The free bankruptcy means test calculator applies the state income and standards for California, and the El Dorado County expense deductions to help you determine whether you pass the "means test" for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. more...
“The federal government has ordered a halt to all evictions until July 25 against tenants who can’t pay their rent in properties that have federally backed loans or that participate in certain programs. Use this database to search apartment buildings nationwide to find out if your rental unit may qualify for eviction protection.
When State Eviction Protections Expire
State and local governments have assembled a patchwork of eviction protection rules, meaning some renters may face the threat of eviction sooner than others as reopening begins.”
“The millions of Americans who have filed for unemployment since the pandemic walloped the economy in March face an unwelcome surprise next month.
While the CARES Act directed an extra $600 a week in jobless benefits to help out-of-work Americans weather business shutdowns, those additional benefits expire July 31.
Unless Congress steps in to extend the benefits, Americans will see their unemployment checks reduced to their state’s typical payout starting in August, with a national average of about $378 per week. But some laid-off workers may not be aware of the cutoff, with a recent survey from Credit Karma finding almost a quarter of respondents believing there was no expiration date for the extra $600 per week.”
“The Internal Revenue Service today released Notice 2020-50 (PDF) to help retirement plan participants affected by the COVID-19 coronavirus take advantage of the CARES Act provisions providing enhanced access to plan distributions and plan loans. This includes expanding the categories of individuals eligible for these types of distributions and loans (referred to as "qualified individuals") and providing helpful guidance and examples on how qualified individuals will reflect the tax treatment of these distributions and loans on their federal income tax filings.”
“filing bankruptcy is all about timing.... File bankruptcy too early, or too late, and you risk losing assets or advantages that better timing could have assured...
Admittedly, you don’t always have the luxury of filing bankruptcy on your own schedule. But for those who can plan ahead, better bankruptcy outcomes are available.
The bankruptcy code measures lots of rights with reference to events occurring before filing. Some of these rights involve you, the debtor. Other rights belong to the bankruptcy trustee, or your creditors.
These time periods affect
Clawbacks of money transfers
Eligibility to file bankruptcy
The amount of your Chapter 13 payment
The most common and avoidable mistake in bankruptcy is waiting too long to file. Filing sooner can avoid
Spending money you could keep if you filed bankruptcy
Enduring stress caused by debt
Creditors get liens you can’t avoid
Sarah Mervosh - New York Times - Wed, May 27, 2020
“The United States, already wrestling with an economic collapse not seen in a generation, is facing a wave of evictions as government relief payments and legal protections run out for millions of out-of-work Americans who have little financial cushion and few choices when looking for new housing.
The hardest hit are tenants who had low incomes and little savings even before the pandemic, and whose housing costs ate up more of their paychecks. They were also more likely to work in industries where job losses have been particularly severe.
“In light of the COVID-19 epidemic the Fastcase team is working with our partners to ensure lawyers and volunteers have access to complimentary resources available to them. If at any time you’re experiencing difficulty logging into your account, please contact the Fastcase team at firstname.lastname@example.org and access will be provided. Fastcase has created a COVID-19 resource hub, bringing together free legislative and government updates and COVID-19 content across leading news media sources. ”
Andrew Pizor - National Consumer Law Center - Wed, May 20, 2020
“The COVID-19 pandemic has made it harder for millions of homeowners to pay their mortgages. To reduce the risk of widespread foreclosures, Congress recently passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). Pub. L. No. 116-136 (Mar. 27, 2020). The CARES Act gives some borrowers temporary protection from foreclosure. But about a third of all borrowers are not covered. This article explains who is covered by the CARES Act, what it offers, how to help those who are covered, and how to help those who are not.”
NCLC - National Consumer Law Center - Wed, May 20, 2020
“This article, which will be updated as developments warrant, lists actions Congress, governors, federal and state agencies, and businesses are taking to protect consumers in light of the COVID-19 epidemic. These actions include suspensions on foreclosures, evictions, and terminations of telecommunications and utility service, elimination of interest and forbearance on student loan payments, limits on debt collection, and more.”
“he Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and other aid organizations have mobilized resources specifically for veterans to stay safe during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Veterans Health Administration recently received $17.2 billion from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. With this money, the VA increased access to telehealth and has said it will serve even those veterans not enrolled in the VA system.
Below is a list of resources that veterans, active-duty military and their families can receive if they need assistance during the pandemic. If you know of other programs available for veterans, let us know in the comments section below.”
“Despite record unemployment numbers, consumer bankruptcies declined last month by more than 30 percent compared with last year, according to American Bankruptcy Institute data. That’s because federal courts have largely closed and consumers usually file for bankruptcy after they’ve hit rock bottom, not in the middle of a crisis, said Bob Lawless, a law professor at the University of Illinois.
“People are probably going to use consumer credit to smooth over the problems they have right now,” he said. “It doesn’t make sense to file bankruptcy if you are just going to continue to pile up debts.”
If Congress fails to act soon, bankruptcy courts could be overwhelmed by a record number of newly jobless consumers looking to shed crushing debts, said Raymond Kluender, an economist at the Harvard Business School.
Cathy Moran - Bankruptcy Mastery - Fri, May 8, 2020
“As bankruptcy lawyers, we’re going to see people in pain trying to assess what to do next.
Business owners may see the exit heading through the bankruptcy courts, but that may be neither necessary nor wise.
Here’s my list of considerations as I try to think broadly and flexibly with clients about their business futures.
* The desire to continue
* Is the business viable
* Could the business continue with
- fewer owners
- fewer employees
- no brick and mortar premises
- narrower market
- broader market
- partnered with others
* New debt and lingering death
Wind down and move on?”
“If you’ve lost your job or struggle to pay your debt, you may need to file for bankruptcy. If that’s the case, you should ignore some common financial advice and start thinking defensively.
* DON’T WAIT TO TALK TO A BANKRUPTCY ATTORNEY
* DON’T TOUCH YOUR RETIREMENT MONEY
* DON’T LET CASH PILE UP
* DON’T SELL STUFF
* DON’T PASS UP FORBEARANCE OPTIONS
Lauren Saunders and Margot Saunders - National Consumer Law Center - Wed, May 6, 2020
“The CARES Act protects stimulus payments from certain offsets to collect debts owed to federal and state governments. The Act does not address either private creditors’ seizure of the checks from bank accounts to satisfy outstanding court judgments or the banks’ ability to seize the funds to pay other debts owed the bank or for overdrawn accounts. While advocacy efforts are ongoing to change the federal law or the way Treasury treats these payments, as of the time the first set of payments were distributed (in mid-April 2020), these efforts have not been successful.”
Chi Chi Wu - National Consumer Law Center - Mon, May 4, 2020
“The economic harm caused by the COVID-19 pandemic will soon translate into pervasive credit reporting harm, as millions of consumers become unable to pay their credit obligations, and creditors, debt collectors, and others furnish negative information about them to the nationwide consumer reporting agencies (CRAs). This article explains how consumers can protect their credit reports by enforcing the very modest protections offered by the CARES Act. ”
“Millions of homeowners may skip making payments as part of a federal plan meant to ease financial stress during the pandemic. But many Americans say they're running into problems with their lenders.
Three-and-a-half million homeowners are skipping their mortgage payments because they've been hurt financially by the pandemic. That's according to new numbers out this morning. Now, Congress told mortgage lenders to give homeowners help for up to a year if they need it - let them miss payments or pay partially. But many people are being warned if they do miss payments, they will end up with giant bills later on. ”
“Before now, Americans could access a report from each of the three bureaus only once a year, three times in total.
The three companies will allow weekly access to free reports through AnnualCreditReport.com for a year starting April 20, 2020.
Checking your credit report is the best way to keep errors off your account. It's especially important for anyone who's postponing bills, using more credit than usual, or applying for loans.
Note that checking more often doesn't hurt your credit: When you check your report yourself, it's not considered a hard inquiry like a bank might make.”
“But even if you are facing a shortfall, declaring bankruptcy to wipe out your debts may not be the answer, Tadross says. “A lot of people call me, and they want to jump right into bankruptcy. I tell them, ‘Look, don’t just jump right into that — give it some time,’” he says.
Here’s what financial experts say you should understand about the process, and the steps you should take before filing for bankruptcy. ”
“The CARES Act includes revisions to certain provisions of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in an effort to provide better and more effective bankruptcy relief to small businesses and individuals during this unprecedented time.
More small businesses will qualify for a more streamlined and affordable bankruptcy process under the Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019.
The CARES Act amends the Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019 (the “SBRA”), which became effective February 19, 2020, to temporarily increase the debt threshold for filing for relief under the new Subchapter V of Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code from $2,725,625 of debt to $7,500,000. ”
“All of the measures—with loopholes of varying size—sought at least to keep millions of more people home more of the time without cutting off lifelines. State leaders have vowed to enforce the lockdowns, but it’s unclear whether any of them can be effectively enforced.
Here are highlights of the orders in major states.”
"Bankruptcy offers a swift and certain remedy for overwhelming debt. The biggest tragedy I see in my law practice is people who struggle far too long with debt remedies that are doomed from the beginning...Bankruptcy is an option to be considered alongside other debt options, from the beginning...While bankruptcy is not to be used lightly, it is not a last resort."
Plan Now - File Later
Several recent news stories have discussed how it would be wise for people to think about bankruptcy now rather than later, even if you're not going to file for a while. It helps to think about it now so you can plan for it.
What others are saying bankruptcy as part of your COVID-19 financial strategy