Due to this unprecedented health crisis, many New Yorkers are struggling to take care of their families and make ends meet with a diminished income. Sometimes, the financial challenges are so great that you may be wondering whether bankruptcy can lighten the burden.

While bankruptcy will make sense for many people, it doesn’t have to be the default option for dealing with your present difficulties. Here are some steps you and your family can take to navigate the COVID-19 crisis financially.

Apply for any aid you’re eligible for

Those in positions of influence and authority, from political leaders to the IRS, are doing what they can to help. For example:

  • After the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act was enacted, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development quickly moved to make almost $300 million available to New York communities.
  • Creditors of all kinds are expressing a willingness to work out payment plans or defer payments until the outlook improves.
  • The IRS has extended the income tax filing deadline to July 15.

Applying for this aid if you need it, combined with a commitment to taking care of your physical and mental health, will play a key role in coping financially.

List your necessary expenses

Itemize your key expenses, which include housing, food, medical, and transportation. Due to the present social distancing rule, many of the expenses you had before the crisis may no longer be present, such as daycare, eating out, and entertainment. If any of them involve monthly dues, such as a gym membership, contact the business and ask them to put these fees on hold.

If you have older children or teenagers who regularly shop online, download games, or buy music, talk to them about the need to reduce costs. If necessary, remove your credit card information from these accounts.

Contact your service providers

Reach out to the companies that provide you with phone, cable, internet, and other monthly services and see if you can get a payment reduction. Many communication and utility providers are now waiving certain fees, but you may be able to negotiate a more affordable payment plan until the crisis passes.

Contact your creditors

Get in touch with your creditors immediately if it looks like you’re going to be falling behind. They may be willing to extend loans, reduce interest rates, revise terms, and even skip or defer payments temporarily. When it comes to navigating a financial crisis, there is no shame in seeking help or even filing for bankruptcy if the situation becomes overwhelming. Like all difficulties, this will pass, and you will have the opportunity to rebuild and put it all behind you.

If you have any questions about bankruptcy or any other legal matter, then contact the law office of Jayson Lutzky. Mr. Lutzky has over 36 years of experience and offers free consultations. You can reach his office at 718-329-9500. Video consultations are available during the COVID-19 pandemic.