Will Bankruptcy in Memphis Increase as the Last of the Covid Stimulus Programs End?
In the past few months, there’s been plenty of talk in the bankruptcy world about changing trends. As Covid aid comes to a close, a lot of people think filing for bankruptcy in Memphis will go up.
Here’s what you need to know, including whether you’re at risk (and what to do if you are).
Why Bankruptcies May Go Up
As we enter a new stage of the Covid pandemic, our financial options will change as well. It’s been many months since the last Covid stimulus checks went out, but other aid programs have stayed strong. These include moratoriums on foreclosure and limitations on student loan collection.
Now, without some of those protections waning, people are worried they could lose their homes, cars, and hard-earned money.
One of the biggest changes involves creditors. Federal restrictions on creditors have essentially gone away. Car companies, hospitals, banks, and others can now approach you the same way they did before the pandemic.
They can repossess your car and start foreclosure proceedings. They can contact you at home and online. And they can make your life hell.
Who’s Most At Risk
You’re most at risk if you’ve been treading water during the pandemic as your debt stays the same or goes up. This is nothing to be ashamed of: millions of Americans lost their jobs, loved ones, personal health, and/or sense of security during this pandemic. A lot of people struggled to get by. That’s why there were aid programs in the first place!
However, that doesn’t change your current situation or the situation of millions of other Americans.
For example, as of right now, federal student loans will come due again at the end of August. This may change in coming days, but for right now, all across America, millions of people are wondering whether they’ll need to make high payments starting next month.
To make matters worse, inflation continues to steal more of our paychecks. And so just like you, a huge portion of the country wonders what the next few weeks and months will mean for their families.
If you’re someone who’s been struggling all along and now worry the lack of aid might push you past the brink, it’s time to make a plan and act.
What You Can Do
If you’re struggling with debts you can’t pay and worry things will only get worse, you do have some options.
First, figure out how much you owe, and to whom. Some creditors might be willing to work out a payment plan with you. For example, if you have a lot of outstanding medical debt, you can try calling the hospital’s billing office to set something up. They may be willing to accept longer payments at a lower price.
Keep in mind these agreements aren’t bound by law, which means they can go back on their end of the bargain. But if you can set something like this up, and it’s enough to solve your debt problem, it’s worth a shot.
You might also want to look into local non-profits and federal aid programs specific to your type of debt. Keeping the medical debt example, there are programs through churches, aid organizations, and other civic groups designed to help people pay back certain medical debts.
When Bankruptcy Might Be the Answer
As a bankruptcy attorney, I can tell you the focus should be on your debt and not just, “How can I avoid bankruptcy?” For some people, bankruptcy is an absolute lifesaver. That’s exactly what it was designed to be.
Bankruptcy was inspired by the Biblical concept of the “year of Jubilee.” It was meant to help people get a fresh start when nothing else would work. It’s not right for every situation, but depending on your finances, it might be exactly what you need.
As certain aid dies down in the coming weeks, you should probably consider bankruptcy if:
- You have property at risk you want to keep
- Creditors are garnishing your wages (or might start soon)
- You have multiple debts and no clear way to repay them all
- Debt keeps you up at night, and you feel hopeless
One thing to bear in mind: Initial consultations with us are completely free. So if you’re experiencing any of the above, it doesn’t cost you anything to discuss your options. Our attorneys can tell you if you qualify and help you figure out your next steps.
Bankruptcy in Memphis may very well be on the rise in coming months, but that process can be a net positive for a lot of people willing to deal with their debt the right way. The scary part is knowing how many people may soon experience the anxiety, frustration, and helplessness that comes from debt, with no idea how to get out of it.
We can help. Schedule your free consultation with us today. Call 901-327-2100 or fill out the form on this page. We look forward to speaking with you.