Brewster is a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Marine Corps Reserve, and was called up to active duty on three occasions between 2008 and 2011, including an overseas deployment from October of 2010 to March of 2011. During this time, Brewster failed to make the full payments owed on the mortgage on his home in California. Brewster had originally taken out the mortgage in 2007, before he was recalled to active duty service. His initial loan servicer, Sun Trust Mortgage, Inc., (“Sun Trust”) started foreclosure proceedings on December 11, 2009 by filing a Notice of Default, which was accompanied by various fees. Sun Trust rescinded the Notice of Default in August 2010, but it did not remove the associated foreclosure fees from his account. During the month of November 2010, Sun Trust transferred the servicing rights on Brewster’s mortgage to Nationstar, the appellee in this action. Nationstar similarly did not remove the fees associated with Sun Trust’s attempted foreclosure before Brewster’s filing of this suit, and it attempted to recover those fees during roughly five months of Brewster’s active-duty service, including three and a half months while Brewster was deployed overseas.
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act was passed “to enable [servicemembers] to devote their entire energy to the defense needs of the Nation.” 50 U.S.C. app. § 502(1). It accomplishes this purpose by imposing limitations on judicial proceedings that could take place while a member of the armed forces is on active duty, including insurance, taxation, loans, contract enforcement, and other civil actions. 50 U.S.C. app. § 501 et seq. These limitations are “always to be liberally construed to protect those who have been obliged to drop their own affairs to take up the burdens of the nation.” Boone v. Lightner, 319 U.S. 561, 575 (1943) (granting a stay in state trustee proceedings); see also LeMaistre v. Leffers, 333 U.S. 1, 6 (1948) (overturning a state tax sale by giving a broad construction to the SCRA in light of its “beneficient purpose” and noting that “the Act must be read with an eye friendly to those who dropped their affairs to answer their country’s call”).
Judge(s): Ronald M. Gould
Jurisdiction: U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
Related Categories: Finance / Banking , Property
|Circuit Court Judge(s)|
|Trial Court Judge(s)|
|Plaintiff Lawyer(s)||Plaintiff Law Firm(s)|
|Christopher Brewster||Brewster & Lee PC|
|Kenneth Lee||Brewster & Lee PC|
|Defendant Lawyer(s)||Defendant Law Firm(s)|
|Regina McClendon||Locke Lord LLP|
|Sally Mimms||Locke Lord LLP|
|Amicus Lawyer(s)||Amicus Law Firm(s)|
|Nathaniel Pollock||U.S. Department of Justice|