March 27, 2020
Katz Law, APC is an experienced bankruptcy law firm in Los Angeles, California that specializes in assisting individuals who have fallen into hard times financially. In light of our experience in bankruptcy, we have been recently contacted by a large amount of individuals inquiring about bankruptcy in light of the Coronavirus Pandemic that has hit the world, and specifically, Los Angeles, CA. Although bankruptcy can provide relief to a lot of individuals who are experiencing financial problems, Bankruptcy may not be for everyone, and could be avoided (at times) with some careful planning. With the Coronavirus or COVID-19 resulting in significant amount of unemployment, especially in Los Angeles and California as a whole, bankruptcies are expected to increase. However, since Bankruptcy is often a “last resort” for individuals, we felt it would be imperative to provide a few tips on how one may be able to avoid what looks like an inevitable bankruptcy.
Tip No. 1 – Be Frugal
Prior to the Coronavirus, the economy was booming which resulted on many of us enjoying things that some can consider “luxury”. For example, you may had a gym membership that cost $150/month, you enjoyed an expensive cable package, you drove an expensive car, or maybe you dined at fine restaurants a few times a week? Due to the Coronavirus, a lot of restaurants and gyms have closed, which have helped many save some expenses. However, if one has been laid off, or income has decreased significantly due to the Coronavirus in Los Angeles, a lot of these savings may not be enough. These are some tips you can follow to live a more frugal life:
1) Try to cook at home using ingredients that you buy at the market, instead of buying food from restaurants. While you may want to support restaurants that are struggling, you should only do so if you have the means.
2) Use inexpensive or free cell phone applications for exercise, as opposed to signing up for an expensive gym membership (or continuing your membership if you already have one).
3) If you are renting an office, consider not extending your lease and just working from home (if it is possible).
4) Take advantage of free entertainment like having family game nights, readings books, taking walks, etc.
5) Avoid buying clothes unless they are necessary. Hard financial times are going to come, so it may not be the right time to buy that extra shoe or extra shirt you always wanted.
6) Disconnect that expensive cable package. You can find plenty of content online, or by signing up for a minimum cable package with some online provides like Sling or YouTube TV.
Tip No. 2 – Look for Other Opportunities to Earn an Income
If you have been laid off or have significantly reduced income as a result of the Coronavirus and you live in Los Angeles or California, there are many opportunities that you can engage-in to earn some extra income. For example, many food deliver companies (like Postmates, Doordash Instacart, Uber Eats, etc.) are in increasing demand. This is a flexible job and relatively safe since human contact is easily avoided. Other jobs include supermarkets and other food vendors. While many sectors have been affected by the Coronavirus in Los Angeles and California as a whole, some sectors are now seeing higher demands.
Tip No. 3 – Consider Moving if Rent is Too High
Although moving from one place to another may not be ideal, if you are living in a place that you cannot afford at the moment, try and move to a less-expensive place. A home should be a place that is comforting and your safe-haven. If you are constantly thinking about how you are going to pay rent, you should maybe consider moving. While Los Angeles County enacted a moratorium regarding rents on residential (and commercial) properties, said moratorium is only in effect for a few months; it is not a temporary solution.
If All Else Fails, Bankruptcy Can Assist Individuals Financially Affected by Coronavirus
Bankruptcy was put into place specifically to assist individuals who have fallen into hard times financially. If one qualifies for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy (yes, you must qualify for a bankruptcy), he/she may be able to wipe out all debts such as credit cards. If, however, one who is in financial difficulty does not qualify for a Chapter 7 case, Chapter 13 is an alternative wherein you will be able to pay your debts over a certain period of time. Chapter 13 is often filed for individuals who have assets, like a home, but have fallen behind on their mortgage payments.
Consult With A Qualified Attorney Now!
If you or your loved one is considering bankruptcy in light of the Coronavirus pandemic, or if you have any questions as to how to prevent a bankruptcy, we would be happy to talk to you. If you need bankruptcy advice, contact a Los Angeles attorney now! Katz Law is ready to help you immediately! Also note that in light of social-distancing, we are willing to conduct our free consultations by phone or by video. Just call us to set up an appointment.
Call us now at (310) 444-9444 for a FREE CONSULTATION!