The warriors that fought for their country in Iraq and Afghanistan have often come back to home to wage another war – they are battling foreclosures.
One of them is Charles Pickett also known as “Chip”. He hailed from Morgan City where he grew up and then completed his graduation from Comeaux High. He was posted in Basra in Iraq. Pickett said, “We were very busy doing escort missions. And we flew indirect fire missions. We were busy as busy a unit as there was in the country at that time”.
At that time Pickett did not know that upon returning home he would be battling another front. While he was risking his life for his country and after that trying to recover from an injury he had to ward off three attempts made by his lender to foreclose on his property.
There is a federal law that provides protection for those members of the armed forces who are on active duty against foreclosures and other credit problems Pickett was victimized. He and his lawyers are wondering why many like him have been facing problems that could easily have been avoided because of this law; Congress too is wondering.
Protection is given by Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. Its clause sates that credit sanctions targeting members of the military cannot be undertaken without an order from a judge; also any personnel of the military – marine, soldier or airman has the right to a hearing. Thus it seems that although the law is there the credit system of America is not in tune with it.
In 1990 Pickett exited from the service and was engaged in a string of aviation related jobs in Colorado and Arizona. He purchased a property in Anthem, Arizona – a Phoenix suburb. Pickett knew that his income would go down significantly upon his returning to Iraq so he informed his lender, Bank of America about his deployment and asked them to work out a viable deal. The bank refused. Afterwards however he got an offer that did decrease the amount of his mortgage payment under a programme for home retention. Pickett got the green signal from his lawyer and departed for Iraq.
Pickett contends that he was current on his payments but despite this he was served with delinquency notices. Then in 2009 September when his daughter returned from school she found a foreclosure notice tagged to the door of the garage.