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  • Writer's pictureAJ Shepard

Relief for Individuals: COVID-19

Speaker 1: Awesome. All right. Fantastic. Welcome to the Guide to the COVID-19 Financial Relief for Individuals pertaining mainly to real estate, especially real estate brokers, but we're going to cover a little bit. This is not a super, super deep dive, but this is a great starting place and a good place to start looking for and finding more detailed URLs to go to in order to find your specific situation. Let's just get right into it. First of all, the categories of relief are listed right here, all types of direct payments from the governments, individuals, and/or households. It's going to be expanded unemployment insurance, mainly for independent contractors like real estate brokers, or however they are filing their taxes. It's going to also include expanded sick and pay for family leave. There's going to be some talk of no/low interest loans for small businesses to help cover things like payroll for your business while you're undergoing this time of kind of pandemonium, some tax payment relief and deferrals, mortgage payment and foreclosure relief as well. Student loan relief is included in this issuance from the government, and then insurance premium relief as well. Here's a graphic. This is the idea or flow chart of which the program can work. If you're already approved for unemployment benefits, then you can file directly through this claim. If you're eligible, or you believe you're eligible, like a contractor where you're out of work, then you apply to the Oregon UI claim under a little bit different URL. Exhausted. If you are thinking that you're going to be in this for longer or shorter, you go and just find out. I mean, you've got to dive in for your particular situation. If you're not usually eligible for things like unemployment benefits, self-employed, or 1099 contract workers, you have to apply for pandemic unemployment assistance, and this is coming soon. You will automatically receive either unemployment or PUA benefits. I'm very sorry, I do not understand exactly what PUA stands for, but it includes any extensions for up to 39 weeks, plus additional $60 per week from late March all the way through to the end of July. This is a flow chart that the government has wanted us to step through.

The direct payments from the government. What those are really going to look like is a stimulus package. This was passed by the Senate on March 26th. This includes direct payments from the Treasury to individuals and families. The single Americans, we already know, are going to receive $1,200. Married couples $2,400. If they are parents, they're going to receive $500 each child under the age of 17. All these payments will be based off of the 2018 or 2019 tax information. There are limits on the upper end of income. If you are, I believe it starts at $79,800, your payment changes. If you're above, I think it's $99,000, you may not be eligible for the stimulus. Unemployment insurance. This is specific to independent contractors. The Cares Act, which was that flow chart, it created the pandemic unemployment assistance, is going to extend benefits to people who typically wouldn't be effected, but now are effected because of the virus. This is independent contractors and individual contractors such as Uber drivers and things like that. The no/low interest loan for small businesses is also applicable for independent contractors. There's a couple different loans available. There's the Economic Injury Disaster loan, and then there's the Paycheck Protection Program. The Economic Injury loan, what it does is it forgives $10,000 of forgivable loan in small businesses or independent contractors, and it will not have to be repaid, which is an interesting new thing that I don't think we've really seen before. The Paycheck Protection Program is a stimulus that was created on March 27th. This program is going to be $350 million, and businesses can get up to $10 million based on the previous year's tax.

This goes to anything that might be included in business expenses including payroll for employees and things of that nature, but a portion of the loans will be forgivable, but they will be paid back. Now I've heard from a friend of mine in the law industry that if the loan is paid for up to, I think, 13 weeks, then the whole thing is forgiven. It's interesting. It might be useful for anybody with that type of business into, but no interest loans for small businesses. Something interesting to think about. Finally, we've got mortgage relief. Mortgage relief is coming for single-family borrowers with federally backed loans. These people will be eligible for mortgage payments with no interest accrued. Sorry. No reporting to the credit bureaus of foreclosure actions for up to a 180-day period. Multi-family borrowers who can't make their mortgage payments, they're eligible for up to three 30-day delays in their mortgage payment. There's also a 60-day suspension on all foreclosures of federally backed mortgages. There are also private banks, credit unions. They're doing similar things and if that's your situation, you should check with them and/or your lender. That's the long-short of it. I mean, it's not a super deep dive, but really there's some interesting things to take advantage of in this issuance of free money basically. I'm sure somebody has a question here or there, so please go ahead.

Jacob: Any idea when the unemployment will be opened up to independent contractors?

Speaker 1: The application process, it's been started. It was started on April 3rd. They're still, up to now, even accepting applications for this. There's only $350 million of the ...

Jacob: 350 billion.

Speaker 1: Billion, sorry, that is going to be available, so it's better to apply sooner than later.

Jacob: Oh, I was talking about unemployment. Is that the SBA or the ...

Speaker 1: The small business loan? Is that what you're talking about?

Jacob: Yeah. The 350 billion, I thought, was for the small business loans.

Speaker 1: Yeah. Yeah. I thought I said that. My apologies if I didn't.

Jacob: Yeah, so at the beginning it said, there's that little diagram type thing. There's an arrow that says coming soon for the independent contractor one basically.

Speaker 1: Yes.

Jacob: Do you know when that's going to be available?

Speaker 1: That was, it's been available for about 18 days now. It started April 3rd.

Jacob: Oh crazy. I've checked every day, and I couldn't find it.

Speaker 2: Oh really? Taylor, can you go back to that slide with the diagrams?

Speaker 1: I don't know how. All right. There we go. This one?

Speaker 4: Yeah, so I think Jacob's talking about that coming soon portion.

Speaker 1: Yeah

Speaker 1: I think people are applying for unemployment benefits, but I don't know if it's a separate application you have to do for PUA benefits or not.

Speaker 4: The unemployment UI benefits now include self-employed and 1099 contract work, so I believe that that would include brokers.

Jacob: Yes. Yeah, but the questions that they ask on there are designed for the people that are already approved for UI benefits because they didn't actually implement, or haven't had the time to basically change the wording. If you answer any of the questions correctly saying that you are self-employed, usually it kicks you out and says that doesn't work because you don't typically qualify for unemployment benefits.

Speaker 1: Yeah. On the diagram, I assume you would go to the top right portion for brokers because we're not usually eligible for UI benefits.

Speaker 4: Yeah.

Jacob: Yeah.

Speaker 4: Yeah. I don't know. I have not heard anything on when that is coming into effect.

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