The House passed a bill late Monday to extend foreclosure relief for military service members through the end of next year.

The legislation, first introduced by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., has now cleared both chambers of Congress and was sent to President Obama for his signature.

The measure allows service members protection from foreclosure for one year after leaving active duty. That protection had expired in 2015, but the new bill extends the 12-month grace period through 2017. After that time, the foreclosure relief period will fall back to nine months.

"This bill will help ensure that servicemembers are afforded vital protection and consideration during challenging financial times," said Dan Berger, the president and chief executive of the National Association of Federal Credit Unions.

During the foreclosure relief period, the sale, foreclosure or seizure of a service member's property is illegal without a court order or agreement from the service member. The legislation also allows courts to delay proceedings for properties that service members owned before their service.

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