Tag: stimulus

Making the Stimulus work for You


To many, using your stimulus to file bankruptcy may seem like a strange use of the money.  In fact, that might just be the opposite.  

The American Rescue Plan Act was signed into law late last week that will provide most people in the U.S. yet another round of economic stimulus.  Those stimulus payments should be arriving any time now.  While there are some things that may ultimately prove to be more immediate needs, you need to consider whether investing your money in a bankruptcy is a good use of the funds.  

Most People Wait Too Long

Let me assure you, lawyers who practice bankruptcy law do it because they enjoy helping people.  I’ve worked in the world of high finance.  I used to represent big banks.  The work was daunting.  I never felt like I was helping anyone…because really, I wasn’t.  That’s why I left it.  I work every single day to help people get out of problems that most of them had no part in creating.  

The problem is, most of the people simply put up with the emotional challenges of debt for way too long.  They stay up at night, they throw good money after bad, they spend money they could be putting away for a rainy day trying to pay a bill that they’ll never get caught up on.  

So, why would paying for a bankruptcy help me? First and foremost, when you owe someone $10,000 or more and you haven’t made a dent in it in years, $1,400 isn’t going to do much to solve your problem.  You’ll throw away $1,400 dollars you could have spent getting yourself out of debt. 

You Need Long-Term Relief

No one started out to go down this path.  Everyone assumed when they took out the loan or swiped the credit card that they’d be able to pay everyone back, in full…but life happens. Things come up, people get sick, people lose jobs and when you’re already living paycheck to paycheck, that creates even more problems.  

At some point, the debt is just too overwhelming.  It’s hard to come to terms with that, but the sooner you do, the sooner you can start seeking the help you need and making decisions that will have a positive impact on your life going forward. 

What is “that point”

It’s hard to know when you’ve hit, “that point.  That’s why we’ve got some guidance here:

  1. Never wait until you feel that all hope is gone.  If you’re just barely hanging on, you’re not only risking your financial future, you’re putting your own mental and physical health at risk.  
  2. You need to consider more than just your creditors.  Yes, you feel obligated to pay BIG BANK CORP, but I can assure you, the CEO’s kids won’t go hungry…but yours might.  You have responsibilities to your children, your significant other, parents or in-laws and other family members.  How much are you taking away from them as you kill yourself to pay off your creditors. 
  3. There’s more than financial responsibilities there too.  Is all the stress from debt causing you to be emotionally absent from your children or your spouse? Is debt potentially causing you to jeopardize your relationships with your family and friends? 
  4. The one person everyone seems to be forgetting in all this is you? Stress kills.  You’re risking everything by being so stressed.  We already discussed your relationships and how stress from debt can ruin those, but you need to remember to take care of your physical and emotional health as well.  If you don’t, no one else will. 
  5. Finally, you need to realize  you need help when you start making bad decisions. Desperation can frequently result in us making poor choices that can make our situations even worse than they already were.    


You need to remember, you have options.  Good, solid, legal options that can help you moving forward. The good news is, you’ve got enough money to get the ball rolling thanks to the stimulus.  In the end, when you look at it purely in the terms of return on investment, you really can’t beat spending a few hundred dollars to rid yourself of tens of thousands of dollars in debt. If you’re ready to explore your options, call us.  Your initial consultation and financial analysis is 100% free. 

3 uses for your Stimulus Check

As of the writing of this blog entry, more than 22 million Americans have filed for unemployment and millions more are staring into the abyss.  COVID-19 has decimated what was one of the strongest economies in American history. Businesses are closing and some of the most famous names in retail are likely to be seeking bankruptcy protection in the very near future. There is one silver lining in all this and that’s the help we’re all getting from the government in the form of Stimulus checks to help offset the damage COVID-19 has done to people’s ability to function financially. A lot of people don’t often receive a big lump sum payment like this and many are asking, what should I do with my newfound windfall.  We have a list below to help you decide. 

Meet your basic needs

Everyone has ongoing expenses that they must pay for, your stimulus can help.

Food: You’ve got to eat and so does your family.  You’ve got to be able to put food on the table day in and day out.  If you don’t have any other means of putting food on the table, this check can seriously help with one of life’s greatest necessities. 

Housing: You’ve got to keep a roof over your head.  Many people are finding offers of forbearance on loans and rent, but be sure to read the fine print.  Many banks and landlords are offering forbearance but the devil is in the details. Many of those banks and landlords will expect the entire amount due at the end of the forbearance period.  If you can, pay your mortgage or your rent.  

Transportation: If you’re lucky enough to have a job now or one to go back to once everything goes back to normal, you need to keep a set of wheels. 

Utilities: You should pay your bills if you can.  While many utility companies are’t disconnecting during the crisis, don’t think that’s going to be a free ride. The tab is still running and they will eventually expect payment, possibly with interest and fees. The bottom line is, look on their websites for coronavirus accommodations and how to contact them for assistance. Don’t ignore bills. Stay in touch with each company if financial hardship puts you behind and you can’t pay.

Save it

We have written before about the number of Americans who don’t have even enough money  in their bank account to cover a $1,000 emergency. With each person getting $1,200 in stimulus money and families getting more, if you are one of the fortunate people who still have a job, use this money to help build up a fund to cover the unexpected burdens you may not see coming yet.  

Invest in your future

Eventually, everything will get back to normal and when it does, you’re going to have a lot of financial decisions to make.  If you aren’t in the position to save your money and you’ve stopped paying some of your bills like credit cards and personal loans, know that your creditors will eventually come looking for you and the money you owe them.  If you already had a good amount of debt to begin with maybe you’re realizing that now may be a good time to start fresh with a clean slate. At Harmon and Gorove, that’s what we’ve done for nearly 40 years. If you’re facing financial uncertainty because of unsustainable debt, contact the attorneys at Harmon and Gorove for a free consultation to discuss how bankruptcy can put you on the path to financial security.