Financial difficulties cause stress regardless of the circumstances. With the unexpected nature of the coronavirus, stress can be even higher. Here’s a little perspective on your finances that might help.
First, your health, your immediate family’s heath, and that of our communities is more important than the credit card bill due this month. Especially more important than the pesky debt collector calling for the umpteenth time.
Second, having enough money to pay for food and medicine is more important than paying unsecured creditors. It’s best to stay current on insurance, mortgage payments and car payments, if possible. If you cannot stay current on mortgage and car payments, communicate with those creditors regarding your situation. It’s okay to call them but follow-up with email or a letter so that the conversation is documented.
It is important to know that creditor actions are not proceeding normally either right now. It will not last forever but currently in some areas, evictions are on hold. Pending lawsuits are being postponed by the Court system. Collectors’ job force is similarly reduced. We hope repossessions will slow down but not guaranteed. Again, we suggest communicating with secured creditors in a documented way.
With so much uncertainty, now may not be the best time to file bankruptcy. If you are currently being garnished because of a judgment entered before bankruptcy and you are still employed, you might still have reason to file now. But, if you have lost your job, it is probably best to think about whether you may have additional medical bills or other debts due to job loss when this is all over. Then you might benefit by filing later.
Our office is offering free phone consultations regarding debt distress, even if you don’t plan to file bankruptcy. If you would like to “ask a lawyer” a debt related question, please call or e-mail and one of our attorneys will return your call.