Last updated 8/31/2020
Coronavirus Outbreak – What you Need to Know
We remain open and available to assist our clients with their legal needs during the coronavirus pandemic. My staff and I are working remotely from home Monday through Thursday but we are in the office on Fridays with limited in-office appointments available. We continue to file cases and handle hearings, all remotely. All courts remain open for filing new cases and pleadings. We have video conferencing capabilities for remote consultations with clients and for depositions and settlement conferences. Call or email us with your questions and concerns.
As of this update all 50 states have begun some version of re-opening. We will continue to monitor this social experiment and will remain available to help our clients navigate their legal issues. We now anticipate that most of the social distancing and safety precautions will remain in effect for some time. We will be watching the results of efforts to re-open in Florida in order to better advise our clients.
A Few Promising Developments
Daily carbon emissions have plummeted since Covid-19 lockdowns took effect—backing up earlier predictions that the pandemic could lead to the largest decline since World War II.
The drug that’s furthest along in clinical trials for treating COVID-19 is remdesivir, a new intravenous antiviral that the FDA has not yet approved, though they did grant an emergency use authorization for it to make it more accessible. Researchers are also testing older medications (that are typically used to treat other conditions) to see if they are also effective in treating COVID-19, including Dexamethasone, a common corticosteroid (steroid) medication that has been used for many years to treat various health conditions, such as autoimmune conditions and allergic reactions..
The Legal Implications and Solutions.
As businesses worldwide navigate the challenges brought on by the rapid spread of coronavirus, it is now more essential than ever that individuals and businesses be ready with solutions to address problems as they arise. We are available to help you navigate these complex issues. We are available to help you deal with credit issues, legal disputes, employee concerns, and, if needed, bankruptcy protection. The CARES Act has expanded bankruptcy options for individuals and small businesses. See below. We can also help negotiate with creditors and debtors and if needed, negotiate and draft a Standstill / Tolling Agreement.
The State of Florida has imposed a moratorium on evictions and foreclosure sales. On August 31 Governor DeSantis extended the moratorium through October 1st.
State and Local Restrictions
Broward County is cautiously reopening. Visit the COVID-19 website for latest updates. https://www.broward.org/CoronaVirus/Pages/Updates.aspx?=Releases.
Broward Mask Requirements: Effective July 2, 2020, masks are required in most public spaces, both inside and outside, wherever social distancing is not possible. See https://mcusercontent.com/9e9054732582506f6ae010170/files/6d459ebf-af8a-44b0-ac96-df3599f460b3/Emergency_Order_20_20.pdf.
The number of confirmed cases of the new coronavirus in Florida continued to push past 451,000 as people returned to reopened beaches, restaurants and retailers over Memorial Day weekend.
Local Business Closure Information
Here is a list of restaurants open for takeout or delivery in Plantation. https://mailchi.mp/plantationchamber/coronavirus-covid-481723?e=3fce814efb.
Note: The Broward Sheriff’s Office has suspended all evictions. Broward courts are closed to the public through April 17th. Jury duty is also suspended. https://www.browardclerk.org/GeneralInformation/Miscellaneous#CoronavirusUpdates
Questions related to COVID-19 can be directed to 954-357-9500, or by emailing COVIDemail@example.com. Broward residents concerned they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should call the same number before traveling to any health care facility..
The CARES Act
A two trillion dollar financial assistance bill passed the Senate and House and was signed into law. We will continue to follow the relief bills proposed in Congress and will report as information becomes available. Most adults will get $1,200, although some would get less. For every qualifying child age 16 or under, the payment will be an additional $500. Most people who are receiving Social Security retirement and disability payments each month will also get a stimulus payment. During the week of April 13, the I.R.S. intends to release an online tool that will allow you to track the status of your payment. The Act also expands unemployment benefits. For more information see https://www.nytimes.com/article/coronavirus-stimulus-package-questions-answers.html.
Download the Small Business Owner’s Guide.
Where to Get Help
For information on Federal financial assistance go to https://www.usa.gov/disaster-financial-help.
To get the most updated information about coronavirus in Florida go to the Florida Department of Health website at floridahealth.gov/diseases-and-conditions/COVID-19. Or call the Florida COVID-19 call center at 866-779-6121 or email COVIDfirstname.lastname@example.org.
To get the most updated information about the virus in the United States go to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov.
We helped our clients weather the financial crisis of 2007 – 2008 and we are here for you now. Bankruptcy protection is available for those individuals and businesses impacted severely by the pandemic. A Chapter 7 liquidation proceeding is available to individuals, partnerships, and corporations. For individuals filing Chapter 7, most debts, including some tax obligations, are discharged.
A Chapter 13 bankruptcy, or “wage earner reorganization” is available only to individuals with regular income. It requires that the debtor file a plan providing for payment to creditors over a period of up to five years, but the Care Act has temporaily extended that period to seven years. The benefits of a Chapter 13 include the ability to reinstate a home mortgage that is in default, stop IRS collection efforts while payments are made, the ability to retain non-exempt real estate and personal assets, and a broader form of discharge.
A Chapter 11 reorganization is available to individuals and businesses. Due to the higher court fees, reporting requirements and legal fees involved in a Chapter 11, it is only used by individuals with combined debts of over $1,000,000.00. However, it may provide individuals and businesses with an opportunity to reorganize their debts and make arrangements to pay all or a portion of the debts, or sell the business, while obtaining protection from creditors. A small business Chapter 11 is now also available.
We can give you the information you need to know about filing bankruptcy. We have been representing individuals and businesses in bankruptcy matters for over 30 years. Please call us with your questions at 954-356-0450 or email us.
The Federal Courts remain open for bankruptcy filings. Meetings of creditors are now conducted by phone. Hearings continue to take place by telephone.
We will update this page regularly to keep our clients informed.