Coronavirus, COVID-19, Debt Relief

Floridians Hope to Receive Relief from Second Round of Stimulus Payments

As coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to affect the economy, many have been wondering when another relief package would be passed by Congress. After the CARES Act was passed in March 2020, providing the first source of stimulus payments, consumers have been anticipating a second source of stimulus payments to help during their continuing financial struggles. Fortunately, at the end of December 2020, a second stimulus relief package was passed by Congress and signed by the President, providing them with a sense of reprieve.

As compared the $2 trillion CARES Act passed last March, this second package totals $900 billion. Additionally, while the previous package provided $1,200 per taxpayer, this new bill provides $600 per individual making less than $75,000 annually. The new legislation provides $600 per child, while the previous legislation provided $100 less per child.  

Coronavirus, COVID-19, Credit Card Debt

More Americans Paying Rent on Credit Cards with No Second Stimulus Relief Bill in Sight

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has hit the country hard.  Many people have been left with no choice but to use their credit cards to pay for basic living expenses, including their rent. Financial analysts fear that this trend could be a warning sign that, without a second stimulus relief package from Congress, the nation’s economy is heading towards another crisis.  

According to statistics from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, an increase of approximately 70 percent has been reported on the number of consumers using their credit cards to pay their rent. What this indicates is that the person using their credit to pay for the most basic of living expenses is significantly struggling, does not have any savings to pay for unexpected expenses, and is at risk of losing his or her home.  

Coronavirus, Debt Relief

Mortgage Debt Reaches Record High of $10 Trillion

The American housing market is booming, even though various aspects of the nation’s economy are struggling due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.  During the last quarter of 2020, the nation’s mortgage debt load reached a record high of $10 trillion, according to figures from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Low interest rates for home mortgages is a big catalyst for this boom in the housing market.  

Consumers are taking advantage of record low interest rates when making home purchases. At the start of November 2020, mortgage rates reached a 12th record low in 2020.  As a result, mortgage debt jumped by $85 billion between July and September 2020, reaching a high of $9.86 trillion.  

Coronavirus, COVID-19, Credit Card Debt

How the Pandemic is Changing Americans’ Credit Card Habits

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has changed the way of life for consumers in both good and bad ways. One change has to do with the way Americans utilize their credit cards post-pandemic. 

A recent study conducted by Money and Morning Consult surveyed how American consumers have been using their credit cards during this crisis. What the study found was Americans are continuing to use their cards. However, the way by which they are using their cards has changed.  

Business Bankruptcy, Coronavirus, COVID-19

Growing Number of Retailers and Restaurants Are Folding as the Covid-19 Pandemic Continues

Retailers and small businesses have been hit hard by the pandemic, after facing a brutal 2019.  Now a growing number of businesses and restaurants are folding, as Covid-19 continues to wreak havoc on the retail, restuarant industry and the global economy.

Here are the latest ‘big-name’ companies to file bankruptcy since mid-March.

Ruby Tuesday is the most recent restaurant to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.  It will permanently close 185 restaurants while it restructures.

Coronavirus, COVID-19, Foreclosure Defense, Foreclosures

Covid-19 Mortgage Bailouts Decline, New Foreclosure Crisis Looming

Homeowners are struggling to keep up with their mortgage payments as the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis continues. The mortgage bailouts offered by the federal government and private sector during the crisis have helped temporarily, but as the number of bailouts begin to decline, many homeowners are finding themselves facing the possibility of impending foreclosure.

According to figures from Black Knight, a mortgage technology and data firm, approximately 3.7 million borrowers are still receiving assistance through federal government and private sector mortgage forbearance programs.  This figure represents nearly seven percent of all active mortgages. Forbearance plans allow borrowers to temporarily delay monthly payments for anywhere between three months to a year.

Coronavirus, COVID-19, Foreclosure Defense, Foreclosures

Governor DeSantis Issues Amended Executive Order on Foreclosures and Evictions

The statewide moratorium on evictions and foreclosures during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis has been extended via an executive order issued by Gov. Ron DeSantis. However, critics are questioning the language within the order itself as to just what it means for Florida residents facing evictions or foreclosures.

The executive order was signed and announced on July 29. However, the amended language in this new executive order does not prevent all evictions and foreclosures like the previous one did.

Coronavirus, COVID-19, Financial Advice

When You Should Use Your Emergency Fund

Financial experts recommend that consumers put away a little money every paycheck towards an “emergency fund.”  This money is meant to cover the ‘unexpected expense,’ whether that be a car repair, medical bill, or essential home repair. With the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and many people losing their jobs, it may be time to utilize your emergency fund.

Financial Hardship

One of the most common circumstances where a person would utilize their emergency fund is in response to financial hardship. The stimulus funds offered by the CARES Act helped for a short period of time, and many landlords, mortgage holders, credit card companies and other creditors have been willing to work with individuals who are struggling to pay their bills as a result of this crisis. However, even with that help, a person may still need to take some money from their emergency savings to pay for bills that need paid. Once your income returns, then begin replenishing the money taken from savings.

Bankruptcy Law, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Debt Relief

A Tidal Wave of Bankruptcies Expected in the Coming Months

As the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues, many small businesses are filing for bankruptcy to help reorganize their debt and keep creditors at bay. The types of companies being affected include small mom and pop shops, as well as larger corporations.  Hertz and J. Crew, recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and the number of businesses following suit are expected to rise.

According to Edward I. Altman, the man responsible for creating the Z score, a figure that is used to predict business failures, the year 2020 is expected to set a record for ‘mega bankruptcies,’ meaning businesses with $1 billion or more in debt will be filing for bankruptcy protection. The effects of this could be devastating to the U.S. economy.

Coronavirus, COVID-19, Debt Relief

How to Avoid a Big Tax Hit on Coronavirus Unemployment Benefits

Man fills in Unemployment benefits application form.

A record 33 million American workers are currently collecting unemployment benefits amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. And with these benefits come the inevitable tax repercussions. Here are some ways to lessen the impact.

Unemployment benefits received through the state, as well as the $600 coming from the CARES Act, provided by the federal government through July 31, are all considered taxable income. While Social Security and Medicare costs do not come out of unemployment benefits immediately like they do with normal paychecks, the recipient will be taxed by both the state and federal government. This can result in the person winding up paying in the long run when it comes to tax season if he or she has not paid enough tax throughout the year. However, this little “surprise” can be avoided by taking a few extra steps when receiving unemployment benefits.