PUBLIC LAWS-CH. 88S -OCT. 17, 1940 Punishment for un- lawful eviction. Allotments of pay for rent. Installment pur- chases. Restriction on re- scinding certain con- tracts. Proviso. Modification, etc. , of contracts by mutu- al consent. Retaking property except under court ac- tion; penalty. Judicial proceedings for terminating con- tract, etc. Prior obligations se- cured by mortgage, etc. Action of court in cases of nonpayment, etc. the opinion of the court the ability of the tenant to pay the agreed rent is not materially affected by reason of such military service, stay the proceedings for not longer than three months, as provided in this Act, or it may make such other order as may be just. (3) Any person who shall knowingly take part in any eviction or distress otherwise than as provided in subsection (1) hereof shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and shall be punishable by imprisonment not to exceed one year or by fine not to exceed $1,000, or both. (4) The Secretary of War, the Secretary of the Navy, or the Secre- tary of the Treasury with respect to the Coast Guard, as the case may be, is hereby empowered, subject to such regulations as he may prescribe, to order an allotment of the pay of a person in military service in reason- able proportion to discharge the rent of premises occupied for dwelling purposes by the wife, children, or other dependents of such person. SEC. 301. (1) No person who prior to the date of approval of this Act has received, or whose assignor has received, under a contract for the purchase of real or personal property, or of lease or bailment with a view to puchase of such property, a deposit or installment of the pur- chase price from a person or from the assignor of a person who, after the date of payment of such deposit or installment, has entered military service, shall exercise any right or option under such contract to rescind or terminate the contract or resume possession of the property for nonpayment of any installment falling due during the period of such military service, except by action in a court of competent jurisdiction: Provided,That nothing contained in this section shall prevent the modi- fication, termination, or cancelation of any such contract, or prevent the repossession or retention of property purchased or received under such contract, pursuant to a mutual agreement of the parties thereto, or their assignees, if such agreement is executed in writing subsequent to the making of such contract and during or after the period of military service of the person concerned. (2) Any person who shall knowingly resume possession of prop- erty which is the subject of this section otherwise than as provided in subsection (1) hereof shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by imprisonment not to exceed one year or by fine not to exceed $1,000, or both. (3) Upon the hearing of such action the court may order the repayment of prior installments or deposits or any part thereof, as a condition of terminating the contract and resuming possession of the property, or may, in its discretion, on its own motion, and shall, except as provided in section 303, on application to it by such person in military service or some person on his behalf, order a stay of proceed- ings as provided in this Act unless, in the opinion of the court, the ability of the defendant to comply with the terms of the contract is not materially affected by reason of such service; or it may make such other disposition of the case as may be equitable to conserve the inter- ests of all parties. SEC. 302. (1) The provisions of this section shall apply only to obligations originating prior to the date of approval of this Act and secured by mortgage, trust deed, or other security in the nature of a mortgage upon real or personal property owned by a person in mili- tary service at the commencement of the period of the military serv- ice and still so owned by him. (2) In any proceeding commenced in any court during the period of military service to enforce such obligation arising out of nonpay- ment of any sum thereunder due or out of any other breach of the terms thereof occurring prior to or during the period of such service the court may, after hearing, in its discretion, on its own motion, and shall, except as provided in section 303, on application to it by such person in military service or some person on his behalf, unless in the [54 STAT.