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1 week 2 days ago

New Laws: Emergency Family and Medical Leave, Emergency Paid Sick Leave
Families First Coronavirus Response Act  became 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.

The post New Law to Protect Employees During the COVID-19 Crisis appeared first on Diane L. Drain - Phoenix Arizona Bankruptcy & Foreclosure Attorney.


1 week 4 days ago

What Federal Lenders are Doing Regarding Foreclosures During the COVID-19 Crisis
As of 3/20/20: NOTE THE FOLLOWING ARE ALL FEDERAL LOAN PROGRAMS:
Attached is a list of what the different lenders are doing in regard to foreclosures:
FHA Insured Single-Family Mortgages and Home Equity Conversion Mortgages:

  • HUD Mortgagee Letter 2020-04   www.hud.gov/sites/dfiles/OCHCO/documents/20-04hsgml.pdf
  • Fannie Mae Lender Letter 2020-02   singlefamily.fanniemae.com/media/22261/display
  • Freddie Mac Bulletin 2020-4 guide.  freddiemac.com/app/guide/bulletin/2020-4
  • USDA encourages SFHGLP loan servicers to extend forbearance alternatives to borrowers whose health or employment has been impacted as a result of COVID-19.
  • USDA Rural Development requires that holders suspend all foreclosure activity until April 30, 2020. The foreclosure suspension applies to the initiation of new foreclosure actions and to foreclosure actions already in process.
  • VA strongly encourages loan holders to establish a sixty-day moratorium beginning March 18, 2020, on completing pending foreclosures or initiating new foreclosures on loans.

The post Federal Home Loans, Foreclosures and COVID-19 appeared first on Diane L. Drain - Phoenix Arizona Bankruptcy & Foreclosure Attorney.


1 week 4 days ago

Important information for all Tenants, Homeowners and Consumers during the COVID-19 Pandemic from National Consumer Law Center
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused widespread disruption in the daily lives of millions of people worldwide, and the hardest hit are the vulnerable people, families, and communities at the core of NCLC’s mission, and likely at the heart of our everyday life.
NCLC’s (National Consumer Law Center) Boston and Washington, D.C. offices have been closed to lessen the spread of the virus, but our advocates continue to work remotely to advocate for policies that will protect consumers from exploitation and fraud, and to secure emergency relief for individuals and families experiencing financial hardship as a result of the pandemic. You can continue to contact our staff using their regular email addresses, and we are also monitoring the consumerlaw@nclc.org account and forwarding all inquiries to the appropriate staff member.
foreclosureNCLC has created a new “COVID-19 & Consumer Protections” page on our website to provide updates on our current efforts to protect renters and homeowners from eviction and utilities shutoffs; advocate for student loan borrowers whose ability to repay their loans may suffer due to lost income, insufficient paid leave, or lack of access to childcare; encourage financial institutions to offer loan modification and payment accommodations to their clients; and protect all consumers from the financial scams that arise in disaster situations. This page is being updated constantly with new resources for attorneys, advocates, and consumers. 
We are also offering free access to the digital edition of Surviving Debt: Expert Advice For Getting Out of Financial Trouble, NCLC’s most comprehensive guide to navigating debt for consumers and consumer advocates. All inquiries related to NCLC’s publications or Digital Library can be directed to publications@nclc.org.
Please stay safe and healthy during this difficult time.
COVID-19

The post Protecting Renters and Homeowners During COVID-19 appeared first on Diane L. Drain - Phoenix Arizona Bankruptcy & Foreclosure Attorney.


1 week 5 days ago

Affluent Taxpayers and the Discharge of Taxes in Bankruptcy 

In these difficult times, many clients have contacted Shenwick
& amp; Associates asking  whether they should file for
bankruptcy and whether the taxes they owe are dischargeable
in bankruptcy. Both bankruptcy law and tax law are code
oriented and the intersection of those two areas of the law
can create complexity and confusion.  

As we have discussed in prior blog posts, “old income” taxes
are dischargeable in a Chapter 7 personal bankruptcy filing.
The term “old” generally means that the taxes must be more
than 3 years old or more than 3 years must have passed
from the date of the filing of the debtor’s tax return and the
date of the debtor’s bankruptcy filing (“3 Year Rule”). This
is a “back of the envelope” analysis for purposes of this blog
post and an actual analysis would include a review of the
Debtor’s account transcript from the IRS and an analysis of
the facts of the case.    

In addition to the 3 Year Rule calculation, the bankruptcy
attorney must also determine if the debtor attempted to
evade or defeat the payment of  taxes  pursuant to section
523(a)(1)(c) of the Bankruptcy Code. If the debtor took
action to evade the payment of taxes, then the taxes are not
dischargeable in bankruptcy notwithstanding the fact that the
taxes are old and have met the 3 year rule discussed above. 

The recent case of  United States v. Harold, No. 16-05041
(Bankr. E.D. Mich. 2020) proves an example of actions by
a taxpayer/debtor that rise to the level of an attempt to evade
taxes, which result in the taxes not being dischargeable despite
the taxpayer/debtor having met the 3 Year Rule. 

Dr. Harold (debtor) was a successful medical doctor with an
OB/GYN practice. The issue in the case was the discharge of 
the  federal tax liabilities for 2004 through 2012 and 2014 that
met the 3 Year Rule. Unless the exception for attempting to
evade the payment of taxes applied, the taxes  would be
discharged in Dr. Harold’s bankruptcy filing.  

Dr. Harold  grossed approximately $500,000 from her practice
during the years at issue.  

Despite owing taxes, Dr Harold had  an affluent lifestyle: 1. She
purchased  a new home in 2005 along the Detroit River
waterfront,  2. She sent her children to private grade schools
and high schools,  3. Her children attended private colleges.
4. The family took multiple family vacations to Mexico,
Alaska, Puerto Rico, Orlando, Washington, D.C., Paris,
Las Vegas, Hawaii, and Dubai and 5 the family drove
expensive cars: a Jaguar, a Mercury Mountaineer, two
Cadillacs, two Lincolns, a Lexus and a Harley
Davidson motorcycle.

In this author's experience, the IRS  will subpoena the
Debtor’s bank and credit card statements for the relevant
years to determine what the Debtor spent their money on. 

The Court found that the facts of the case indicated that
her expenditures were voluntary and  demonstrated that
the Debtor engaged in conduct to evade or defeat the
payment of her tax liabilities for the years 2004-2012
and 2014 pursuant to 523(a)(1)(c) of the Bankruptcy
Code  and the taxes were not dischargeable. 

The case provides a lesson for  high income earners who
file for bankruptcy and had used their money to purchase
luxury goods or services instead of paying their taxes,
the IRS will object to the discharge of their taxes in their
bankruptcy filing  and the IRS will likely prevail.

James H. Shenwick, Esq. has an LLM in Taxation from
NYU Law School and counsels many clients with tax
and debtor/creditor issues.  

James Shenwick
Shenwick & Associates
122 East 42nd St
Suite 620
New York, NY 10168
Bankruptcy & Creditor's Rights
“We always appreciate referrals”
W 212-541-6224
E: jshenwick@gmail.com
Fax 646-218-4600
Cell Phone: 917-363-3391
Website: https://shenwick-associates.business.site/
Website: https://sites.google.com/site/jshenwick/home
Blog: http://shenwick.blogspot.com
LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/in/jamesshenwick


1 week 6 days ago

How can you best protect yourself when the national and local economies are rocked by unexpected disruptions?Almost overnight, the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus has decimated dozens of industries – food service, hospitality, retail, transportation, education, government and any business that relies on face to face interaction.While the government is promising some relief and some creditors are offering short term deferments, the likelihood is that business will not return to normal anytime soon and that we have entered into a “new normal.”So how do you respond?As I discuss in the video above, you can best protect yourself by being proactive and creative. Go online to learn of your creditors are offering payment deferment programs. Many lenders have already posted help lines on their websites for worried customers to call.  If you see nothing on line, pick up the phone and call.Protect your cash at all costs and only pay who you have to pay until the immediate coronavirus pandemic wanes. If you fall behind on non-essential debts like credit cards or personal loans, so be it – we can deal with those problems later.  It is much more important that you maintain a roof over your head, your car or truck and food in the refrigerator than respond to demands from bill collectors.We may discover that collectors may back off for a few weeks or even a month or two, but don’t assume that your debts will be forgiven. But if you do receive collection calls, do not back down.  Most courts are not processing collection lawsuitsMost courts are not processing collection lawsuits so you will have time to deal with consumer debts later.  However, if you have been sued, the courts have not extended your time to respond to lawsuits so do not assume that you do not have to deal with actual collection litigation.Also, look at the big picture. Our “new normal” will generate opportunities that can replace any lost income. Uber drivers may take part time work at retail stores using thermal scanners to monitor customers for fevers. Installers will be need to put partitions in taxis and ride sharing vehicles to prevent virus transmission. IT professionals may focus less on setting up in-office networks and more about creating secure work from home environments.  Restaurants will need employees to service carry out orders.  And as people turn to online stores like Amazon and Walmart, delivery drivers and warehouse workers will be needed.Financial opportunities will arise from this crisis if you are alert to them. In the meantime, stay safe and feel free to reach out to me (Jonathan) or Susan Blum to discuss your personal situation. We can be reached by phone at 770-393-4985 or by email at ginsberg@gmail.com (Jonathan) or atlantabankruptcy@gmail.com (Susan).  #coronaviruspandemic #personalfinanceoptionscovid19 #lossofincomeduetocoronavirusThe post How do You Protect Yourself Financially During the Coronavirus Pandemic? appeared first on theBKBlog.


2 weeks 13 hours ago

Here’s our fee agreement for Chapter 13 in the Alexandria VA  Bankruptcy Court.   c13 2020 fee
The post Robert Weed Chapter 13 Fee Agreement by Robert Weed appeared first on Robert Weed - AE.


6 days 18 hours ago

Here’s our fee agreement for Chapter 13 in the Alexandria VA  Bankruptcy Court.   c13 2020 fee
The post Robert Weed Chapter 13 Fee Agreement by Robert Weed appeared first on Robert Weed - .


2 weeks 16 hours ago

From: Crain's New York Business
By: Gwen Everett

https://www.crainsnewyork.com/coronavirus/ag-james-and-cuomo-suspend-state-debt-collection

New York will freeze collections on medical and student debt owed or referred to the state, Attorney General Letitia James and Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday.
More than 165,000 debts are affected by the decision, the AG and governor said, adding that the freeze will last at least 30 days.

During that time, the attorney general's office will take applications to suspend other types of debt owed or referred to the state, James said, and will decide whether to extend the freeze.

It's an effort to mitigate the mounting financial stresses New Yorkers are facing as the Covid-19 crisis rattles the state's economy. The state shut down restaurants, bars and event spaces Monday.
"In this time of crisis, my office will not add undue stress or saddle New Yorkers with unnecessary financial burden," James said. 


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