Since March, we’ve been told so many things. Stay home, don’t work, and only go out for necessities. Then, try to work from home. Then, go back to work and have your kids in school online, but keep them home! Now through all of this, people and small business owners have taken huge financial hits! Six months later, with job layoffs and cuts, and a bit of government help thrown in, it’s time to “take stock” and see where you and your family, or your business are going financially.
First things first: Take care of yourself! Get exercise every day, and eat well! It’s amazing what a short walk will do! And, don’t just eat junk food! Eat some fruits and veggies each day! That helps too! You need to be healthy to think clearly about your finances! Take a breath…..
2nd: Have you been able to pay your rent or mortgage? If so, great! If you’ve been struggling, contact your landlord to be sure that you have a payment plan worked out, and that your landlord will still go with it. If you have a mortgage, and you are struggling, call them or log online to see what programs they are offering. Many lenders have deferred payments for 3 months or more. And some are still willing to defer more payments! But, watch out! Ask what will happen if you defer more payments! Will you have to catch up all at once? OR, will they put them at the end of your loan?
3rd —Are you up to date on your utilities? They have programs to help people out if they are struggling due to the Pandemic. Call or go their websites!
4th —Are you up to date on your Credit Card payments? Some issuers also gave people a break on their payments for a few months. Find out what happened during that time. Did they charge interest? What is happening with your payments now? Are the balances increasing? If you don’t think there’s a way to pay these down, you do have options. And, you may consider Bankruptcy relief.
5th—What about your car payments? Are you up to date on those? Be sure to contact your lender to find out if they have any temporary programs. Are you up to date on your car insurance payments? Many companies actually reduced their rates!
6th —If you still struggling, what savings do you have available? Do you have money in regular checking or savings accounts? Is all of your savings in your retirement plan? This is very important! Don’t just cash your retirement account or take money out without consulting with a lawyer. Why? Because this money is protected from creditors (companies you owe).
7th – -Look at your checkbook (or bank statement online) and think clearly! If your finances are a mess and you don’t know how you are going to make it, or don’t have a plan to pay your bills, call a lawyer now! The sooner the better! Make a plan to come out of this in good shape financially!
We can help you with your Pandemic Checkup. We can help you come up with a plan to pay your bills and not just survive, but thrive. But the first steps are up to you! Call or email us anytime. We are here to help.
We have free consultations and have appointments for phone or video consultations. We offer the Touchless Bankruptcy!
Daniel J Winter