Blogs

22 hours 38 min ago

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act “CARES Act – the Payroll Protection Program
Brief Summary of the Payroll Protection Program Portion of the CARES ACT:
(BBB webinar 3/29/20 Jonathan Gallagher, DEO, Shelley Adday. CHRO)
How it can benefit your business:
Paycheck Protection Program “PPP”, $350B loan program for businesses.  The intention is to provide unsecured (and forgivable) loans to small businesses with the goal to keep employees on the payroll.

  • Term period is 2/15/20 through 6/30/20
  • 100% government guaranteed
  • Can be 100% forgivable if utilized for specific expenses
  • Retroactive back to 2/15/20.  If the business laid-off employees, they can be rehired with no penalty and potentially include the number of employees into the forgivable calculation.

Who can apply for the loan:

  • Any business with less than 500 employees
  • Includes sole proprietors
  • All businesses that could qualify for an SBA loan before the COVID-19 crisis

Loan Details:

  • The loan amount is the lesser of $10M or 2.5X your average monthly payroll expenses.
  • Interest is capped at 4% and payments can be deferred up to 6 – 12 months
  • No credit check, no personal guarantee
  • Must have been in business and paid employees before 2/15/20

PPP – Loan Forgiveness for funds used within the 8 weeks following the loan origination:
The loan may be forgiven UP TO 100%.  which includes:

  • Payroll costs (during the 8 weeks following the origination date)
  • can include mortgage interest on commercial properties purchased before 2/15/20
  • if renting (must have signed the lease before 2/15/20) can add the rents for the 8 weeks following the origination of the loan
  • All utility payments (during the 8 weeks following the loan origination).

PPP – Calculation for maximum loan amount:
The loan application is based on the prior 12 months:
Add together:

  • Payroll costs – wages to employees and certain independent contractors (if acting like regular employees), employee’s income cannot exceed $100,000 annually
  • employer contributions to health insurance
  • Employer contributions to retirement

Above payroll costs divide by 12 = monthly “payroll costs”
Monthly payroll costs X 2.5 = maximum loan amount
Valuation of Forgiveness of the Loan:
Valuation shall be in the immediate 8 weeks following the origination of the loan.  Assume there will be a requirement to support payments.
EIDL Loan (Economic Injury and Disaster Loan) and PPP loan
The Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (EIDL) can provide up to $2 million of financial assistance (actual loan amounts are based on amount of economic injury) to small businesses or private, non-profit organizations that suffer substantial economic injury as a result of the declared disaster, regardless of whether the applicant sustained physical damage.
You caan apply for both, but you cannot double dip, that means you cannot use both funds for the same purpose.
public service student loans
Resources:
Better Business Bureau webinar: CARES Act and Families First Cononavirus Response Act

MUSINGS FROM DIANE:
Whenever there is new law, or a new interpretation of an existing law – SLOW DOWN.  The truth is no one really knows what it means or what the consequences will be if you act.  The process is the following: new law is created (either through the legislative process or the courts), creative lawyers decide to apply the new law to certain facts, the court may or may not agree with the lawyer’s interpretation and come out with a decision that does or or does not follow the new law.  One of the parties may appeal and the case goes up to a higher court.  Years later there is a “final” decision until the law changes again.

When it comes to the new law dealing with COVID-19, no one, including the people who wrote the law, really know how that law will be interpreted and applied.  Many times you can ask the drafters of the law and they will give opposing opinions on what something means.  So, be very cautious in taking the advice from anyone, including a lawyer, how to interpret this extremely complicated law, and the others that will definitely follow.  Take is slow before acting.

The post CARES ACT – Sources and Summaries for Payroll Protection Program appeared first on Diane L. Drain - Phoenix Arizona Bankruptcy & Foreclosure Attorney.


5 days 4 hours ago

60 and over during the Pandemic – tips to stay financially healthy.
WARNINGS FROM THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION

March 30, 2020 – a reprint from article by Jennifer Leach, Association Director, Division of Consumer and Business Education, FTC.

I know, 60-year-olds. You’re not old. In fact, we’ve found that, when people think “old,” they think of someone about 10 years older than they are right now. But, because we’ve been warned about the effects of the Coronavirus on people 60+, listen up. Because scammers follow the headlines and know you might have this on your mind.
Right now, scammers are scuttling out of their dark corners to offer false hope (Home test kits! A cure!) and use fear (Your Social Security number is about to be revoked! Your loved one is in trouble!) – all to get your money or information. (None of those things are real, by the way.) They’re asking for your bank routing number to “help” you get your relief money – which is not how you’ll get it, by the way. They’re sending fake emails that look real, but those fake CDC or World Health Organization emails are trying to steal your personal information – or, if you click a link, put malware on your computer, tablet, or phone. Scammers are calling (and calling…and calling…), using illegal robocalls to pitch you the latest scammy thing. They’re texting, and they’re all over social media.
So, while you’re washing your hands and working to stay safe, here are a few ways you can help protect yourself – and those you love – from scammers.

  • Don’t be rushed. Whatever the call, email, text, or social media post is about, remember that scammers try to rush you. Legit people don’t.
  • Check it out. Before you act on something or share it – stop. Do some research. Do the facts back up the story?
  • Pass it on. If you get offered something great, or you’re worried about something alarming: talk to someone you trust before you act. What do they think?
  • Keep in touch with the FTC. Sign up for Consumer Alerts to help spot scams: ftc.gov/subscribe. And watch for the latest at ftc.gov/coronavirus.
  • Report scams to the FTC. Go to ftc.gov/complaint. Your report can help us shut the scammers down.

Want to help even more? Pass this post on. Tell a friend. And hey, let’s be careful out there.

seniors

MUSINGS FROM DIANE:
Ahh, our golden years!!  A dream of a peaceful life, time with family, the financial and physical ability to do whatever you want. Those are powerful ideals, but they come at a price. What is the price? Diligence and commitment.  The diligence to question the intentions of those who would profit from your naivete (yes, that includes family).  The commitment to follow through.  Want to ride a bike or skydive, then get in shape.  Take the time to exercise your body and mind.  Lose weight (trust me you will sleep better and feel years younger).  Move – stop sitting in front of the TV and take a walk.  Help others – volunteer in a way that is important to you.  Love children?  How about volunteering at a school or other groups that desperately need loving arms to hold a crying child.  Love crafting, sewing or knitting?  Volunteer to teach others the skills that you have. The options are limited only by your imagination, but nothing will happen unless you get up and doing something.

I would love to hear from each of you about what brought excitement to your day.

The post 60 and over in the time of COVID-19? Tips to Stay Financially Healthy. appeared first on Diane L. Drain - Phoenix Arizona Bankruptcy & Foreclosure Attorney.


5 days 4 hours ago

If you have lost your job due to the coronavirus crisis, you are likely in survival mode. Your immediate goal should be to “shelter in place” to protect your health and that of your family. Beyond that, whatever funds you have need to be allocated to food and shelter.But what about transportation? Is your vehicle at risk of repossession even in a time of national emergency? What steps can you take to protect your car or truck?Your first course of action should be to find out how your vehicle lender intends to handle what is likely to be an increase in delinquencies. If you have not done so already, visit your vehicle lender’s website to see if they have any “coronavirus” relief programs in place. Currently, for example, Ford Motor Credit, GM Financial, Toyota Financial Services, Hyundai Finance and others have plans available.Similarly, Georgia’s Own Credit Union, Delta Community Credit Union and others have COVID-19 relief programs.These lenders may ask for documentation of your hardship. If you intend to ask for a deferment, you need to follow their instructions to the letter. And realize that a deferment just means that your loan will be extended. Payments will not be forgiven. And you may be additional interest in exchange for extending your loan.Lenders who serve “higher risk” borrowers, however, may not offer much in the way of help. One such lender, who services a large number of “buy here pay here” loans says on its website: “we understand our customers may be impacted during this time. While we are currently working on a program to help impacted customers, please connect directly with your local dealership and stay in close contact with us regarding any loan payment challenges you may encounter.”You can assume that “buy here pay here” dealerships will be less accommodating. You should also assume that if your payment history has been spotty, your finance company will be less inclined to defer payments.Whatever your dealer or finance company’s intentions, you need to know where you stand.Along those lines you should not hesitate to reach out to the customer service representatives. Vehicle lenders are always concerned that a financially strapped purchaser may disappear with his/her vehicle and the economic disruption caused by the coronavirus will increase this concern. You are always better off maintaining open lines of communication with your vehicle lender.What Should I Do if my Vehicle Lender Will Not Cooperate?Even with deferments and cooperation from your vehicle lender, you will not be able to put off making payments forever. Other lenders may not work with you much at all. What is the worst case scenario?Because cars and trucks are mobile and easily moved, vehicle lenders are allowed by law to use “self help” or repossession to protect their investments. Under Georgia law, a lender can repossess without warning the minute you go into default on your loan.Your installment contract will define what constitutes a “default” – usually loans go into default if they are seven to fourteen days late, although some contracts only look for one day late.Generally speaking the top tier lenders like General Motors, Ford, Toyota, Hyundai, and credit unions like Georgia’s Own or Delta Community will try to contact you about your missed payment before sending out the repossession agent.Third tier lenders and “buy here pay here” dealers will usually skip the notification and move right into repossession.Under Georgia law, a repossession agent cannot breach the peace to pick up a vehicle. This means that he cannot break into your garage or engage in a street brawl to pick up your car. This is why most repossessions occur in the middle of the night or mid-day in your work parking lot.If you take action to block the repossession agent, you could find yourself facing a criminal charge for theft so hiding your vehicle or sitting in the car to stop the repossession is not a good solution.If you conclude that a repossession is inevitable, you should remove your personal property from your car or truck as these items tend to disappear when you vehicle is seized.Once your vehicle is taken it will be stored at an impound lot. Your lender cannot sell your vehicle without first giving you an opportunity to redeem it. By law, your lender must send you a “10 day letter” in which you are given 10 days to pay the balance in full plus costs to get your vehicle back. Once 10 days pass, the finance company is allowed to see your car or truck at auction and your ownership interests cease at that time.Once the vehicle is sold, your lender will apply the proceeds against the remaining balance due under your contract. In many cases the auction price is insufficient to pay off the loan balance – the remaining balance due is called a deficiency claim. Your lender can sue you for this deficiency balance or sell the deficiency account to a debt buyer who can pursue you to collect this debt.We often see large deficiency balances in cases where a vehicle was financed over a long period of time (5 or 6 years) or when someone traded in one vehicle for another rolled the balance due from the first vehicle into the contract for the second.Can Bankruptcy Help?Bankruptcy can stop a repossession. It can also stop the sale of your vehicle. Once your vehicle is sold at auction, however, bankruptcy will not help.If you want to keep your vehicle, Chapter 13 bankruptcy creates a payment plan in which you basically refinance your loan. The idea behind Chapter 13 is that you need a vehicle to get to and from work and that your vehicle is essential to your financial rehabilitation.Chapter 7 can stop a repossession temporarily but it is not designed to help you refinance and keep your vehicle. Chapter 7 will wipe out a deficiency claim.Should You File Bankruptcy if You are Temporarily Out of Work?Generally speaking, I am not a fan of filing bankruptcy when you are facing a temporary financial setback. Bankruptcy assumes a certain level of stability and consistency. If you file bankruptcy – either a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 – while the economy is on full lockdown, you may have to amend or even dismiss in a month or two if you are suddenly re-employed with overtime.That being said if you are going to look at bankruptcy now, I would be much more inclined to consider Chapter 7 as opposed to Chapter 13.Bankruptcy is an imperfect remedy but it can be appropriate to stop a bad situation from getting worse. Susan Blum and I have represented thousands of honest, hardworking men and women in Atlanta area bankruptcy cases and we’re happy to answer your questions as well.Call us or email us to schedule a free consultation by phone or Skype. We do ask that you fill our brief two-page questionnaire before our virtual meeting so that we can offer you the best advice.The post How to Protect Yourself from Vehicle Repossession In Case of Coronavirus Layoff appeared first on theBKBlog.


6 days 4 hours ago

$2 Trillion Ear-marked to Help Americans Effected by the Virus, but the Cost Will Far Exceed the Benefit
Coronavirus Stimulus Package F.A.Q.: Checks, Unemployment and More
(summary from New York Times, March 27, 2020, plus other resources).
virusOn March 27, 2020, the President signed a $2 trillion economic relief plan to offer assistance to American households affected by the coronavirus pandemic. This plan includes stimulus payments to individuals, expanded unemployment coverage, student loan changes, different retirement account rules and more.
This summary offers answers to many questions, but please note this is a changing environment and answers may change over time.  The answers below are clips from the full answers in the New York Times article.  I recommend you read the entire article and watch for updates.
Stimulus Payments:

Most adults will get $1,200, although some would get less. For every qualifying child age 16 or under, the payment will be an additional $500.
How many payments will there be? one
How do I know if I will get the full amount? It depends on your income, if you have children, no one claims you as a dependent and have a social security number.  For instance, a married couple with no children earning $150,000 or less will receive a total of $2,400.

virusDo college students get anything? No if someone claims them as a dependent on a tax return.
What year’s income should I be looking at? 2019 if you already filed a return, otherwise use 2018.
What if my recent income made me ineligible, but I anticipate being eligible because of a loss of income in 2020? Do I get a payment? No.

Will I have to apply to receive a payment? No.
When will the payment arrive? Supposedly in three weeks (bur I would not assume this is accurate).
If my payment doesn’t come soon, how can I be sure that it wasn’t misdirected? You will get notice in the mail a few weeks after your payment was sent.
What if I haven’t filed tax returns recently? Will that affect my ability to receive a payment? Perhaps, so file your returns immediately.
Will most people who are receiving Social Security retirement and disability payments each month also get a stimulus payment? Yes.
Will eligible unemployed people get these stimulus payments? Veterans? Yes and yes.
Will U.S. citizens living abroad get a payment? Yes, with some requirements.
Do I have to pay income taxes on the amount of my payment? No.

If my income tax refunds are currently being garnished because of a student loan default, will this payment be garnished as well? No.
Unemployment Benefits
virusWho will be covered by the expanded program? Probably anyone who is unemployed, partly unemployed or cannot work because of coronavirus reasons.
How much will I receive? It depends on your state. Under the plan, eligible workers will get an extra $600 per week on top of their state benefit.

Are gig workers, freelancers and independent contractors covered? Yes, self-employed people are newly eligible for unemployment benefits.
What if I’m a part-time worker who lost my job because of a coronavirus reason, but my state doesn’t cover part-time workers? Am I still eligible? Yes, but the benefit amount and how long benefits will last depend on your state.
What if I have Covid-19 or need to care for a family member who has it? You are covered, but with certain requirements.
What if my child’s school or day care shut down? You are covered if you rely on facility to care for a child, elderly parent or another household member so that you can work — and that facility has been shut down because of coronavirus.
What if I’ve been advised by a health care provider to quarantine myself because of exposure to coronavirus? And what about broader orders to stay home? People who must self-quarantine are covered.
I was about to start a new job and now can’t get there because of an outbreak. You are covered.
I had to quit my job as a direct result of coronavirus. Would I be eligible to apply for benefits? It depends on the circumstances.
My employer shut down my workplace because of coronavirus. Am I eligible? Yes.

The breadwinner of my household has died as a result of coronavirus. I relied on that person for income, and I’m not working. Is that covered? Yes.
Whom does the bill leave out? Workers who can work from home, and have paid sick leave or paid family leave are not covered.
How long will the payments last? It depends on the state. The bill provides an additional 13 week on top of the time the state offers. The extra $600 payment will last for up to four months, covering weeks of unemployment ending July 31.
How long would the broader program last? Jan. 27, 2020, and through Dec. 31, 2020.
I’m already receiving unemployment benefits. Will I receive any help? Yes, your state-level benefits will still be extended by 13 weeks, plus you will also receive the extra $600 weekly from the federal government.
My unemployment recently ran out — could I sign up again? Yes, everyone gets at least another 13 weeks, along with the extra $600 payment.
Will this income disqualify me from any other programs? Perhaps.
How long will I need to wait for benefits? States were encouraged to waive the one-week waiting period, but right now are very short of staff.

Student Loans:
Student LoansThe federal government has already waived two months of payments and interest for many federal student loan borrowers. Is there a bigger break now with the new bill? Yes. Until Sept. 30, there will be automatic payment suspensions for any student loan held by the federal government. Check your account online.
How do I know if my loan is eligible? You are eligible if you have a federal loan in the past 10 years. According to the Institute for College Access & Success, 90 percent of loans (in dollar terms) will be eligible.
But, older loans and private loans are not eligible, but may offer their own assistance programs.

After August 1, watch for notices regarding federal loans and possible enrollment in an income-driven repayment plan.
Will my loan servicer charge me interest during the six-month period? The bill says that interest “shall not accrue” on the loan during the suspension period.  Once the suspension period is over check your loan – servicer errors are common.
Will the six-month suspension cost me money, since I’m trying to qualify for the public service loan forgiveness program by making 120 monthly payments? No. Your payment count will still go up by one payment each month during the six-month suspension, even though you are not making the payments. This is true for all forgiveness or loan-rehabilitation programs.
Is wage or tax refund garnishment that resulted from being behind on my loan payments suspended during this six-month period? Yes.

Are there changes to the rules if my employer repays some of my student loans? Yes, see the article for an expanded explanation.
Retirement Accounts
virusWhich retirement account rules are suspended? For 2020, no one will have to take a required minimum distribution from any individual retirement accounts or workplace retirement savings plans, like a 401(k).
What if I have to take money out of my I.R.A. or workplace retirement plan early? You can withdraw up to $100,000 this year without the usual 10 percent penalty, as long as it’s because of the outbreak. See the article for more information.
Can I still borrow from my 401(k) or other workplace retirement plan? Yes, and you can take out twice the usual amount. For 180 days after the bill passes, with certification that you’ve been affected by the pandemic, you’ll be able to take out a loan of up to $100,000. Usually you can’t take out more than half your balance, but that rule is suspended.
Charitable Contributions
I want to help people who are suffering from the pandemic. Does the bill do anything about charitable donations? Yes, up to $300 in annual charitable contributions (if you don’t itemize deductions.
I am lucky to have substantial wealth, and I want to give more to charity than I usually do. Have the limits on charitable deductions changed? Yes, up to 100 percent against 2020 adjusted gross income.See article for more information (or your CPA).

Other Features of the Bill
How does the aid for small businesses and nonprofits work? You may be eligible for forgivable loans, read more in a separate article or a one-page summary.
See also: Practical and helpful guide for small business owners, prepared by the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship.  The Guide provides information about the new small business assistance programs in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”).
Will there be damage to my credit report if I take advantage of any virus-related payment relief, including the student loan suspension? No. Beginning on Jan. 31 to 120 days after the end of the national emergency declaration, lenders and others should mark your credit file as current, even if you take advantage of payment modifications.
virusIs there any relief for renters in the bill? Yes. The bill puts a temporary, nationwide eviction moratorium in place for any renters whose landlords have mortgages backed or owned by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and other federal entities. This will last for 120 days after the bill passes, and landlords also can’t charge any fees or penalties for nonpayment of rent.
Does this bill change any rules for health savings accounts and health care flexible spending accounts? Yes, menstrual products are now eligible for reimbursement.
Did the legislation make it illegal for any internet provider to cut off service to an individual or small business that can’t pay its bills? No.
Did the legislation make it illegal for utility providers to cut off service? No.

stimulus checks

SURVIVING DEBT – From the National Consumer Law Center (excellent resource and free during the pandemic).

MUSINGS FROM DIANE:
I have to ask – how many of you believe the current president and congress are looking out for us?  The $2 TRILLION dollar stimulus will put $1,200 in each qualified adult’s pocket, plus some unemployment for a few.  The U.S. Census Bureau estimates there are 247,813,910 adults living in the US. The current population of the United States of America is 330,097,117 as of Sunday, January 12, 2020, based on Worldometer elaboration of the latest United Nations data. If we subtract the number of adults (247,813,910) that leaves 82,283,207 children.  If each adult receives $1,200 that equals $297,376,692,000.  If each child receives $500 that equals $41,141,603,500.  The total of adult and child payout is $338,518,295,500 (assuming every adult qualifies for the funds, which many will not because of certain restrictions).  2 trillion is $2,000,000,000,000.  That leaves $1,661,481,704,500, which goes where?  Of course, there is an unknown amount that will be paid for federal unemployment, family leave, sick leave, student loans (but is this really money or a credit?), but where is the rest going?

To say ‘$2 trillion’ does not shock us as much as seeing $2,000,000,000,000.00.  If they wrote out $2 trillion in their press releases this situation would have been brought to a crashing stop before it ever got started. It goes without saying that you and I cannot run our households or businesses this way.

So, what is their motivation?  That’s easy – the 2020 elections. This is really a way to buy votes.  The politicians can boast that they “put money in your pocket”.  In other words, they bought your vote for $1,200, plus a financial burden that will go for several decades.  How is this going to be covered?  TAXES!!!
Don’t get me wrong, there are many people that this short-term benefit will make the difference between eating or starving, having a place to live or being on the street. For those, we should help them with the basic life necessities.  My concern is that this was crammed through at a time when everyone is scared about COVID-19, which left us vulnerable.

The post Surviving the Pandemic – What is the Relief Plan? Will it Cost Us Our Financial Future? appeared first on Diane L. Drain - Phoenix Arizona Bankruptcy & Foreclosure Attorney.


6 days 4 hours ago

COVID-19 and Changing Eviction Policies Around the Nation
How federal and local agencies are trying to help tenants affected by the COVID-19 virus.
evictionReprint from Eviction Law, March 19, 2020.  As the world seeks to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, policymakers across the U.S. are responding to the heightened insecurity so many face.
Click on the READ MORE link below for a new table details where municipalities, states, and the federal government have taken action. The authors promise to continually update the table as they build a larger map to house this information and welcome tips regarding what your community is putting into place.
Policymakers across America are implementing a wide range of supports, from placing a moratorium on all evictions, to more limited moratoriums for residents who can demonstrate lost wages due to coronavirus.
For additional housing support resources, please visit JustShelter.org.
evictionClick ‘Read More’ to see the table (remember this information could and will change at any time).

MUSINGS FROM DIANE:

eviction
Be very careful about anyone who offers to help with your legal situation.  The consequences of any dramatic event, like the COVID-19 virus, are the creation of thousands of scams intended for only one purpose – STEALING YOUR MONEY.  Prior to the Internet we worried about local scams, but now the scams are coming from the other side of the world.  Do your homework.  Rely on government sites, not on the press (I cannot tell you how many times I have been misquoted by the press).  Always double-check sources when you best friend tells you about a quick fix.  Again, be very careful out there.

Remember to wash your hands often.

How Can I Help You?
The post Eviction Postponed for Many Tenants Due to COVID-19 appeared first on Diane L. Drain - Phoenix Arizona Bankruptcy & Foreclosure Attorney.


1 week 7 hours ago

There are so few travelers left at Kennedy International Airport, one of the world’s busiest airfields, that taxis wait six hours or more for a single passenger.

Taxi companies can no longer find enough drivers for their fleets because there is so little business.

And some cabdrivers are so fearful of being exposed to the coronavirus they are staying home with no way to pay mounting bills.

All this at a time when many of New York City’s taxi owners are already in financial ruin after taking out reckless loans to buy medallions — city-issued permits required to own a yellow cab — at artificially inflated prices, with the reassurance of the city’s taxi commission of their high value.

Their industry has increasingly lost riders to the boom in Uber, Lyft and ride-app services, and been shaken by a spate of suicides by desperate taxi owners and for-hire drivers.

Now taxi owners and drivers who were barely holding on said their livelihood had evaporated as the city all but shut down to try to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

“When you have to wait six or seven hours to get one passenger, it’s really bad,” said Mario Darius, 66, a taxi owner who was camped out at Kennedy Airport after picking up just three fares in three days.

Though citywide taxi ridership numbers for March are not yet available, some taxi companies, cab owners and drivers said their rides had plunged by two-thirds or more.

The city’s largest taxi group, the Metropolitan Taxicab Board of Trade, which represents the owners of 5,500 yellow cabs, said rides had dropped nearly 91 percent to a total of 20,596 trips over this past Friday, Saturday and Sunday. That is compared with 217,540 total trips for the same three days three weeks ago.


4 days 22 hours ago

I’m required to give you three legal disclosures Now that most consultations are by phone and zoom, I’m posting these on my webpage.  The first disclosure This first disclosure tell you that you have four choices under the bankruptcy law. Chapter 12 is only for farmers, and fisherman. I’ve never done a farmer Chapter 11 […]
The post Required fine print notices by Robert Weed appeared first on Northern VA Bankruptcy Lawyer Robert Weed - .


1 week 1 day ago

I’m required to give you three legal disclosures Now that most consultations are by phone and zoom, I’m posting these on my webpage.  The first disclosure This first disclosure tell you that you have four choices under the bankruptcy law. Chapter 12 is only for farmers, and fisherman. I’ve never done a farmer Chapter 11 […]
The post Required fine print notices by Robert Weed appeared first on Robert Weed - .


1 week 2 days ago

Protect yourself financially from the impact of the coronavirus
finances and COVID-19By CFPB – MAR 16, 2020 (the following is a reprint from Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s website)

Federal, state, and local governments are working to respond to the growing public health threat of coronavirus, or COVID-19. As communities across the country are dealing with an increase in the number of reported cases, many areas may be impacted by the temporary closure of businesses, schools and other public facilities or events, and in some cases, quarantines. While these actions are necessary steps to help reduce exposures, it may bring financial uncertainty for many people who could experience a loss of income due to illness or workplace closures.

For updates about the virus and how to stay safe visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s coronavirus webpage.

As you plan for the potential impact of the coronavirus, there are a number of steps that you can take to help protect yourself or a loved one financially, both in the short and long term.
Keep reading for steps to take in the following situations:

Steps to take if you have trouble paying your bills or meeting other financial obligations

If you have trouble paying your bills, or loans, or paying on time, there may be a number of options to help, especially if you reach out early to your lenders or creditors.
Contact your lenders and loan servicers
If you’re not able to pay your bills on time, contact your lenders and servicers to let them know about your situation. Being behind on your payments can have a lasting impact on your credit. The CFPB and other financial regulators have encouraged financial institutions to work with their customers to meet their community needs.
Credit card companies and lenders may be able to offer you a number of options to help you. This could include waiving certain fees like ATM, overpayments, and late fees, as well as allowing you to delay, adjust, or skip some payments.
When contacting your lenders, be prepared to explain:

  • Your situation
  • How much you can afford to pay
  • When you’re likely to be able to restart regular payments
  • In the case of mortgages, be prepared to discuss your income, expenses and assets

If you are having trouble paying our auto loan payments your lender may have options that will help. Our tips include changing the date of your payment, requesting a payment plan, and asking for a payment extension.
If you have student loans, you may qualify for a delayed or reduced payment program. Just remember, even though you don’t need to make payments now, interest will continue to accrue, and you will have to make up these amounts eventually. Contact your student loan servicer to find out more about your options. If you have a federal student loan, also ask your servicer about alternative repayment plans.

Work with housing and credit counselors to understand your options
These trained professionals provide advice for little or no cost, and they will work with you to discuss your situation, evaluate options, and even help you negotiate with your lenders and servicers.

Warning: If you’re considering working with a debt settlement company to address your debts, be skeptical of any company that promises to do it for an upfront fee.
Contact debt collectors
If you currently have a debt in collections, you can work with collectors to identify a realistic repayment plan. The Bureau offers a number of resources for contacting and negotiating with debt collection companies.
Check your credit reports
If you’re working with lenders on payment assistance programs or forbearance, routinely check your credit reports to make sure the statements are accurate and that any delinquencies have not been improperly reported. Your credit reports and scores play an important role in your future financial opportunities.

What to do if you lose your income

State and local governments vary in the programs and offerings to help those financially impacted by the coronavirus.
You can look to your state’s unemployment policies

to identify current options for benefits. Your state’s public health office
may also have information.
Older adults may be impacted by the coronavirus and quarantine procedures in different ways than the general public. There may be government benefits available to older adults who need financial help. Visit benefitscheckup.org

for more information and to see if you qualify for any state or local assistance.

Be aware of potential scam attempts

Scammers look for opportunities to take advantage of the vulnerable, especially during times of emergencies or natural disasters. Be cautious of emails, texts, or social media posts that may be selling fake products or information about emerging coronavirus cases.
The Federal Trade Commission has tips to protect yourself from possible coronavirus-related scams

. The FTC and the Food and Drug Administration have also cautioned consumers to be on the look-out for sellers of unapproved and misbranded products
, claiming they can treat or prevent coronavirus.
Learn more about how to prevent, recognize, and report fraud and scams.
Protecting Older Adults
Scammers often target older adults because they may have more assets or regular income in the form of retirement benefits or savings and because they’re often more polite and trusting than other age groups. As older adults are at a higher risk
for serious illness they may also be isolating themselves.
Social isolation is already an issue for older adults and can lead to a host of issues, including an increased likelihood of falling for scams due to a need to connect to others. This issue could grow in response to virus prevention tactics like social distancing and quarantines. Phone calls and video chats can help older adults and their families connect during this period where health officials encourage limiting contact.
Older adults, as well as their family members should be aware of common types of scams, as well as how to prevent and report them. Our Money Smart for Older Adults Resource guide can help.
Need more help
If you have a problem with a financial product or service, try reaching out to the company first. Companies can usually answer questions unique to your situation and more specific to the products and services they offer. We can also help you connect with the company if you have a complaint. You can submit online or by calling (855) 411-2372. Companies generally respond within 15 days. The company may contact you directly to confirm information provided in your complaint before it responds. In some cases, the company will let you know their response is in progress and will provide a final response within 60 days.
COVID-19

MUSINGS FROM DIANE:
finances and COVID-19Arizona man dies from Chloroquine overdoes after listening to Trump coronavirus press conference.
I want to warn everyone that listening to those who benefit by our ignorance are asking for trouble.  Avoid anyone who sells a ‘magic potion’ to protect you from the virus, or a way to avoid paying your mortgage and still keep your home.

Of course, there are resources (see the article above for legitimate links to several). Trust only the sources that will not financial benefit if you follow their advice and that are qualified to give that advice.  That does not mean every government resource is trustworthy, but use your common sense and trust qualified doctors for your medical advice.

The post How to Protect Yourself Financially During COVID-19 Crisis appeared first on Diane L. Drain - Phoenix Arizona Bankruptcy & Foreclosure Attorney.


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