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Legislators, Attorney General Seek Debt Shield for Active-Duty Troops

(L to R) Rep. Cindy Kirchhofer (R-Indianapolis), Attorney General Greg Zoeller, Indiana National Guard Adjutant General Martin Umbarger. (WIBC.com photo: Eric Berman)

National Guard troops and reservists called to active duty would gain protection from debt collectors and scammers under a bill to be introduced in next year's legislature.

A federal law passed during World War Two puts foreclosures, debt collections and other legal actions against soldiers and sailors on hold while they're on active duty. Indiana would be the latest of several states to give the same protection to National Guardsmen.

National Guard Adjutant General Martin Umbarger says Guard troops are often fresh out of school and on their own for the first time. He says they're even more vulnerable to predatory lenders than other young adults because of the financial hardships of deployments, and because their physical absence takes them away from the support networks that might steer them away from bad deals.

Attorney General Greg Zoeller notes Indiana was one of 13 states who reached a 92-million-dollar settlement last month with a consumer-credit company accused of targeting service members with deceptive credit options.

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