By: Scott France, Esq.
The Coronavirus pandemic continues to financially affect thousands of individuals in Toledo, Ohio. While news of a potential vaccine is encouraging, many Toledo residents continue to bear the financial pain caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.
The current economic landscape seems quite similar to what it was back in March 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic began. Unemployment rates continue to be higher than normal. Many small businesses have permanently shut their doors, while others who survived the first wave of store closures hang on by a thread. Even those of us who were able to continue their employment, know that Governor DeWine could order a shut down if the Coronavirus pandemic worsens. Bluntly put, most of us are holding on tightly to whatever resources we have left so that we can be prepared for what comes next.
Adding to the widespread uncertainty is the question of whether the United States Government will pass legislation to extend relief to individuals and small businesses who continue to suffer through the Coronavirus pandemic. The CARES Act was introduced in March 2020 and was intended to help individuals and businesses by providing access to needed funds to businesses as well as stimulus checks and pandemic unemployment benefits to individuals. While the CARES Act provided great relief allowing many of us to survive the past 9 months, these funds have mostly dried up. The CARES Act and many related programs are set to end as early as December 2020. Some experts predict that unless more relief is imminent, personal bankruptcies will begin a sharp upward trend.
In Toledo, Ohio personal bankruptcy filings remain lower than expected. This has been the case throughout the Coronavirus pandemic. According to local bankruptcy attorney Scott France “we see about 4,000 personal bankruptcies annually in the Toledo, Ohio area. We are currently on pace to see less than 3,000 personal bankruptcy filings in 2020. This seems abnormal, considering we are in the middle of a pandemic.” Many experts attribute the pause in bankruptcy filings to the fact that individuals are holding on tightly to whatever funds they have left, in case of emergency. In a recent Fox Business news article this point was supported by Ed Flynn, an editor at the American Bankruptcy Institute Journal. “It’s clear that when it comes to bankruptcy filings by individuals, it’s all about access to liquidity…With the end of the CARES Act, there will be an uptick in filings. The only question is will it be a sharp uptick or a gradual one.”
For now, individuals in Toledo, Ohio will have to wait for what comes next from both our State and Federal Governments. While hopes remain high that a vaccine is in our near future, many individuals also hope that the government will also pass legislation with additional relief to individuals and small businesses in Toledo, Ohio. Stay tuned.
“Personal Bankruptcies Expected To Rise In 2021 As Stimulus Ends”
by: Soma Biswas, Wall Street Journal (via Fox Business); October 28, 2020.
H.R. 748 CARES ACT
116th Congress, 2019-2020; Latest action-March 27, 2020
Link: Text of the CARES Act
About the author: Scott France is a bankruptcy attorney in Toledo, Ohio. As the owner of France Law Group, Scott France has represented many debtors in search of a fresh start.
Scott E. France, Esq.
FRANCE LAW GROUP, LLC
6545 W. Central Avenue, Suite 203
Toledo, Ohio 43617