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§ 533. Mortgages and trust deeds

(a) Mortgage as security
This section applies only to an obligation on real or personal property owned by a servicemember that—
(1) originated before the period of the servicemember’s military service and for which the servicemember is still obligated; and
(2) is secured by a mortgage, trust deed, or other security in the nature of a mortgage.
(b) Stay of proceedings and adjustment of obligation
In an action filed during, or within 9 months after, a servicemember’s period of military service to enforce an obligation described in subsection (a), the court may after a hearing and on its own motion and shall upon application by a servicemember when the servicemember’s ability to comply with the obligation is materially affected by military service—
(1) stay the proceedings for a period of time as justice and equity require, or
(2) adjust the obligation to preserve the interests of all parties.
(c) Sale or foreclosure
A sale, foreclosure, or seizure of property for a breach of an obligation described in subsection (a) shall not be valid if made during, or within 9 months after, the period of the servicemember’s military service except—
(1) upon a court order granted before such sale, foreclosure, or seizure with a return made and approved by the court; or
(2) if made pursuant to an agreement as provided in section 107 [section 517 of this Appendix].
(d) Misdemeanor
A person who knowingly makes or causes to be made a sale, foreclosure, or seizure of property that is prohibited by subsection (c), 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.

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