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.

Bankruptcy Law, Coronavirus, COVID-19

Bankruptcy and the Coronavirus: Help for Florida Small Businesses

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has been hard on businesses. During the shutdown, countless South Florida businesses were forced to shutter or adjust to a new normal, bringing in significantly less income than before. Many of these business owners have also been compelled to make some tough decisions, including the decision on whether to proceed with bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy can be beneficial for businesses that are struggling during this difficult time. The bankruptcy framework and the automatic stay that occurs immediately upon filing for bankruptcy offers relief that individuals and business owners desperately need.

Coronavirus, COVID-19, student loan debt

Tips for Keeping Student Loan Debt Under Control During Covid-19

Student loan debt was already a financial burden for many Americans, but the COVID-19 crisis has made it worse. It helps to understand what options are available for borrowers who are struggling to keep up with their student loan debt during this time of crisis.   

Federal Assistance and Forbearance

In March 2020, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act in light of the growing pandemic. The CARES Act includes certain provisions that lighten the burden carried by student loan borrowers. As of March 13, 2020, most federal student loans were put on administrative forbearance which means no payments were due, beginning March 13, 2020 and ending September 30, 2020.

Coronavirus, COVID-19, Credit Card Debt, Debt Relief

Nearly Half of U.S. Adults Now Carrying Credit Card Debt Amid Pandemic

Credit card debt has dramatically increased since the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, according to recent data from CreditCards.com. Their data reports that 120 million U.S. consumers, or 47 percent of all consumers, had credit card debt as of April 2020, which is a 43 percent increase from March.

Millennials were hit the hardest with 34 percent of them reporting that they used credit regularly. Experian, one of the three main credit reporting agencies, reported in March that U.S. consumer debt reached a staggering $14.1 trillion with credit cards making up $829 billion of this debt. This level is the highest seen since the Great Recession.

Bankruptcy Law, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Debt Relief

How Has the Coronavirus Affected Bankruptcy Filings?

Even though unemployment filings have skyrocketed, and countless businesses have been struggling during the coronavirus pandemic, bankruptcy courts have not been flooded with new cases- yet.

When compared to bankruptcy filings in April 2019, there were 47 percent fewer consumer bankruptcy filings in April 2020, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI).