I think we can summarize the financial situation succinctly – “it sucks.” I recognize the words are rather crass – but the situation – for the vast majority of all Americans – is dire and frightening. Unless there is a significant change in the medical realities – we are in for an extended process where the return to “normalcy” is going to extend over time.

On the positive– the government – both State and Federal – haves stepped up and promised significant help. The feds have offered business the EIDL loan and the Payroll Protection Program (“PPP”). For individuals, $600 per week added unemployment benefits and the promised payment of up to $1,200 per adult (and $500 per child), based on income. Right now, the problem is help is promised – but not delivered. As of today, I have heard of a couple partial payments on the PPP plan to a couple of employers – but for the most part – silence. The government’s track record for emergency aid in dire situations is not great. We’ve seen delays before and can only hope they can deliver. The task is daunting given the scale. Right now – delivery of necessary funds is critical – so fingers crossed as to when the funds will come through. We are also awaiting the rules for self-employed individuals to seek the benefits of the PPP loan – the rules are overdue! By the time the rules are disclosed, I’m concerned there will be no funds left – so fingers crossed for added funding through Congress.

If you can’t make your mortgage payment, you need to call you lender and request a deferral. On government backed mortgages – a six-month deferral is mandatory if requested, the deferral can be extended another six months. But you must make the request. Not yet clear as yet, is how the deferred payments are then to be paid. When it comes to rent payments, there is a moratorium on residential rent that runs to April 17th – and I’m quite sure it will be extended. This moratorium, however, does not eliminate the rent obligation or provide any right to pay the arrearage over an extended period. These are potentially major problems – for both the homeowner and the renter. Business owners face incredible difficulty. What if you can’t reopen? What about the business loans you’ve guaranteed? What should you do if you’re a restaurant, spa or any business that does not mesh with social distancing once we begin to ease back?

To date – almost all of the many Webinars I’ve seen explain how to apply for this and that federal or state program. These are helpful, but I think you need more – you need suggestions on what you need to do – and what are the smart choices for financial survival. I urge you to attend our FREE Webinar Saturday morning (April 18) at 9:30 AM. Sign up below. Participation is limited – so reserve a spot right away!

Stay safe,
Ken

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