Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden announced recently that his office is sponsoring a Delaware Military & Veterans Resource Fair on Wednesday, July 30, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Delaware State University in Dover. The free one-day event is open to active and reserve members of the United States military and Delaware National Guard, veterans and their families.
“We owe a debt of gratitude to those in uniform who have sacrificed to serve our country and protect our freedoms,” Biden said. “Our Military & Veteran’s Resource Fair is one small way we’re giving back to those who have given so much.
“At this event on July 30 in Dover, we’re bringing state and federal government agencies, non-profits and other organizations that provide programs and other services to members of the military and their families together in one place. I encourage all members of our active-duty and reserves, military veterans and their families to join us on July 30 and be connected with the many services available to them.”
The event will feature remarks by Holly Petraeus, director of the Office of Servicemember Affairs for the Federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, as well as presentations by staff from Biden’s Fraud and Family divisions, representatives from the Delaware State Housing Authority and others. The presentations will highlight the state and federal benefits and resources available to members of the armed forces and their families.
In addition, informational tables will be staffed on-site to connect attendees to a range of state resources available through these and other agencies:
• Attorney General’s Office of Foreclosure Prevention;
• Delaware Better Business Bureau;
• Parent Information Center;
• Operation Homefront;
• Military Spouse JD Network;
• Legal Services Corporation;
• Voices of War;
• Department of Veterans Affairs;
• Delaware YMCA
Petraeus’s office and other federal agencies enforce the federal Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), which provides special federal legal protections to military personnel. Dating back to the Civil War, the SCRA protects members of the military from having to defend themselves against most civil proceedings, such as foreclosure, while they are serving their country on active duty or are forced to move because of their military service. The federal SCRA also protects servicemembers who have to break leases or contracts due to military deployment.
Delaware servicemembers will soon benefit from a state version of the SCRA, which secured final passage in the General Assembly last week and was set to be signed by Gov. Jack Markell. The legislation, Senate Bill 206, championed by Biden, incorporates the federal into a state law and also expands the SCRA by extending relief to members of the Delaware National Guard who are called into active military service for the State of Delaware for a period of more than 30 consecutive days.
Examples of provisions of the federal SCRA include:
• Servicemembers cannot have default judgments entered against them because there are on active duty and civil proceedings must be stayed.
• Military servicemembers (who live off-base) cannot have their homes foreclosed on while they’re deployed on active duty, and their mortgage interest rate, if higher than 6 percent, must be lowered to 6 percent.
• The SCRA requires the stay or vacation of execution of judgments, attachments and garnishments for deployed military members.
• Military personal cannot be being charged penalties, such as fines and fees, incurred under contracts due to military service.
The Attorney General’s Military & Veterans Resource Fair will take place at DSU’s Martin Luther King Student Center, located near the main campus entrance, at 1200 North DuPont Highway, Dover. No RSVPs are necessary. Updated information about the event, including a schedule, will be posted on the Attorney General Office’s homepage at http://attorneygeneral.delaware.gov/.