As the nation’s businesses shut down or slow down, the financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic will certainly be widespread and drastic. Millions of American workers will be temporarily without pay for extended periods. Many will lose their jobs altogether. What should the consumer know when faced with impending financial doom? SmithMarco, P.C. wants to provide you a few reminders and ideas, so that you can weather the storm.
First, if you have a 401(k) plan or any other retirement plan where you have money saved, don’t be so quick to cash it in to pay your bills. Certainly, if it comes down to having food to eat, one must do what they must. However, do not think that you have to worry about your creditors getting their monthly payments if you cannot make it with the income or savings you have. Retirement plans, pension plans, retirement benefits, social security payments, disability payments are all exempt from attachment or garnishment. That means that this money cannot be taken from you by a creditor at any time no matter what the circumstance. This is money you may need for later in life (because we will survive this and we will go on as a nation) so don’t give it away to someone who will never be entitled to it.
There are a host of other exemptions that each state provides, and contacting a local attorney to learn about what assets or items you own are yours to keep, and nobody’s to take from you. Knowing that these assets or funds are yours to keep can comfort you. Certainly earnings can be garnished, but for those who do not have any earnings, well, there is nothing to garnish.
A good idea is to keep abreast of new developments being reported economic measures being passed by the federal government or your local government. Regardless of what side you are on, rest assured, most of our elected officials are hard at work trying to come up with temporary enactments that will protect Americans during this time. Just as disaster relief laws exist to protect consumers fleeing their homes from hurricanes, so too may there be laws enacted to provide relief for those effected by an economic slow-down. What those laws may be, we cannot say yet, but certainly, SmithMarco P.C. will be watching intently to see what will be instituted to protect our credit ratings from being destroyed, and what regulations are placed on debt collection activity. We have an election around the corner. It will be interesting to see who steps up, and in what way, to protect the American consumer.
As you wade through this uncertain road ahead, SmithMarco, P.C. will be here to provide the legal assistance you need. For a free case review, contact us today.