In the first part of this blog, we covered what debt relief options the 2020 CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act) offers for mortgages, student loans, car loans, and property tax debts. This CARES Act, put into place on March 27th, 2020 in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic, establishes several rules and options for individuals facing extreme difficulties concerning income, debts, and state lockdowns.
As we work through this global recession, it’s important to remember that there are many options available to you for debt relief. One tool that is always available to you is to file bankruptcy. While this may seem like a drastic move, Behm Law Group, Ltd. has seen many clients use bankruptcy as a positive way for debt relief in Luverne, MN, especially in trying times like these.
During the period the CARES Act will be in place, there are additional options for debt relief on top of bankruptcy.
CARES Act Provisions, Continued
- Credit Card Debt: Most major credit card providers are offering relief for their customers during this time. This includes credit line extensions, payment skipping, and forbearances. Talk to your bank to see how they can work with you if you’re unable to make credit card payments. Many banks and credit unions are also offering financial aid resources and loans for individuals and businesses while we get through this recession. This includes help for local businesses offered through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
- Utilities and Others: More and more states are beginning to put suspensions on utility shutdowns and waive late fees. If you’re unable to make utility payments on time, the CARES Act and your state government’s own orders may protect you from late fees and from having your water, gas, and electricity cut off. On top of this, most phone and internet providers are waiving late fees and/or postponing shut offs due to missed payments. Some internet providers are also supplying free services to new customers or unlimited periods for existing customers.
- Stimulus Check: The most direct source of assistance the CARES Act will provide is a stimulus check for each eligible citizen. Individuals with an incomes under $75,000 will receive a check of $1,200. Taxpaying families will receive an additional $500 per dependent under the age of 17. Spouses who file joint tax returns will receive $2,400. Individuals with incomes over $75,000 will receive smaller checks, reduced by 5% of their income over $75,000 (e.g. income of $80,000 = stimulus check of $950).
The stimulus check and other relief options that the CARES Act puts into place during this trying time are established with the goal of protecting U.S. citizens from severe debt and the hopes that our economy will be cushioned in some ways from the worsening of the current recession.