WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Department of Justice announced on July 6 that COPOCO Community Credit Union in Bay City, Mich. will settle allegations of illegally repossessing four servicemembers’ vehicles.

“This sends a message to financial institutions, large and small, that they must live up to their obligations to our servicemembers,” Thomas Wheeler, acting assistant attorney general, said. “They cannot use ignorance of the law as an excuse and must instead actively ensure that they comply with the law. The Justice Department is committed to vigorously protecting the rights of the men and women who bravely serve our country.”

According to allegations, COPOCO violated the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) because it failed to obtain legally required court orders before repossessing vehicles owned by protected servicemembers.

To settle the allegations, COPOCO agreed to change its business practices and compensate the affected servicemembers.

“The U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Michigan is committed to safeguarding the financial and legal rights of our servicemembers and their families,” Daniel L. Lemisch, acting United States attorney, said. “Of the many sacrifices made by our military members while they are in service to our country, losing their cars to repossession should never be one of them.”

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