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EVICTING A SERVICE MEMBER

  (a) COURT-ORDERED EVICTION-

(1) IN GENERAL- Except by court order, a landlord (or another person with paramount title) may not--

(A) evict a servicemember, or the dependents of a servicemember, during a period of military service of the servicemember, from premises--

(i) that are occupied or intended to be occupied primarily as a residence; and

(ii) for which the monthly rent does not exceed $2,400, as adjusted under paragraph (2) for years after 2003; or

(B) subject such premises to a distress during the period of military service.

(2) HOUSING PRICE INFLATION ADJUSTMENT-

(A) For calendar years beginning with 2004, the amount in effect under paragraph (1)(A)(ii) shall be increased by the housing price inflation adjustment for the calendar year involved.

(B) For purposes of this paragraph--

(i) The housing price inflation adjustment for any calendar year is the percentage change (if any) by which--

(I) the CPI housing component for November of the preceding calendar year, exceeds

(II) the CPI housing component for November of 1984.

(ii) The term `CPI housing component' means the index published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the Department of Labor known as the Consumer Price Index, All Urban Consumers, Rent of Primary Residence, U.S. City Average.

(3) PUBLICATION OF HOUSING PRICE INFLATION ADJUSTMENT- The Secretary of Defense shall cause to be published in the Federal Register each year the amount in effect under paragraph (1)(A)(ii) for that year following the housing price inflation adjustment for that year pursuant to paragraph (2). Such publication shall be made for a year not later than 60 days after such adjustment is made for that year.

(b) STAY OF EXECUTION-

(1) COURT AUTHORITY- Upon an application for eviction or distress with respect to premises covered by this section, the court may on its own motion and shall, if a request is made by or on behalf of a servicemember whose ability to pay the agreed rent is materially affected by military service--

(A) stay the proceedings for a period of 90 days, unless in the opinion of the court, justice and equity require a longer or shorter period of time; or

(B) adjust the obligation under the lease to preserve the interests of all parties.

(2) RELIEF TO LANDLORD- If a stay is granted under paragraph (1), the court may grant to the landlord (or other person with paramount title) such relief as equity may require.

(c) PENALTIES-

(1) MISDEMEANOR- Except as provided in subsection (a), a person who knowingly takes part in an eviction or distress described in subsection (a), or who knowingly attempts to do so, shall be fined as provided in title 18, United States Code, or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.

(2) PRESERVATION OF OTHER REMEDIES AND RIGHTS- The remedies and rights provided under this section are in addition to and do not preclude any remedy for wrongful conversion (or wrongful eviction) otherwise available under the law to the person claiming relief under this section, including any award for consequential and punitive damages.

(d) RENT ALLOTMENT FROM PAY OF SERVICEMEMBER- To the extent required by a court order related to property which is the subject of a court action under this section, the Secretary concerned shall make an allotment from the pay of a servicemember to satisfy the terms of such order, except that any such allotment shall be subject to regulations prescribed by the Secretary concerned establishing the maximum amount of pay of servicemembers that may be allotted under this subsection.

a) PROTECTION UPON BREACH OF CONTRACT-

(1) PROTECTION AFTER ENTERING MILITARY SERVICE- After a servicemember enters military service, a contract by the servicemember for--

(A) the purchase of real or personal property (including a motor vehicle); or

(B) the lease or bailment of such property, may not be rescinded or terminated for a breach of terms of the contract occurring before or during that person's military service, nor may the property be repossessed for such

breach without a court order.

(2) APPLICABILITY- This section applies only to a contract for which a deposit or installment has been paid by the servicemember before the servicemember enters military service.

(b) PENALTIES-

(1) MISDEMEANOR- A person who knowingly resumes possession of property in violation of subsection (a), or in violation of section 107 of this Act, or who knowingly attempts to do so, shall be fined as provided in title 18, United States Code, or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.

(2) PRESERVATION OF OTHER REMEDIES AND RIGHTS- The remedies and rights provided under this section are in addition to and do not preclude any remedy for wrongful conversion otherwise available under law to the person claiming relief under this section, including any award for consequential and punitive damages.

(c) AUTHORITY OF COURT- In a hearing based on this section, the court--

(1) may order repayment to the servicemember of all or part of the prior installments or deposits as a condition of terminating the contract and resuming possession of the property;

(2) may, on its own motion, and shall on application by a servicemember when the servicemember's ability to comply with the contract is materially affected by military service, stay the proceedings for a period of time as, in the opinion of the court, justice and equity require; or

(3) may make other disposition as is equitable to preserve the interests of all parties.