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).

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

Simplified Rules for Paying Down Debt

When it comes to paying down debt, the process can seem daunting if not impossible. During COVID-19, many Americans are being forced to take a different approach when it comes to their finances. With the uncertainty of how long this pandemic will last and how it will affect the nation’s economy, many are concerned how to manage their existing debt while trying not to incur new debt.

One good rule of thumb is to look at the debt that is costing you the most in the long run. How is this “cost” determined? The interest rate on the debt is often a good predictor of whether a debt will end up taking longer to pay off and will end up costing someone more when the debt is eventually paid in full.

Bankruptcy Law, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Debt Relief

Coronavirus and the Changes it has had to the U.S. Bankruptcy Code

The coronavirus pandemic has affected our country in so many ways. It has also affected the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, specifically through the recently passed $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).

Within the CARES Act were revisions to parts of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, meant to help small businesses and consumers during this difficult time. The CARES Act amended the Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019 (SBRA), which temporarily increased the debt threshold for filing for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy relief. The debt threshold increased from $2,725,625 to $7,500,000. After one year, the threshold will go back down to the original amount.

Coronavirus, COVID-19, Debt Relief

5 Ways to Protect Your Stimulus Check from Creditors

As Americans begin receiving their stimulus checks from the $2.2 trillion CARES Act, many who are struggling with debt, worry this money will be intercepted by creditors seeking payment. More than 80 million stimulus checks have been processed thus far, which is a huge source of relief for the 20 million Americans out of work.

Many creditors view these stimulus payments as a chance to receive payment on outstanding debt, especially those that have already been reduced to court judgments. If a financial institution is given a garnishment order, it is possible they will immediately freeze that amount of money deposited into the account, only providing the consumer a limited amount of time before the funds are taken by the creditor.  However, certain measures can be taken to protect this stimulus money from creditors.

Coronavirus, COVID-19, Debt Relief, student loan debt

New Legislation Provides Student Loan Forgiveness to Frontline Healthcare Workers

Healthcare workers on the frontlines are putting their lives at risk every day during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which has many asking what can be done to financially help these dedicated individuals.

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) plans to introduce new legislation that will do just that by forgiving outstanding student loan debt carried by these frontline healthcare workers. The legislation is titled The Student Debt Forgiveness for Frontline Health Care Workers Act. The hope behind this new legislation is that by forgiving student loan debt for these workers, a large financial burden will be lifted. Additionally, this incentive could possibly drive others to join the healthcare industry and continue the fight against COVID-19.

Coronavirus, COVID-19, Credit Card Debt

How to Keep Credit Card Debt Under Control During the Covid-19 Crisis

During the Covid-19 pandemic, many Americans have resorted to using credit cards to purchase basic living expenses. With many Americans out of work and stuck at home, this crisis has wreaked havoc on their finances.

Analysts at Bankrate.com estimate that over 110 million consumers entered this crisis carrying credit card debt. A great portion of this debt was already incurred by paying for necessary living expenses, such as childcare and groceries, with credit credits. These expenses also included paying for repairs to cars or homes, as well as emergency medical expenses.

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

How to Manage Credit Card Debt After Losing a Job

Many South Floridians are finding themselves out of work due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This loss of income can be devastating and make it difficult to continue paying monthly expenses, including credit card debt.

Before the crisis hit, credit card debt had reached an all-time high after the Federal Reserve reported that the fourth-quarter of 2019 credit card debt increased by $46 billion to $930 billion nationwide. It is expected that balances will only increase as Americans find themselves shut in with limited income being earned. Additionally, serious delinquencies were on the rise at the end of 2019, and these numbers are also expected to trend upward, specifically for consumers between the ages of 18 and 29.