 USC app. 571.>> RESIDENCE FOR TAX PURPOSES.

    ``(a) Residence or Domicile.--A servicemember shall neither lose nor 
acquire a residence or domicile for purposes of taxation with respect to 
the person, personal property, or income of the servicemember by reason 
of being absent or present in any tax jurisdiction of the United States 
solely in compliance with military orders.
    ``(b) Military Service Compensation.--Compensation of a 
servicemember for military service shall not be deemed to be income for 
services performed or from sources within a tax jurisdiction of the 
United States if the servicemember is not a resident or domiciliary of 
the jurisdiction in which the servicemember is serving in compliance 
with military orders.
    ``(c) Personal Property.--
            ``(1) Relief from personal property taxes.--The personal 
        property of a servicemember shall not be deemed to be located or 
        present in, or to have a situs for taxation in, the tax 
        jurisdiction in which the servicemember is serving in compliance 
        with military orders.
            ``(2) Exception <<NOTE: Applicability.>> for property within 
        member's domicile or residence.--This subsection applies to 
        personal property or its use within any tax jurisdiction other 
        than the servicemember's domicile or residence.

[[Page 117 STAT. 2859]]

            ``(3) Exception for property used in trade or business.--
        This section does not prevent taxation by a tax jurisdiction 
        with respect to personal property used in or arising from a 
        trade or business, if it has jurisdiction.
            ``(4) Relationship to law of state of domicile.--Eligibility 
        for relief from personal property taxes under this subsection is 
        not contingent on whether or not such taxes are paid to the 
        State of domicile.

    ``(d) Increase of Tax Liability.--A tax jurisdiction may not use the 
military compensation of a nonresident servicemember to increase the tax 
liability imposed on other income earned by the nonresident 
servicemember or spouse subject to tax by the jurisdiction.
    ``(e) Federal Indian Reservations.--An Indian servicemember whose 
legal residence or domicile is a Federal Indian reservation shall be 
taxed by the laws applicable to Federal Indian reservations and not the 
State where the reservation is located.
    ``(f) Definitions.--For purposes of this section:
            ``(1) Personal property.--The term `personal property' means 
        intangible and tangible property (including motor vehicles).
            ``(2) Taxation.--The term `taxation' includes licenses, 
        fees, or excises imposed with respect to motor vehicles and 
        their use, if the license, fee, or excise is paid by the 
        servicemember in the servicemember's State of domicile or 
        residence.
            ``(3) Tax jurisdiction.--The term `tax jurisdiction' means a 
        State or a political subdivision of a State.

                   ``TITLE VI--ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDIES

``SEC. 601. <<NOTE: 50 USC app. 581.>> INAPPROPRIATE USE OF ACT.

    ``If a court determines, in any proceeding to enforce a civil right, 
that any interest, property, or contract has been transferred or 
acquired with the intent to delay the just enforcement of such right by 
taking advantage of this Act, the court shall enter such judgment or 
make such order as might lawfully be entered or made concerning such 
transfer or acquisition.

``SEC. 602. <<NOTE: 50 USC app. 582.>> CERTIFICATES OF SERVICE; PERSONS 
            REPORTED MISSING.

    ``(a) Prima Facie Evidence.--In any proceeding under this Act, a 
certificate signed by the Secretary concerned is prima facie evidence as 
to any of the following facts stated in the certificate:
            ``(1) That a person named is, is not, has been, or has not 
        been in military service.
            ``(2) The time and the place the person entered military 
        service.
            ``(3) The person's residence at the time the person entered 
        military service.
            ``(4) The rank, branch, and unit of military service of the 
        person upon entry.
            ``(5) The inclusive dates of the person's military service.
            ``(6) The monthly pay received by the person at the date of 
        the certificate's issuance.
            ``(7) The time and place of the person's termination of or 
        release from military service, or the person's death during 
        military service.

[[Page 117 STAT. 2860]]

    ``(b) Certificates.--The Secretary concerned shall furnish a 
certificate under subsection (a) upon receipt of an application for such 
a certificate. A certificate appearing to be signed by the Secretary 
concerned is prima facie evidence of its contents and of the signer's 
authority to issue it.
    ``(c) Treatment of Servicemembers in Missing Status.--A 
servicemember who has been reported missing is presumed to continue in 
service until accounted for. A requirement under this Act that begins or 
ends with the death of a servicemember does not begin or end until the 
servicemember's death is reported to, or determined by, the Secretary 
concerned or by a court of competent jurisdiction.

``SEC. 603. <<NOTE: 50 USC app. 583.>> INTERLOCUTORY ORDERS.

    ``An interlocutory order issued by a court under this Act may be 
revoked, modified, or extended by that court upon its own motion or 
otherwise, upon notification to affected parties as required by the 
court.

                       ``TITLE VII--FURTHER RELIEF

``SEC. 701. <<NOTE: 50 USC app. 591.>> ANTICIPATORY RELIEF.

    ``(a) Application for Relief.--A servicemember may, during military 
service or within 180 days of termination of or release from military 
service, apply to a court for relief--
            ``(1) from any obligation or liability incurred by the 
        servicemember before the servicemember's military service; or
            ``(2) from a tax or assessment falling due before or during 
        the servicemember's military service.

    ``(b) Tax Liability or Assessment.--In a case covered by subsection 
(a), the court may, if the ability of the servicemember to comply with 
the terms of such obligation or liability or pay such tax or assessment 
has been materially affected by reason of military service, after 
appropriate notice and hearing, grant the following relief:
            ``(1) Stay of enforcement of real estate contracts.--
                    ``(A) In the case of an obligation payable in 
                installments under a contract for the purchase of real 
                estate, or secured by a mortgage or other instrument in 
                the nature of a mortgage upon real estate, the court may 
                grant a stay of the enforcement of the obligation--
                          ``(i) during the servicemember's period of 
                      military service; and
                          ``(ii) from the date of termination of or 
                      release from military service, or from the date of 
                      application if made after termination of or 
                      release from military service.
                    ``(B) Any stay under this paragraph shall be--
                          ``(i) for a period equal to the remaining life 
                      of the installment contract or other instrument, 
                      plus a period of time equal to the period of 
                      military service of the servicemember, or any part 
                      of such combined period; and
                          ``(ii) subject to payment of the balance of 
                      the principal and accumulated interest due and 
                      unpaid at the date of termination or release from 
                      the applicant's

[[Page 117 STAT. 2861]]

                      military service or from the date of application 
                      in equal installments during the combined period 
                      at the rate of interest on the unpaid balance 
                      prescribed in the contract or other instrument 
                      evidencing the obligation, and subject to other 
                      terms as may be equitable.
            ``(2) Stay of enforcement of other contracts.--
                    ``(A) In the case of any other obligation, 
                liability, tax, or assessment, the court may grant a 
                stay of enforcement--
                          ``(i) during the servicemember's military 
                      service; and
                          ``(ii) from the date of termination of or 
                      release from military service, or from the date of 
                      application if made after termination or release 
                      from military service.
                    ``(B) Any stay under this paragraph shall be--
                          ``(i) for a period of time equal to the period 
                      of the servicemember's military service or any 
                      part of such period; and
                          ``(ii) subject to payment of the balance of 
                      principal and accumulated interest due and unpaid 
                      at the date of termination or release from 
                      military service, or the date of application, in 
                      equal periodic installments during this extended 
                      period at the rate of interest as may be 
                      prescribed for this obligation, liability, tax, or 
                      assessment, if paid when due, and subject to other 
                      terms as may be equitable.

    ``(c) Affect of Stay on Fine or Penalty.--When a court grants a stay 
under this section, a fine or penalty shall not accrue on the 
obligation, liability, tax, or assessment for the period of compliance 
with the terms and conditions of the stay.

``SEC. 702. <<NOTE: 50 USC app. 592.>> POWER OF ATTORNEY.

    ``(a) Automatic Extension.--A power of attorney of a servicemember 
shall be automatically extended for the period the servicemember is in a 
missing status (as defined in section 551(2) of title 37, United States 
Code) if the power of attorney--
            ``(1) was duly executed by the servicemember--
                    ``(A) while in military service; or
                    ``(B) before entry into military service but after 
                the servicemember--
                          ``(i) received a call or order to report for 
                      military service; or
                          ``(ii) was notified by an official of the 
                      Department of Defense that the person could 
                      receive a call or order to report for military 
                      service;
            ``(2) designates the servicemember's spouse, parent, or 
        other named relative as the servicemember's attorney in fact for 
        certain, specified, or all purposes; and
            ``(3) expires by its terms after the servicemember entered a 
        missing status.

    ``(b) Limitation on Power of Attorney Extension.--A power of 
attorney executed by a servicemember may not be extended under 
subsection (a) if the document by its terms clearly indicates that the 
power granted expires on the date specified even though the 
servicemember, after the date of execution of the document, enters a 
missing status.

[[Page 117 STAT. 2862]]

``SEC. 703. <<NOTE: 50 USC app. 593.>> PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY 
            PROTECTION.

    ``(a) Applicability.--This section applies to a servicemember who--
            ``(1) after July 31, 1990, is ordered to active duty (other 
        than for training) pursuant to sections 688, 12301(a), 12301(g), 
        12302, 12304, 12306, or 12307 of title 10, United States Code, 
        or who is ordered to active duty under section 12301(d) of such 
        title during a period when members are on active duty pursuant 
        to any of the preceding sections; and
            ``(2) immediately before receiving the order to active 
        duty--
                    ``(A) was engaged in the furnishing of health-care 
                or legal services or other services determined by the 
                Secretary of Defense to be professional services; and
                    ``(B) had in effect a professional liability 
                insurance policy that does not continue to cover claims 
                filed with respect to the servicemember during the 
                period of the servicemember's active duty unless the 
                premiums are paid for such coverage for such period.

    ``(b) Suspension of Coverage.--
            ``(1) Suspension.--Coverage of a servicemember referred to 
        in subsection (a) by a professional liability insurance policy 
        shall be suspended by the insurance carrier in accordance with 
        this subsection upon receipt of a written request from the 
        servicemember by the insurance carrier.
            ``(2) Premiums for suspended contracts.--A professional 
        liability insurance carrier--
                    ``(A) may not require that premiums be paid by or on 
                behalf of a servicemember for any professional liability 
                insurance coverage suspended pursuant to paragraph (1); 
                and
                    ``(B) shall refund any amount paid for coverage for 
                the period of such suspension or, upon the election of 
                such servicemember, apply such amount for the payment of 
                any premium becoming due upon the reinstatement of such 
                coverage.
            ``(3) Nonliability of carrier during suspension.--A 
        professional liability insurance carrier shall not be liable 
        with respect to any claim that is based on professional conduct 
        (including any failure to take any action in a professional 
        capacity) of a servicemember that occurs during a period of 
        suspension of that servicemember's professional liability 
        insurance under this subsection.
            ``(4) Certain claims considered to arise before 
        suspension.--For the purposes of paragraph (3), a claim based 
        upon the failure of a professional to make adequate provision 
        for a patient, client, or other person to receive professional 
        services or other assistance during the period of the 
        professional's active duty service shall be considered to be 
        based on an action or failure to take action before the 
        beginning of the period of the suspension of professional 
        liability insurance under this subsection, except in a case in 
        which professional services were provided after the date of the 
        beginning of such period.

    ``(c) Reinstatement of Coverage.--
            ``(1) Reinstatement required.--Professional liability 
        insurance coverage suspended in the case of any servicemember 
        pursuant to subsection (b) shall be reinstated by the insurance

[[Page 117 STAT. 2863]]

        carrier on the date on which that servicemember transmits to the 
        insurance carrier a written request for reinstatement.
            ``(2) Time <<NOTE: Deadline.>> and premium for 
        reinstatement.--The request of a servicemember for reinstatement 
        shall be effective only if the servicemember transmits the 
        request to the insurance carrier within 30 days after the date 
        on which the servicemember is released from active 
        duty. <<NOTE: Notification.>> The insurance carrier shall notify 
        the servicemember of the due date for payment of the premium of 
        such insurance. <<NOTE: Deadline.>> Such premium shall be paid 
        by the servicemember within 30 days after receipt of that 
        notice.
            ``(3) Period of reinstated coverage.--The period for which 
        professional liability insurance coverage shall be reinstated 
        for a servicemember under this subsection may not be less than 
        the balance of the period for which coverage would have 
        continued under the insurance policy if the coverage had not 
        been suspended.

    ``(d) Increase in Premium.--
            ``(1) Limitation on premium increases.--An insurance carrier 
        may not increase the amount of the premium charged for 
        professional liability insurance coverage of any servicemember 
        for the minimum period of the reinstatement of such coverage 
        required under subsection (c)(3) to an amount greater than the 
        amount chargeable for such coverage for such period before the 
        suspension.
            ``(2) Exception.--Paragraph (1) does not prevent an increase 
        in premium to the extent of any general increase in the premiums 
        charged by that carrier for the same professional liability 
        coverage for persons similarly covered by such insurance during 
        the period of the suspension.

    ``(e) Continuation of Coverage of Unaffected Persons.--This section 
does not--
            ``(1) require a suspension of professional liability 
        insurance protection for any person who is not a person referred 
        to in subsection (a) and who is covered by the same professional 
        liability insurance as a person referred to in such subsection; 
        or
            ``(2) relieve any person of the obligation to pay premiums 
        for the coverage not required to be suspended.

    ``(f) Stay of Civil or Administrative Actions.--
            ``(1) Stay of actions.--A civil or administrative action for 
        damages on the basis of the alleged professional negligence or 
        other professional liability of a servicemember whose 
        professional liability insurance coverage has been suspended 
        under subsection (b) shall be stayed until the end of the period 
        of the suspension if--
                    ``(A) the action was commenced during the period of 
                the suspension;
                    ``(B) the action is based on an act or omission that 
                occurred before the date on which the suspension became 
                effective; and
                    ``(C) the suspended professional liability insurance 
                would, except for the suspension, on its face cover the 
                alleged professional negligence or other professional 
                liability negligence or other professional liability of 
                the servicemember.

[[Page 117 STAT. 2864]]

            ``(2) Date of commencement of action.--Whenever a civil or 
        administrative action for damages is stayed under paragraph (1) 
        in the case of any servicemember, the action shall have been 
        deemed to have been filed on the date on which the professional 
        liability insurance coverage of the servicemember is reinstated 
        under subsection (c).

    ``(g) Effect of Suspension Upon Limitations Period.--In the case of 
a civil or administrative action for which a stay could have been 
granted under subsection (f) by reason of the suspension of professional 
liability insurance coverage of the defendant under this section, the 
period of the suspension of the coverage shall be excluded from the 
computation of any statutory period of limitation on the commencement of 
such action.
    ``(h) Death During Period of Suspension.--If a servicemember whose 
professional liability insurance coverage is suspended under subsection 
(b) dies during the period of the suspension--
            ``(1) the requirement for the grant or continuance of a stay 
        in any civil or administrative action against such servicemember 
        under subsection (f)(1) shall terminate on the date of the death 
        of such servicemember; and
            ``(2) the carrier of the professional liability insurance so 
        suspended shall be liable for any claim for damages for 
        professional negligence or other professional liability of the 
        deceased servicemember in the same manner and to the same extent 
        as such carrier would be liable if the servicemember had died 
        while covered by such insurance but before the claim was filed.

    ``(i) Definitions.--For purposes of this section:
            ``(1) Active duty.--The term `active duty' has the meaning 
        given that term in section 101(d)(1) of title 10, United States 
        Code.
            ``(2) Profession.--The term `profession' includes 
        occupation.
            ``(3) Professional.--The term `professional' includes 
        occupational.

``SEC. 704. <<NOTE: 50 USC app. 594.>> HEALTH INSURANCE REINSTATEMENT.

    ``(a) Reinstatement of Health Insurance.--A servicemember who, by 
reason of military service as defined in section 703(a)(1), is entitled 
to the rights and protections of this Act shall also be entitled upon 
termination or release from such service to reinstatement of any health 
insurance that--
            ``(1) was in effect on the day before such service 
        commenced; and
            ``(2) was terminated effective on a date during the period 
        of such service.

    ``(b) No Exclusion or Waiting Period.--The reinstatement of health 
care insurance coverage for the health or physical condition of a 
servicemember described in subsection (a), or any other person who is 
covered by the insurance by reason of the coverage of the servicemember, 
shall not be subject to an exclusion or a waiting period, if--
            ``(1) the condition arose before or during the period of 
        such service;
            ``(2) an exclusion or a waiting period would not have been 
        imposed for the condition during the period of coverage; and

[[Page 117 STAT. 2865]]

            ``(3) if the condition relates to the servicemember, the 
        condition has not been determined by the Secretary of Veterans 
        Affairs to be a disability incurred or aggravated in the line of 
        duty (within the meaning of section 105 of title 38, United 
        States Code).

    ``(c) Exceptions.--Subsection (a) does not apply to a servicemember 
entitled to participate in employer-offered insurance benefits pursuant 
to the provisions of chapter 43 of title 38, United States Code.
    ``(d) Time <<NOTE: Deadline.>> for Applying for Reinstatement.--An 
application under this section must be filed not later than 120 days 
after the date of the termination of or release from military service.

``SEC. 705. <<NOTE: 50 USC app. 595.>> GUARANTEE OF RESIDENCY FOR 
            MILITARY PERSONNEL.

    ``For the purposes of voting for any Federal office (as defined in 
section 301 of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (2 U.S.C. 431)) 
or a State or local office, a person who is absent from a State in 
compliance with military or naval orders shall not, solely by reason of 
that absence--
            ``(1) be deemed to have lost a residence or domicile in that 
        State, without regard to whether or not the person intends to 
        return to that State;
            ``(2) be deemed to have acquired a residence or domicile in 
        any other State; or
            ``(3) be deemed to have become a resident in or a resident 
        of any other State.

``SEC. 706. <<NOTE: 50 USC app. 596.>> BUSINESS OR TRADE OBLIGATIONS.

    ``(a) Availability of Non-Business Assets To Satisfy Obligations.--
If the trade or business (without regard to the form in which such trade 
or business is carried out) of a servicemember has an obligation or 
liability for which the servicemember is personally liable, the assets 
of the servicemember not held in connection with the trade or business 
may not be available for satisfaction of the obligation or liability 
during the servicemember's military service.
    ``(b) Relief to Obligors.--Upon application to a court by the holder 
of an obligation or liability covered by this section, relief granted by 
this section to a servicemember may be modified as justice and equity 
require.''.

SEC. 2. CONFORMING AMENDMENTS.

    (a) Military Selective Service Act.--Section 14 of the Military 
Selective Service Act (50 U.S.C. App. 464) is repealed.
    (b) Title 5, United States Code.--
            (1) Section 5520a(k)(2)(A) of title 5, United States Code, 
        is amended by striking ``Soldiers' and Sailors' Civil Relief Act 
        of 1940'' and inserting ``Servicemembers Civil Relief Act''; and
            (2) Section 5569(e) of title 5, United States Code, is 
        amended--
                    (A) in paragraph (1), by striking ``provided by the 
                Soldiers' and Sailors' Civil Relief Act of 1940'' and 
                all that follows through ``of such Act'' and inserting 
                ``provided by the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, 
                including the benefits provided by section 702 of such 
                Act but excluding the benefits provided by sections 104, 
                105, and 106, title IV, and title V (other than sections 
                501 and 510) of such Act''; and

[[Page 117 STAT. 2866]]

                    (B) in paragraph (2)(A), by striking ``person in the 
                military service'' and inserting ``servicemember''.

    (c) Title 10, United States Code.--Section 1408(b)(1)(D) of title 
10, United States Code, is amended by striking ``Soldiers' and Sailors' 
Civil Relief Act of 1940'' and inserting ``Servicemembers Civil Relief 
Act''.
    (d) Internal Revenue Code.--Section 7654(d)(1) of the Internal 
Revenue Code of 1986 <<NOTE: 26 USC 7654.>> is amended by striking 
``Soldiers' and Sailors' Civil Relief Act'' and inserting 
``Servicemembers Civil Relief Act''.

    (e) Public Health Service Act.--Section 212(e) of the Public Health 
Service Act (42 U.S.C. 213(e)) is amended by striking ``Soldiers' and 
Sailors' Civil Relief Act of 1940'' and inserting ``Servicemembers Civil 
Relief Act''.
    (f) Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965.--Section 8001 of 
the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 7701) is 
amended by striking ``section 514 of the Soldiers' and Sailors' Civil 
Relief Act of 1940 (50 U.S.C. App. 574)'' in the matter preceding 
paragraph (1) and inserting ``section 511 of the Servicemembers Civil 
Relief Act''.
    (g) NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps Act of 2002.--Section 262(a)(2) 
of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer 
Corps Act of 2002 (33 U.S.C. 3072(a)(2)) is amended to read as follows:
            ``(2) The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.''.

SEC. 3. <<NOTE: Applicability. 50 USC app. 501 note.>> EFFECTIVE DATE.

    The amendment made by section 1 shall apply to any case that is not 
final before the date of the enactment of this Act.

    Approved December 19, 2003.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--H.R. 100 (S. 1136):
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

HOUSE REPORTS: No. 108-81 (Comm. on Veterans' Affairs).
SENATE REPORTS: No. 108-197 accompanying S. 1136 (Comm. on Veterans' 
Affairs).
CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 149 (2003):
            May 7, considered and passed House.
            Nov. 21, considered and passed Senate, amended, in lieu of 
                S. 1136.
            Dec. 8, House concurred in Senate amendment.

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