The coronavirus pandemic of 2020 has turned into a financial nightmare for millions of Americans. Tens of millions of households have had a family member apply for unemployment benefits, and the number of defaults on mortgages and other financial obligations has skyrocketed.
So far, local and state governments, as well as Congress in Washington, D.C., have passed some financial relief options designed to support families during the crisis. For example, some states have allowed self-employed individuals to apply for unemployment benefits for the first time, and the federal government has issued $1,200 checks to millions of families to help cover a few bills.
Further, some credit card companies and banks have offered to postpone due dates for payments and eliminate late fees associated with missed payments to help families avoid falling into severe debt. However, these measures won’t help everyone, and there will be households that have no choice but to file for bankruptcy. With the country in virtual chaos, will the courts be able to handle bankruptcy cases?
An article from Market Watch suggests that it’s only a matter of time until bankruptcy numbers begin to surge.
“Bankruptcy experts agree, looking at a new spike in unemployment and remembering how the Great Recession caused a wave of bankruptcy cases from consumers seeking a reset after getting too far behind on debt.”
If you’re thinking about bankruptcy because of extended unemployment, it might be worth speaking with an attorney as to the feasibility of qualifying for chapter 7 (liquidation of assets) or chapter 13 (reorganization of debts).
Some Courts are Closed & Lawyers Are Restricting Clients
The biggest problem that you may encounter while trying to file for bankruptcy during the coronavirus pandemic is the closure of your local court. Your court might not have hours dedicated to civil cases, or you might have to undergo significant hassles related to filing your case.
For example, some court locations have resorted to electronic submissions, or they’ve temporarily suspended the ability of the public to enter the courthouse. If you’re a pro-se debtor (that’s someone who is representing him or herself in court), you might only be able to submit your forms via a drop-box with the court.
Bankruptcy is Always the Last Resort
Bankruptcy should always be the last thing you consider when your finances become untenable, and you can no longer pay your debts. While the coronavirus pandemic may throw you some severe curveballs with layoffs, reduced hours, and forced quarantines, you may still be able to emerge from the pandemic with your financial health intact.
It’s important to explore all avenues for delaying your payments or changing when bills are due. You may want to explore canceling subscriptions (for the gym and television) while the pandemic forces you to stay home. You may also want to call your bank to see how they might be able to help you.
Are You Thinking About Bankruptcy During the Covid-19 Pandemic?
Would you like assistance from an experienced legal bankruptcy professional? Contact Suburban Legal Group for assistance with all matters relating to bankruptcy.
DISCLAIMER: All information on this website is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be construed as legal advice. Suburban Legal Group PC shall not be liable for any errors or inaccuracies contained herein, or any actions taken in reliance thereon.