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6 days 10 hours ago

Postponement of Arizona Eviction Actions for 120 Days if Effected by COVID-19
Executive Order, 2020-14 – Postponement of Eviction Actions for 120 days, under certain circumstances.

eviction
NOW, THEREFORE  I, Douglas A. Ducey, Governor of the State of Arizona, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of this state, hereby order as follows:
A. Unless  a court determines  on motion of the parties that enforcement is necessary in the interest of justice or is in accordance  with A.R.S. 33-1368(A), pursuant to A.R.S. §§ 26-303 et al,  36-787, all Arizona Peace Officer Standards  and Training Board certified law  enforcement  officers  and  any person  subject to the jurisdiction  of the  Constable Ethics Standards  and Training Board,  shall temporarily  delay enforcement  of eviction action orders for residential premises when one of the following circumstances exist and are documented to the landlord or property owner.

    1. The   individual   is  required   to  be  quarantined   based  on  their  diagnosis  of COVID-19.
    2. The  individual  is ordered  by a licensed  medical professional  to  self-quarantine based  on their demonstration of symptoms as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    3. The individual is required to be quarantined based on someone in the home being diagnosed with COVID-19.
    4. The individual  demonstrates  that they have a health condition, as defined by the Centers  for  Disease Control and Prevention,  that  makes  them  more at risk for COVID-19 than the average person.
    5. The  individual  suffered  a substantial loss of income resulting  from COVID-19, including:
      • Job loss;
      • Reduction in compensation;
      • Closure of place of employment;
      • Obligation to be absent from work to care for  a home-bound school-age child; or
      • Other pertinent circumstances.

B.  If a tenant, lessee or resident is suffering any of the above circumstances and seeks relief from or delay in eviction, they shall notify the landlord or property owner in writing with any available  supporting documentation  of their temporary  financial hardship or state of quarantine as a result of COVID-19 and acknowledge that contractual terms of the lease remain in effect.
C.  A landlord  shall  not  interpret  a health  and  safety  provision of a contract  to  include COVID-19 as a reason for termination of a lease or rental agreement; nor shall a landlord terminate a lease or rental agreement solely based on information provided by the tenant to satisfy a notice requirement under paragraph 2.
D.  No provision contained in  this Executive Order shall be construed  as relieving  any individual  of the  obligation to pay rent or comply with any other obligation that an individual may have under a tenancy.
E.  This Executive Order shall remain in effect for 120 days.
Signed March 24, 2020, Douglas A. Ducey, Governor
eviction

MUSINGS FROM DIANE:
evictionPlease be very careful when interpreting any law or policy.  If you read this Executive Order closely you will see there are specifics qualifications that apply in order to postpone an eviction.  It is also confusing whether this is an Order to the enforcers of eviction actions (such as the Sheriff’s Office) not execute on the eviction order, or is it instructions to the judges not to enter eviction orders, or is it a limitation on the landlords.  Landlords are going to fight this hard because, in their minds and pocketbooks, they are forced to give the tenant a free place to live for four months (that is not the intent of the Order, but it may be the consequence).  There will certainly be situations where this Order is appropriate, but there will be hundreds or thousands who take advantage of this Order and the confusion it will most certainly cause.

The post Arizona Evictions Postponed 120 Days for Tenants – COVID-19 appeared first on Diane L. Drain - Phoenix Arizona Bankruptcy & Foreclosure Attorney.


6 days 16 hours ago

Recently I received an email from a woman who filed bankruptcy several years ago and who recently discovered that her lawyer had not requested or filed a reaffirmation agreement. She has been current on her mortgage before, during and after her bankruptcy but because there was no reaffirmation agreement filed, the mortgage lender is not reporting her on-time payments to the credit bureaus.She would like to rebuild her credit and believes, correctly, that on-time mortgage payments would be a big help to improving her credit score. However, her case has been closed for almost three years and she doesn’t know if she has any options.She saw one of my videos where I suggested that refinancing her mortgage could be an option but she is concerned about “rocking the boat” with her mortgage company and possibly losing her house to foreclosure.She is asking me what she should do.I replied by noting that I practice bankruptcy law in the Northern District of Georgia and that while bankruptcy is a federal law, there are state law components as well as legal precedent that applies in her federal court circuit. Further, I pointed out that every bankruptcy court has local rules and customs and that she should reach out to a bankruptcy lawyer in her jurisdiction for advice specific to her case.I can speak generally to this problem as I have seen it come up here in the Northern District of Georgia and I suspect that my experiences are most likely similar to those of lawyers and debtors elsewhere in the country.First, what has happened here is not that unusual. While the language of the bankruptcy law is designed to make a Chapter 7 debtor decide to either formally reaffirm a secured debt or to surrender the collateral, as a practical matter, many Chapter 7 debtors choose the “stay and pay” option.This is the case because reaffirmation agreements in Chapter 7 have become much more complicated than they were prior to 2005 when Congress overhauled the Bankruptcy Code. Since that time if I have a client who wants to reaffirm a secured debt, I, as the attorney, have to sign the reaffirmation agreement and certify that I have reviewed my client’s budget and that I believe that reaffirmation is in my client’s best interest.Congress added this attorney certification requirement to make attorneys more responsible for the decisions of their clients. In theory, this means that a debtor would have a cause of action against his lawyer for improper advice if it turned out later that the debtor really could not afford to reaffirm.Understand that when you reaffirm a debt you are basically removing bankruptcy protection and restores personal liability for a debt. So in the case of a mortgage, if a debtor reaffirms her mortgage debt or auto loan, and later defaults, the creditor can file a lawsuit against the debtor to pursue a deficiency balance.By contrast, if you do not reaffirm a secured debt like a mortgage or vehicle loan, the lender still has a secured claim against the property but has no right to pursue the debtor individually for a deficiency judgment.The tradeoff, as the woman who emailed me has discovered, is that if you do not reaffirm your personal obligation to pay a debt, all those payments you make post bankruptcy will not appear on your credit report.As a practical matter, I am not aware of any case since 2005 where a lawyer got sued for offering bad advice for recommending or certifying a reaffirmation agreement. Still, that possibility exists and many lawyers see no reason to take any chances.Perhaps my emailer’s attorney had some concerns about her ability to repay and did not pursue a reaffirmation on that account. Of course if this is the case the attorney should have been more up front with his client.As an aside, this potential for being held financially responsible for a client’s decision to reaffirm is part of the reason why the cost of bankruptcy has gone up so much. You can thank Congress for thus unnecessary complication.So, what should someone like my emailer do?One option would be file a motion to reopen her bankruptcy case for the purpose of obtaining and filing a reaffirmation agreement. This is an imperfect solution because (1) the bankruptcy judge may not agree to a reopening; and (2) even if she can reopen her case, the mortgage lender may not want to take the time or make the effort to prepare and process a reaffirmation agreement. I can also tell you that it can be very difficult to try to explain to a mortgage company bankruptcy clerk why they should cooperate with this process can be challenging at best.A second option would be to refinance the loan with another lender to end up with a loan that is both secured by the real estate and by the debtor/borrower’ promissory note. Adding personal liability to the arrangement would result in positive credit references.My emailer had expressed concern about asking her current lender to refinance – might that trigger a foreclosure? My feeling is that a borrower who is current would not be at risk but to be safe, why not reach out to another mortgage lender or to a mortgage broker to find an uninvolved lender to process a refinance?Beyond reopening or refinancing, I am not aware of any other options. In my experience debtors have not had problems selling homes when there was no reaffirmation, and I have also found that many Chapter 7 debtors are able to improve their credit scores without a reaffirmation.In sum, I don’t know that my emailer’s situation will create too many problems for her financially so keeping things as they are would not be the worst thing. Otherwise I would suggest that she look into refinancing her mortgage with a new lender – that may solve her problem without risking anything with the current mortgage company.The post What Can You Do if Your Lawyer Failed to Ask for a Reaffirmation Agreement from Your Mortgage Company? appeared first on theBKBlog.


6 days 19 hours ago

Coronavirus Decimates N.Y.C. Taxi Industry: ‘The Worst It’s Ever Been’
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.

THE LATESTRead our live coverage of the coronavirus outbreak in the New York area.
“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.

Latest Updates: Coronavirus Outbreak in New York
White House emphasizes how hard New York is being hit.
New York police report a drop in crime and a rise in infection among officers.
Governor Cuomo becomes the politician of the moment.
See more updates
Updated 15m ago
More live coverage: Global Markets U.S.
The New York Taxi Workers Alliance, which represents about 21,000 taxi and ride-app drivers, said a detailed survey of seven members who are taxi drivers found they earned an average of $368 — not including expenses, gas or taxes — from March 15 to March 21, a 71 percent drop from $1,260 two weeks earlier.

Bhairavi Desai, the alliance’s executive director, said it had received calls from dozens of taxi drivers who can no longer afford to pay for necessities like groceries and medicine.

ImageSome drivers have seen the number of rides drop by more than 90 percent.
Some drivers have seen the number of rides drop by more than 90 percent. Credit...Chang W. Lee/The New York Times
“They are facing immediate loss of income when they have no savings to fall back on and an uncertain future as to when the economy will begin to recover," she said. “It’s devastating. I thought we had hit a low point already.”

Across the country, taxi and ride-app drivers have seen their business all but disappear in cities like San Francisco, where people have been ordered to shelter in place, as well as other communities, including Chicago, Philadelphia, and Washington.

Taxi owners need immediate help to survive, Ms. Desai said, including making interest-free city loans available and requiring lenders to partially forgive loans for medallions and temporarily suspend collection of loan payments.

And she urged that state unemployment benefits be extended to taxi drivers, who are considered independent contractors and do not qualify.

A spokesman for New York City’s Taxi and Limousine Commission, which regulates the for-hire driving industry, said officials were working with the taxi industry and government agencies “on a number of supportive measures” but declined to give any details, saying discussions were ongoing.

20-Somethings Now Realizing That They Can Get Coronavirus, TooMarch 23, 2020

Density Is New York City’s Big ‘Enemy’ in the Coronavirus FightMarch 23, 2020

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo was seeking federal disaster assistance that would provide unemployment benefits to contract workers, including taxi drivers.

The City Council speaker, Corey Johnson, a Democrat who is running for mayor, has proposed a $12 billion relief plan for businesses and workers impacted by the coronavirus — which would cover for-hire drivers. The plan includes expanded unemployment benefits and an immediate payout of $550 to every adult and $275 to every child.

“This crisis is unlike anything we’ve ever seen before,” said Mr. Johnson, who has led recent efforts to help the ailing taxi industry. “Every New Yorker is struggling, and for-hire vehicle drivers are among the hardest hit.”

A sample pool of 5,533 for-hire drivers in New York City — most of whom work for Uber and other ride apps — found that they drove significantly fewer hours and miles, according to Nexar, a software company that analyzes data from its network of smart dashboard cameras.

On March 18, they drove an average of 3 hours and 35 minutes, down 39 percent from 5 hours and 50 minutes on a typical Wednesday. They also covered an average of 48 miles, a 32 percent drop from 71 miles.

“This is so massive and so sudden, it’s a shock to the system,” said Eran Shir, Nexar’s co-founder and chief executive officer, who has seen similar drops in other cities. “We’ve never seen anything like that.”

Uber and Lyft declined to release their ride numbers in New York.

But Uber’s chief executive officer, Dara Khosrowshahi, said in a March 19 call with investors that bookings for rides in Seattle and other hard-hit areas had fallen by as much as 60 to 70 percent.

New York City has about 200,000 for-hire drivers licensed by the Taxi and Limousine Commission. The drivers are issued a universal license that allows them to drive yellow taxis, which are capped at nearly 13,600 by the city, and for ride-app services.

The commission, which tracks taxi ridership numbers, has only collected data through January, well before coronavirus reached New York.

Michael Woloz, a longtime taxi industry consultant, said taxi garages had stayed open through some of the city’s worst crises — including the Sept. 11 terror attacks and Hurricane Sandy — but were reeling from the coronavirus fallout.

Many garages, he said, were taking extraordinary steps to get their taxis out on the streets, including reducing leasing fees for drivers by as much as two-thirds.

Other garages were waiving leasing fees altogether, and instead waiting until the end of drivers’ shifts to see if there was any profit to split.

“Right now, it’s the worst it’s ever been,” Mr. Woloz said.

At Kennedy Airport, taxi drivers are stuck in a central holding area for hours before finally being dispatched to pick up passengers at the terminals.

The other day, dozens of taxis were lined up, with some drivers talking on their cellphones to pass the time while others leaned back for a nap.

Edrice Ulysses, 57, of Brooklyn, pounded on his steering wheel in frustration. “Every day one fare,” he said. ”Eight hours, nine hours, ten hours, one fare.”

Marc Petit-Homme, 54, a yellow taxi driver for nearly three decades, said the airport was so slow one day that he finally gave up and drove to Manhattan looking for passengers.

But over five hours, he made just $49 — normally, it would be five or 10 times that much.

So the next day, he was back at the airport. Waiting. “The last two weeks, we suffer,” said Mr. Petit-Homme, as he paced nervously beside his taxi.

Many taxi drivers said their financial worries were compounded by fears of catching the virus and passing it on to their families.

Nino Hervias, a taxi owner who is 61 and had pneumonia last year, has not driven his taxi since March 17.

Mr. Hervias, who has a loan of more than half-a-million dollars on his medallion, said he cannot make the monthly payments on that or on the mortgage on his family’s home in New Jersey, or even cover their everyday living expenses.

“We have food for another two days,’’ he said.

Other taxi owners and drivers are taking their chances, armed with hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes.

Wilfred Fequiere, 64, who lives in Queens and has driven a cab for 35 years, said he used to average a dozen passengers a day. Now, it is two passengers, if he is lucky, but sometimes none at all.

“Before it wasn’t good,” he said. “Now it’s worse.”


1 week 22 hours ago

The Bankruptcy Court is Alexandria is Postponing the Trustee Hearings. Because of the corona virus, bankruptcy hearings in Alexandria VA scheduled up through April 10 are postponed. (I’m guessing the rest of April will get postponed, too.) Postponed Until When? There’s no news on when they will be reschedule, or how. Some courts have adopted […]
The post Bankruptcy Trustee Hearings Postponed Due to Virus by Robert Weed appeared first on Robert Weed - AE.


6 days 19 hours ago

The Bankruptcy Court is Alexandria is Postponing the Trustee Hearings. Because of the corona virus, bankruptcy hearings in Alexandria VA scheduled up through April 10 are postponed. (I’m guessing the rest of April will get postponed, too.) Postponed Until When? There’s no news on when they will be reschedule, or how. Some courts have adopted […]
The post Bankruptcy Trustee Hearings Postponed Due to Virus by Robert Weed appeared first on Robert Weed - .


1 week 1 day ago

Because of the COVID-19 Scare, Thousands of Our Seniors are Being Ripped-Off
DO NOT FALL FOR SCAMS – CURRENTLY THERE IS NO CURE FOR COVID-19 (RESOURCES FOR SENIORS)

Attorney General Brnovich and Senator Sinema Issue Warning Regarding New COVID-19 Senior Scams
PHOENIX (the following is a reprint from the Attorney General’s website) – Attorney General Mark Brnovich and Senator Kyrsten Sinema are teaming up to remind Arizona seniors to be on the lookout for new COVID-19 related scams. Both offices have reported an increase in communications from concerned Arizonans. Fake miracle cures and events, shopping thieves, door-to-door sanitization services, robocalls, official-looking phishing emails, and government impostor scams are all on the rise as the unethical try to gain access to the financials of Arizona seniors. Con artists frequently take advantage of headlines and are currently exploiting the anxieties of vulnerable seniors over COVID-19.
COVID-19 and other scams
“This is a vulnerable time for many and we can’t overlook the mental and emotional impact self-isolation can have on us all,” said Attorney General Mark Brnovich. “Now, more than ever, it’s important for Arizonans to remain in regular phone contact with their parents, grandparents, and other seniors to ensure their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs are being met.”
“Arizonans should stay alert and look out for one another during this difficult time. For up-to-date coronavirus information, all Arizonans should listen to government scientists and specialists; they are experts and will help you stay safe, healthy, and calm,” said Senator Kyrsten Sinema.
SHOPPING THIEVES:
There are reports of thieves offering to go shopping for self-isolating seniors, only to take their money and never return with goods. Do not trust random strangers to shop for you. Many Valley grocery stores have announced special early morning hours just for seniors. Non-profits have also offered to help seniors with shopping needs.  Seniors in need of assistance can contact the Area Agency on Aging’s 24-Hour Senior Help Line at 602-264-HELP (602-264-4357) or toll-free at 888-264-2258. Those hard of hearing or deaf can text 520-775-1899.
DOOR-TO-DOOR SERVICES:
The Attorney General’s Office has received reports of individuals going door-to-door claiming they can sanitize homes and help keep seniors from COVID-19. There have also been reports of individuals claiming to work for the 2020 Census asking for financial information or money. The Census Bureau has suspended field operations until April because of COVID-19. Never allow anyone access to your house that you don’t know or didn’t request assistance from.You can still participate in the Census online here.
MIRACLE PRODUCTS AND COVID-19 VACCINES:
Con artists are calling and emailing consumers claiming to be from medical organizations that have a COVID-19 vaccination and require payments to buy a dose. The Internet has been flooded with ads for sham treatments such as hand soaps, supplements, toothpastes, and essential oils. A recently cancelled event scheduled for Phoenix promised supernatural protections against COVID-19. There currently is NO vaccination for COVID-19 and there is NO proven product to cure the virus. 
In a variation of the miracle cure scam, fraudsters try to lure individuals to invest in companies that can supposedly prevent, detect, or cure COVID-19. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued an alert about investor fraud involving COVID-19 cures.
GOVERNMENT IMPOSTOR MONEY SCAMS:
scamStealing money from seniors
Scammers frequently contact seniors claiming to be from the government or private institutions seeking to obtain personal or financial information for a legitimate purpose. With discussions of possible financial assistance coming as a result of COVID-19, it is important to remember the government will not text you or ask you to pay anything up-front to receive benefits. The government will never call or text and ask for your Social Security number, bank account information, or credit card number.
There are reports of Arizonans receiving text messages about being “Prequalified” to receive money as a result of the “Virus Outbreak.” Financial assistance in the form of government checks are not yet a reality and anyone who tells you they can get you COVID-19 money now is a scammer. Legitimate government offices will not call and threaten to arrest you or penalize you for not providing personal information.
PHONE SCAMS / ROBOCALLS / TEXT MESSAGES / PHISHING EMAILS:
senior scams
Both offices are receiving reports of a spike in illegal robocalls, text messages, and emails being used by scammers to pitch everything from COVID-19 treatments to testing. Consumers should screen their calls and let answering machines and voicemail pick up calls from unknown callers. Place your phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry.
Fraudsters are also sending phishing emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or the World Health Organization (WHO). Do not click on any unsolicited links. Do not reveal personal or financial information in email, and do not respond to email solicitations for this information. If you have questions about COVID-19, seek out information from the CDC and the WHO directly.
RESOURCES AVAILABLE FOR SENIORS:

If you believe you have been the victim of consumer fraud, you can file a consumer complaint by visiting the Attorney General’s website. If you need a complaint form sent to you, you can contact the Attorney General’s Office in Phoenix at (602) 542-5763, in Tucson at (520) 628-6648, or outside the Phoenix and Tucson metro areas at (800) 352-8431.
Senator Sinema, a member of the Senate Aging Committee and the Senate Banking Committee, recently cosponsored and shaped the Supporting Older Americans Act of 2020. It will protect seniors from falls, increase resources for chronic diseases, and expand access to home health care and caregivers. The bill passed the U.S. Senate and is now heading to the President’s desk to be signed into law. Sinema also introduced the bipartisan Senior Security Act, which creates a task force at the Securities and Exchange Commission to protect seniors from financial crimes.
Attorney General Brnovich is a member of a bipartisan working group of state attorneys general titled “Protecting America’s Seniors: Attorneys General United Against Elder Abuse.” Last week, General Brnovich notified all financial and lending institutions that serve Arizonans and urged them to provide temporary and economic security to their customers in financial hardship during this unprecedented health emergency.
senior scams

MUSINGS FROM DIANE:

senior scam
Why are there people who believe they have the right to prey on the most vulnerable – our seniors?  I hope there is a place in hell designed just for these scum.

We have a responsibility to protect those who are likely to be victimized – seniors and others who are naive.  Get the word out – share the above information and ask them to continue the share with others.  The more we shine light on this abuse, the more we will make a difference.

The post Scams on Seniors – COVID-19 and More appeared first on Diane L. Drain - Phoenix Arizona Bankruptcy & Foreclosure Attorney.


1 week 1 day ago

The Federal Government is Pausing Foreclosures on Mortgages They Control. Last week the Federal Housing Finance Agency announced a 60 day pause on foreclosures on mortgage loans the government controls. Those are mortgage loans controlled by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.  (Fannie and Freddie were government backed, private businesses. The government bailed them out during […]
The post Many Foreclosures Get a Virus Hold by Robert Weed appeared first on Robert Weed - AE.


6 days 19 hours ago

The Federal Government is Pausing Foreclosures on Mortgages They Control. Last week the Federal Housing Finance Agency announced a 60 day pause on foreclosures on mortgage loans the government controls. Those are mortgage loans controlled by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.  (Fannie and Freddie were government backed, private businesses. The government bailed them out during […]
The post Many Foreclosures Get a Virus Hold by Robert Weed appeared first on Robert Weed - .


1 week 2 days ago

March 21, 2020: Federal Tax Day Moved from April 15 to July 15, but only for Federal Taxes (at this time)
taxesAccording to the IRS:
Tax Day now July 15: Treasury, IRS extend filing deadline and federal tax payments regardless of amount owed.
IR-2020-58, March 21, 2020 – The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service announced today that the federal income tax filing due date is automatically extended from April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020.
Treasury, IRS and Labor announce plan to implement Coronavirus-related paid leave for workers and tax credits for small and midsize businesses to swiftly recover the cost of providing Coronavirus-related leave
IR-2020-57, March 20, 2020 – Today the U.S. Treasury Department, Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and the U.S. Department of Labor (Labor) announced that small and midsize employers can begin taking advantage of two new refundable payroll tax credits, designed to immediately and fully reimburse them, dollar-for-dollar, for the cost of providing Coronavirus-related leave to their employees
Tax Time Guide: Guard personal, financial and tax information year-round
IR-2020-56, March 13, 2020 — The Internal Revenue Service today reminded taxpayers to remain vigilant with their personal information by securing computers and mobile phones.
IRS announces waivers for Offer in Compromise applications
IR-2020-55, March 12, 2020 — The Internal Revenue Service today announced the release of final regulations that increase the Offer in Compromise application fee to $205 and provide an additional way for the IRS to waive the Offer in Compromise application fee for low-income taxpayers, based on their adjusted gross income (AGI).
States are still working out their own changes
Some states had already moved filing deadlines and, with Mnuchin’s (US Secretary of the Treasury) latest move, it’s possible that others will follow accordingly.  Staying on top of that is a lot like herding cats, but ConsumerAffairs search for a good guide on the situation turned up the state-by-state filing guidance from the American Institute of CPAs. That guide also has links to each individual state’s updates as they become available.
tax deadline

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1 week 4 days ago

Families First Coronavirus Response Act, March 18, 2020
H.R. 6201 was signed into law March 18, 2020
Two parts of this Act that effect us today:
Families First Coronavirus Response Act Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act

  • Effective April 2 through December 31, 2020
  • Coverage – Employers: All if employ under 500 employees
  • Coverage – Employees: All if work at least 30 days for employer
  • Limit on FMLA – Public Health Emergency Leave for COVID-19
  • Amount of Leave: 12 weeks
  • Reason for Leave:
  • Employee unable to work or telework because needs to take care for minor son or daughter due to school closure or unavailability of childcare provider due to COVID-19.
  • Waiting period: First ten days unpaid – can substitute other paid time off
  • Paid leave:  Two-thirds of regular pay
  • Caps: $200.00 per day; $10,000.00 in aggregate
  • Job restoration unless under 50 employees and job no longer exists due to COVID-19 and employer tries for one year to contact employee if equivalent position opens
  • Exemption for employers of fewer than 50 if “would jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern.”
  • Exemptions for healthcare providers and emergency responders
  • Tax credits available to employers
  • Payments not “wages.”

Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act
Effective April 2 through December 31, 2020

  • Coverage:  All employers of less than 500; all employees of those employers
  • No waiting period for employees
  • Eligibility for payment if employee cannot work or telework because:
    • (1)        Employee is subject to federal, Arizona, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19
    • (2)        Employee advised by healthcare provider to self-quarantine
    • (3)        Employee has symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking medical diagnosi
    • (4)        Employee caring for another subject to quarantine per (1) or advised per (2).
    • (5)        Employee caring for son/daughter due to school closure or childcare unavailability
    • (6)        Employee experiencing condition specified by HHS in consultation with Treasury and USDOL.
  • Duration:  80 hours for full-time employees; part-time prorated by two-week lookback average
  • No carryover.  Ends when employee returns to work.
  • Employer prohibited from requiring employee to find replacement
  • Employer prohibited from requiring employee to use other paid leave first
  • Model notice coming from USDOL
  • Employers prohibited from discharging or discriminating against employees using leave
  • Employers cannot recoup unused leave from employee
  • Caps:  Full pay for (1), (2) and (3) not to exceed $511 per day and $5110 aggregate
  •            Two-thirds pay for (4), (5) and (6) not to exceed $200 per day and $2000 aggregate
  • Exemption for employers of fewer than 50 if “would jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern.”
  • Exemptions for healthcare providers and emergency responders
  • Tax credits available to employers
  • Payments not “wages.”

Families First Coronavirus Response Act

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

Families First Coronavirus Response Act to Require Emergency Sick Leave and Family Leave Aid to Covered Employees
March 20, 2020, by Susan P. Segal

On Wednesday, March 18, 2020, Congress passed and President Trump signed H.R. 6201 (the “Act”), also known as the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which takes effect April 2, 2020, and remains in effect until December 31, 2020. The Act applies to many private and public employees who are affected by COVID-19 and expands sick leave and family leave benefits of many eligible employees nationwide. It also provides some relief to employers in the form of tax credits. From Gust Rosenfeld Employment Law Alert.
Emergency Paid Sick Leave
Division E of the Act applies to private sector employers with fewer than 500 employees, government employers, and all other non-private entity employers with more than one employee. This part of the Act requires those employers to provide a covered employee with two weeks of emergency paid sick leave if the employee is unable to work (or telework) for the following coronavirus related reasons:

  • The employee is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to the coronavirus;
  • The employee has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to the coronavirus;
  • The employee is experiencing symptoms of coronavirus and is seeking a medical diagnosis;
  • The employee is caring for an individual who is subject to a quarantine or isolation order or advised to self-quarantine by a health care provider;
  • The employee is caring for a son or daughter if the school or place of care of the son or daughter has been closed, or the child care provider of such son or daughter is unavailable, due to COVID-19 precautions.
  • The employee is experiencing any other condition substantially similar to the coronavirus, as specified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

This part of the Act applies to both full time and part time employees, and imposes caps on dollar amounts of emergency sick leave that must be paid. Wages required to be paid under these provisions will not be subject to the 6.2 percent social security payroll tax typically paid by employers on employees’ wages.
The Act also allows employers of employees who are health care providers or emergency responders to exclude those employees from the emergency paid sick leave provisions.
Emergency Family Leave
Division C of the Act applies to the same employers as Division E, and requires those employers to provide emergency family leave to full and part time employees who have been employed for at least 30 days and who are unable to work (or telework) for up to 12 weeks because they must care for their son or daughter if the school or place of care has been closed or a child care provider is unavailable due to public health emergency.
Under this part of the Act, the first 10 days in which an employee takes emergency leave may be unpaid. An employee may elect to substitute any accrued paid vacation leave, personal leave, or medical or sick leave for unpaid leave, but the employer cannot require that.  After 10 days of leave, an employer is required to provide emergency paid family leave at an amount not less than two-thirds of an employee’s regular rate of pay up to $200 per day or $10,000 in the aggregate.
Like Division E, this part of the Act exempts wages paid under this provision from the 6.2 percent social security payroll tax. It also allows employers of employees who are health care providers or emergency responders to exclude those employees from the emergency sick leave provisions.
The above summary touches on the main provisions of the Act that affect employee benefits due to COVID-19 and related public health emergencies. The United States Department of Labor and the United States Treasury Department will be issuing further guidance.

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