Learn How the Stimulus Bill May or May Not Help With Debt Settlement
Check the news and you’re bound to find talk about the latest stimulus bill to provide relief to Coloradans and other people in the United States. If you’re in need of debt relief, you may be particularly concerned. When is the money coming? How much? And what about the lingering concern of eviction if you’ve lost your job and are having trouble paying rent?
It can be so confusing to even figure out what’s happening, so let’s dive into the latest COVID bill and how it may help your debt problems. Below, our team at Wink & Wink covers what you need to know about the new stimulus package, as well as what your options are if the stimulus bill still isn’t enough to provide the financial relief you need.
Is Money Coming? How Much?
At this time, the stimulus bill that was signed into law by President Trump on December 27, 2020 will provide stimulus checks of $600 for individuals who make less than $75,000 per year. For couples who make under $150,000 a year (combined), the check will be for $1,200. Your income threshold – whether you’re eligible for this or not – is based on your 2019 earnings and what you reported when you filed your 2019 taxes.
What About Unemployment Benefits?
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused job loss for many Colorado residents and other Americans. The airline industry, restaurants, teachers – seemingly every industry has been affected.
Unemployment benefits have helped many stay above water, but if you’ve been unemployed for a long time, you may be worried those will soon run out.
Here’s what the latest COVID relief bill provides:
- The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program has been extended through March 14, 2021. This provides an additional $300 a week for unemployed workers who are currently receiving unemployment benefits, such as from regular weekly unemployment payments and benefits received from other pandemic programs.
- The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program has been extended to March 14, 2021. After that date, no new applicants are eligible. The program will then end April 5, 2021. This program allows for up to 50 weeks of unemployment benefits (recently extended from just 39 weeks) for people who would not otherwise be eligible and have been unable to work because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Examples include people who are self-employed or who are seeking part-time employment.
- The Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program has also been extended to March 14, 2021. Likewise, no new applicants will be eligible after that date, but those currently receiving benefits from it will continue to do so until April 5, 2021 unless they’ve exceeded the number of weeks allowed. This program provides additional unemployment benefits when state unemployment runs out. It previously lasted 13 weeks but will now last up to 24 weeks (with the last date still being April 5, 2021).
What About The Risk of Eviction?
Some residents may be struggling to make rent payments at this time and may worry eviction could happen soon. The latest COVID-19 stimulus bill extended the eviction moratorium until January 31, 2021, giving renters a little more time. Keep in mind, though, that while you cannot be evicted, you will still owe back rent on any months in which you couldn’t pay rent.
What If The Stimulus Bill Isn’t Enough?
While this stimulus bill may provide some debt relief, it may not be enough for all Colorado residents, particularly if you were already struggling with debt before the pandemic. High medical bills, credit card debt, and ever-increasing back rent may feel like too much to handle when you already have a lot on your plate.
It’s never easy to make this call, but it may be time to consider declaring personal bankruptcy to avoid further financial ruin from overwhelming debt.
At Wink & Wink, our team of expert debt settlement attorneys make your first step easy with our free consultation. We’ll review your situation and see if bankruptcy might be the most cost-effective option to give you the relief you need at this difficult time, as well as review your options with you.
While filing for bankruptcy may not sound like a good option, it’s actually a good choice for those needing significant debt relief. Finding a reputable bankruptcy lawyer in Denver is the best thing you can do to start getting out of debt.
Our debt relief attorneys, Mike and Gigi Wink, will personally review your case to determine bankruptcy is the most sensible option for your debt settlement case. They’ll help you decide which option to choose:
- Chapter 7 bankruptcy, where most of your unsecured debts, such as medical bills, leases, and credit cards, are erased.
- Chapter 13 bankruptcy, where you undertake a three- to five-year payment plan to cover a portion of your debt, with the rest being discharged.
What About Future Stimulus Bills?
It’s hard to predict what future stimulus bills and debt relief may be coming. Each day, the news seems to change. While you can hope for greater debt relief from future stimulus bills, if your debt is becoming insurmountable, it may be time to consider personal bankruptcy.
Mike and Gigi Wink of Wink & Wink are debt relief and bankruptcy lawyers in Denver with over 10 years’ experience making sure Colorado residents get the debt help they need to avoid eviction, wage garnishment, repossession of their property, and other undesirable outcomes.