As a bankruptcy lawyer in Memphis TN, I know firsthand what a difficult time this is for so many hard-working Americans. For the fourth month in a row, a record number of households cannot pay their housing bills on time and in full.

As the coronavirus surges, with 3,355,457 total cases and 135,235 total deaths in the U.S. to date, so too does the economic fallout. According to a new survey from Apartment List, an online rental platform, nearly a third of U.S. households had not made their full housing payments for July as of last week.

Apartment List reports that roughly 19% of Americans made no housing payment during the first week of July. 13% paid a portion of their rent or mortgage.

This continues a pattern from recent months. 31% and 30% of Americans could not pay their housing bill on time and in full in May and June, respectively.

Missed housing bills can become a vicious cycle.

Though the majority of missed housing payments were made by the end of the month in April, May, and June, one missed payment is an indication of trouble to come. Late fees put households in a tough spot for the following month. This can create a vicious cycle, one that can feel impossible to break.

Renters are particularly vulnerable.

This is a tough time for everyone, but renters are more vulnerable. Alicia Adamczyk of CNBC writes:

“About 36% of renters, who are more likely to work in industries devastated by the coronavirus, missed their July housing bill, compared to 30% of homeowners.”

About a month ago, for the first time in 11 weeks, Memphis’ court judges handled tenant-landlord disputes. Speaking to the Memphis Commercial Appeal, Kathryn Ramsey, director of the Medical-Legal Partnership at the University of Memphis’ Cecil C. Humphreys law school, urged Memphis residents to prepare for a wave of evictions.

“We have an upcoming surge of evictions, we know that, because we know that filings of eviction cases in Shelby County general sessions court have increased, they are higher than they usually are at this time,” she said.

We can help you keep your apartment.

This isn’t a time to let your financial troubles escalate. As a bankruptcy lawyer Memphis TN trusts, I’ve helped thousands of families endure tough times. I can help yours, too.

In our most challenging hours, bankruptcy makes it possible to survive. If you are struggling to pay your rent, or worried you’ll be evicted, please know that there’s always hope. Give us a call at (901) 327-2100 or contact us online, and we can discuss your options.