Freedom Financial Network

For financially struggling Americans who depend on the benefits of COVID-related programs, the next few months could be difficult, if not disastrous. Being proactive and taking action now is essential to weather the storm ahead.

Just like since the spring, the 2020 close will be different from other years. In addition to taking care of regular year-end financial tasks, consumers will need to be aware of major changes and upcoming expires in relief aid, and how to plan for them.

When the pandemic struck last spring, the government and the private sector provided several types of financial assistance, including a large-scale relief plan, loan forbearance, a moratorium on evictions and additional unemployment benefits. Some of this support has already ended and others will expire in the coming weeks. “Awareness which programs expire and when, can help Americans plan ahead and avoid surprises, ”says Michael Micheletti, director of corporate communications at Freedom Financial Network.

Housing: mortgage abstention and moratorium on evictions

Approximately 30-40 million Americans risk being deported. Existing tenant and landlord programs, and when they expire, include the following.

  • Government-funded rental housing – Eviction protection expires on December 31. Some States – including New York, California and Kansas as well as the District of Columbia – offer additional / continuous coverage.
  • Private rental housing – With protections depending on state and local jurisdictions, consumers should check with their local housing authorities, Micheletti says.
  • Federal Mortgages – The CARES Act moratorium on evictions will end on December 31. However, the law allows for an abstention of up to 180 days and an extension of an additional 180 days. Consumers should contact their lenders directly to request the extension.
  • Private Mortgages – Individual lenders can offer help in the form of forbearance. Homeowners should contact their lenders directly to discuss and seek assistance. Learning how to ask creditors to forbear a loan will facilitate the task.

Student loan debt: Forbearance and other programs

  • Federal Student Loans – The US Department of Education extended loan loan forbearance, zero percent interest accumulation, tax-exempt employer contributions benefits and its suspension of collection activities until January 31, 2021.
  • Private Student Loans – People who need help paying off private student loan debt should contact their lenders to discuss and ask for help in case of difficulty.

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA): Paid leave

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act provided paid FMLA benefits to eligible employees who were unable to work due to COVID-related reasons. These benefits will expire on December 31.

What consumers can do

“For financially struggling Americans who rely on current benefits, the next few months could be difficult, if not disastrous,” Micheletti said. “Being proactive and taking action now is essential to weather the storm ahead. He recommends contacting local utility companies to learn about hardship programs and researching ways to eat cheaply (and healthily). Organizations such as Feed America can help identify local food banks. Tenants can speak with landlords now to try to come up with a plan for getting through the winter months.

“This is not a normal end of the year for anyone, because 2020 has brought unforeseen challenges for all sectors of the population,” concludes Micheletti. “The current situation is serious, but there are steps to be taken now that can be beneficial. The key among these is to make the effort to ask for help. Do not be too long. Taking time now will pay off in a better financial situation for 2021. “

For comment, more information, audio clips

Contact Michael Micheletti at [email protected] or 415-359-6985. It will be fully available from December 21 to 31. For short audio clips highlighting key points from the release, see:

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1LTOUD5lhA0XSP_n7AYvWT4ddCFiXPsh2?usp=sharing

Freedom Financial Network (http://www.freedomfinancialnetwork.com)

Freedom Financial Network, LLC, provides innovative solutions that empower people to lead healthier financial lives. For those struggling with debt, Freedom Debt Relief offers a personalized program to dramatically reduce and resolve what they owe faster than they could on their own. FreedomPlus tailors personal loans to each borrower with a level of customer service unmatched in the industry. Bills.com offers a resource site with tips, advice and simple tools to help consumers make informed financial decisions.

Based in San Mateo, California, FFN also operates an office in Tempe, Arizona, and employs more than 2,200 people. The company is a member of the Coalition for Racial Equality FinTech, a consortium of 32 leading fintech companies committed to taking concrete action to improve access to financial services, jobs and career advancement for consumers of all stripes, especially the black community.

Contact: Michael Micheletti, [email protected], 415-359-6985

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