In mid-March, Pennsylvania took steps to protect its citizens from creditor collection actions. Millions of Pennsylvania residents were experiencing drastic loses of income through mass layoffs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
State courts were closed, which left creditors unable to file or
proceed with lawsuits. Evictions were put on hold. Sheriff’s sales were delayed and utility shutoffs were prohibited.
What return to normal means for your finances.
But now, life has started to return to normal and these protections have started to lift. State courts reopened June 1, opening the door for lawsuits to start or continue. Evictions were allowed to proceed the same day and counties in the region will soon begin to hold sheriff’s sales again. Allegheny and Westmoreland Country sheriff sales are set to resume on July 6, Washington County on July 10, and Beaver County on August 10, just to name a few.
The only protection that is still in place is the prohibition on utility shutoffs. Utility companies are not permitted to terminate service as long as the Governor’s Disaster Declaration is in effect. The Disaster Declaration was just extended to Sept. 1, 2020. People who have fallen behind in utility bills should take this time to work with their utility companies to get caught up so they are not facing a shutoff on Sept. 2.
Are your bills piling up? You have options.
For those who have fallen behind on mortgage payments, rent payments, or credit card payments, the time has come that you must deal with those missed payments. While some mortgage companies, landlords and credit card companies may be willing to provide you with a payment plan to get caught up, other creditors will not be so helpful and you will have to look for other solutions.
If you have fallen behind on your bills, you should contact your creditors immediately and ask about your payment options. If you have creditors that are not willing to work with you, or cannot offer you a payment plan that you can afford., your next call may need to be to Steidl & Steinberg. You can speak to an experiences attorney who will evaluate your financial situation and see if a bankruptcy is the best way to dig out of your COVID-19-related money problems.
Filing bankruptcy with Steidl & Steinberg.
A Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows qualifying individuals to eliminate certain debts, such as credit cards, personal loans, medical bills, and some utility bills. If you own your home and want to surrender it, rent and move out, or are paying for a car that you do not want to keep, the Chapter 7 bankruptcy can help you eliminate those debts as well.
A Chapter 13 bankruptcy gives people the chance to pay their debts over a three to five-year period. It can help you restructure your credit cards, medical bills, personal loans, and utility bills while getting caught up on missed mortgage and car payments.
While COVID-19 is new, the financial problem it has caused for many individuals are not. Steidl & Steinberg has been helping people, many of whom experienced job loss or medical issues, with their financial problems for 35 years. If you have fallen behind in your bills, do not wait for a lawsuit, eviction or foreclosure, give Steidl & Steinberg a call at 412-391-8000.