WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Department of Justice announced Feb. 22 that BMW Financial Services N.A. (BMW SF) will pay more than $2 million after allegations of violating the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA).
“We ask a great deal of those who serve our nation, including asking them to drop their affairs to deploy or serve in a new location, sometimes at a moment’s notice,” said John Gore, acting assistant attorney general of the Civil Rights Division, in a statement. “Our men and women in uniform should be able to devote their entire energy to their service and defense of our nation, and the Justice Department is committed to protecting these rights when their obligations to the American people force them to change their plans.”
According to allegations, BMW FS failed to refund certain lease payments to 492 servicemembers who had terminated the leases on their motor vehicles early. The Justice Department says these terminations were done lawfully, because the SCRA allows servicemembers to terminate leases early if they are called to military duty.
“The men and women who serve in the armed forces have made enormous sacrifices while selflessly protecting our nation from danger,” said U.S. attorney Craig Carpenito in a statement. “We must honor their sacrifice by ensuring that their rights are protected when duty calls for their relocation or deployment overseas. Through this agreement, we are pleased that hundreds of service members will be compensated for the damages they suffered when they were not refunded prepaid car lease payments after they were deployed.”