With recent unemployment figures hitting record highs, the COVID-19 pandemic has created financial hardships for many people. With that in mind, we’re sharing some of the financial help, resources, and programs that may provide relief right now.
The $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act provides significant economic assistance. More than 800 pages long, here are some of the provisions that may be relevant for you
Cash installments will give huge financial help to many people. Most individuals earning less than $75,000 can expect a one-time cash payment of $1,200. Married couples will receive a check and families will get $500 per child. That means a family of four earning less than $150,000 can expect $3,400. The payment decreases above those figures until it stops altogether for single people earning $99,000. Or, for married couples with no children, the earning cap is $198,000. Those who are eligible are expected to get payments within a few weeks.
Federal Unemployment Assistance
States will continue to pay unemployment to people who qualify. This bill adds $600 per week from the federal government on top of whatever base amount a worker receives from the state. That boosted payment will last for four months.
Small business owners
The bill provides $10 billion for grants of up to $10,000 to provide emergency funds for small businesses to cover immediate operating costs. There is $350 billion allocated for the Small Business Administration to provide loans of up to $10 million per business. Any portion of that loan can be used to maintain payroll, keep workers on the books, or pay for rent, or a mortgage. Additionally, existing debt could be forgiven, provided workers stay employed through the end of June.
Freelancers or Independent Contractors
Typically self-employed people can’t apply for unemployment. However, they are now being offered financial help. This bill creates a new temporary Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program. It will allot $600 per week through the end of the year to help people who have lost their jobs as a direct result of the pandemic.
Borrowers of federally backed mortgages can request a loan forbearance on their payments. This means there won’t be penalties, fees, or interest for at least 180 days. Additionally, there is a potential 180-day extension. Borrowers of multi-family properties may request a similar forbearance for up to 30 days with two additional 30-day extensions possible. Furthermore, foreclosures on federally backed mortgage loans are prohibited for at least 60 days. This will begin on March 18, 2020. Evictions from properties related to several federal programs are also prohibited
The federal government had already waived two months of payments and interest for many federal student loan borrowers. With the new bill, there will be automatic payment suspensions for any student loan held by the federal government through September 30.
For the calendar year 2020, no one will have to take a required minimum distribution from any individual retirement accounts or workplace retirement savings plan. Therefore, you aren’t forced to sell investments that have fallen in value, locking in losses.
The bill puts a temporary nationwide eviction moratorium in place. It includes any renters whose landlords have mortgages backed or owned by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and other federal entities for 120 days. Furthermore, it prohibits landlords from charging any fees or penalties for nonpayment of rent.
Other Financial Help Measures
The deadline for filing both federal and state taxes has been extended to July 15th.
Even prior to the passage of CARES, a number of banks offered huge financial help to their clients. They agreed to let homeowners skip mortgage payments for up to 90 days. However, you must prove you have lost your jobs or are struggling financially due to the coronavirus pandemic. Contact your mortgage servicer for more information.
For more details on financial help, see this New York Times article.
Do You Need Real Estate and Financial Help?
We understand many people’s financial situations have changed during the pandemic. We are not financial advisors, so we can’t help with all financial needs. However, if your financial needs involve real estate, we’d be happy to help. Simply fill out the form below or give us a call at 562.896.2456.