Covid-19 is affecting all aspects of life: many state and local court proceedings are adjourned while some courthouses are outright closed. While there are some protections in place for citizens, the story goes that bad actors may taken advantage of you at this Time. Do not let the shutdown dissuade you from taking proactive measures or seeking legal advice (My Lawyer is Coming App) to ensure your livelihood. Highlighted here are some solutions to common problems at this time:
- Utilities―If you are having trouble making payments, call the utility company and ask for a 30–90 day pause on your billing. If you are out of work or have reduced hours, you can cite that as the reason. If your spouse or partner is out of work, cite that as the reason. If you are not out of work, then cite a household budget strain as the reason. Be kind to the customer service representative and you would be surprised how far that will get you. If that fails, put us on the case!
- Bills (Credit Cards, Mortgages, Loans)―Same process as for utilities. Some companies, like Amex, already have a 60-day freeze available as long as you cite financial difficulties. Your mortgage company should have a similar plan available. They will add the balance due on to your account so eventually you will have to pay it but at least you can get some temporary relief. Call your student loan provider and see what options are available. Don’t assume that because you see Trump say that loan payments are suspended that it applies directly to your account. You have to call your provider! Utilities turned off at this time may be grounds for legal action. Let us check!
- Food―Grocery stores are the epicenter of this virus with many not enforcing the social distancing guidelines and others in New York just closed because it is inevitable that they become the infection point. Try ordering online from Omaha Steaks, CrowdCow (if you can afford $10 per pound ground turkey), Mercato or local butchers/shops that can assemble your order in advance for pickup or delivery. Try going in on off-hours with a grocery list and a plan to get out of there within minutes. Wear a mask, distance yourself! NO AIMLESS BROWSING!
- Employment―If you think your employer is not operating within the law, contact us and we will review the matter. Being forced to work in a hazardous environment may be against the law depending on your state’s directives. If you feel that your employer should not be open or is not practicing safely under the law, reach out and we will investigate.
- Rent―Have a real conversation with your landlord about rent payments. Many states have frozen eviction proceedings, but you want to work out a deal with your landlord that is realistic and benefits both sides. Asking for a 60-day freeze on rent but then making up the difference on future payments is a good compromise. Don’t think your landlord has all the power here because they don’t. Possession is nine-tenths of the law! Reach out to us and we can assess the situation and help you with a solution.
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