Debts, Shelter-in-Place, and Bankruptcy
One of the common occurrences heard throughout the United States as a response to the global pandemic caused by the COVID-19 virus is that many people have been forced to shelter-in-place. In many cases, people have been furloughed, laid off, had wages cut, or simply fired as employers struggle to keep their businesses afloat. As a person facing normal debts, with either a reduction in income, or a complete loss of income, you may be wondering what your options are to face this new financial crisis. Here are some options you have if you are facing struggles regarding paying your bills.
You may qualify under certain circumstances to seek unemployment benefits. In most cases, if your hours have been drastically reduced, or if you are temporarily or permanently out of work, you may be able to file for unemployment for a temporary period of time. It is important to note that the unemployment requests are at unprecedented levels, and it may take some time to get your funding. Therefore, you should make this decision as soon as possible if you want to try to receive unemployment benefits.
Contact Your Creditors
You should take the time to reach out to everyone that you have a loan or credit with as soon as possible. For example, contact your mortgage company, your landlord, your automobile loan, credit card companies, and other creditors to let them know of your situation. Some creditors such as student loan companies are allowing grace periods in which some debtors do not have to make their monthly payments. If you feel that you will struggle to pay any utilities, then you should contact your water, gas, and electric companies as well. Most will have provisions to allow their customers to retain utilities during this unprecedented global pandemic.
If you feel that you may not be able to return to work anytime soon, or that your debt was already overwhelming prior to the COVID-19 global pandemic, you may want to consider filing for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. While many courts are not currently open, you can still file your case and get the process started with an experienced personal bankruptcy attorney.
Let Us Help You Today
If you are unsure of what your financial options are after being laid off or fired due to the COVID-19 pandemic, consider contacting an experienced bankruptcy attorney to help you with your legal options. Bankruptcy may or may not be right in your situation. Contact our West Palm Beach bankruptcy attorneys at Kelley, Fulton & Kaplan at 561-264-6850 for a free consultation, and to help you understand what options may be available to you.