Dear Clients and Friends:


In light of this worldwide crisis surrounding COVID-19, our thoughts are with the people and families that this virus has impacted and continues to impact as well as the heroic people providing care for those affected.


We here at Clark Newberry Law Firm would like to inform you that we will remain open for business working hard for our clients and their needs. Although our physical office will be closed until further notice, we are all working remotely and will still be scheduling consultations and meetings via telephone, FaceTime, and/or Zoom.


Our voicemails are monitored closely and we will do our best to return your message within 24 hours. There is no doubt in my mind. We will get through this. Let’s take this opportunity to show what we are made of.

Which bills should I pay? 

Prioritize debts whose non-payment immediately harms your family. Non-payment of certain debts have sudden and dire consequences for your family during financial distress. Never pay smaller lower priority debts just because you cannot keep up with high priority “If I can’t pay my mortgage, at least I will keep up with my credit cards.” This is a bad idea. If you can't make full payments on high priority debts, try to negotiate with the creditor to accept lower payments or save the money to be used later to get caught up, to cover the costs of moving or to pay for another car if your car is repossessed. 

   

Here is a list of high priority debts:

  • Auto Loans
  • Rent
  • Utilities
  • Child Support
  • Restitution or other Court Ordered Payments


*Not a Debt but essential - Food Must be Budgeted


Will Become High Priority Debts Soon:

  • Home Loan Payments
  • Real Estate Taxes & Hazard Insurance (If not escrowed)
  • HOA dues
  • Taxes Owed to IRS (past years)
  • Student Loan Payments (do NOT assume these are paused yet)


Some creditors for debts listed above have measures in place to assist, however, do NOT assume you will automatically receive benefits. Contact your creditor and affirmatively request deferred payments or forbearance. Several news headlines and social media posts announce plans to help, but seldom does the public see the fine print that you must CALL and ask for help and be deemed qualified.


I rent, do I have to pay my April lease?

If you rent your home from a private landlord, reach out to your landlord if you are not able to make your April 2020 rent payment. The Governor's moratorium on evictions does NOT eliminate your obligation to pay, it just restricts landlords from eviction while the order is in place. If you are able to make partial payments do so and try to work something out with your landlord, failure to do so could result in an eviction after the moratorium is lifted.


If you live in multifamily housing, and Freddie Mac insures your landlord's loan and the landlord applies for forbearance, you may not have to pay rent, go here to see if this applies to you: 


https://myhome.freddiemac.com/rent/relief_mf_landlords_renters.html?fbclid=IwAR0xXveGzzo5KvZjEVWj8EkcanFsCm3bkPUa7aKZMza9vTGbqCCEGO917b8


If you receive subsidized housing or need rental assistance, go to HUD's website for information:


https://www.hud.gov/topics/rental_assistance


If my mortgage is insured, can I skip my monthly payments?

If your mortgage is insured by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae, you may request a 180 day forbearance directly from your lender (may be extended for another 180 days) as a result of the CARES Act. No late fees, no penalties and no negative credit reporting. Even if your loan is not owned by Fannie/Freddie, in Nevada you cannot be foreclosed on as long as the Governor's moratorium is in place HOWEVER, your payments are NOT forgiven during this time, it just prevents foreclosure actions, so if you can make a payment, make the payment, if you are not able to make the payment reach out to your servicer to see what assistance is available.   


“According to the GSEs, mortgage servicers must begin borrower evaluations for the payment deferral program no later than January 1, 2021, but servicers may begin using this new option with eligible borrowers as early as July 1, 2020.” 


Make sure to read the fine print and not just the headlines.


https://www.housingwire.com/articles/fannie-mae-freddie-mac-will-let-borrowers-facing-hardship-defer-two-months-of-mortgage-payments/?fbclid=IwAR0IBLyliamiB3yGtzXaA_SyymycFh44DVASb-Ddf2Py3MHXpe_MfNcOI6k


 

Can I get health insurance?

If you need health insurance, go to Nevada Health Link for more information about qualifying events that could make you eligible to enroll. You must enroll by April 15, 2020. If you are eligible for Medicaid/CHIP the prescreener tool will direct you to apply.


https://www.nevadahealthlink.com/start-here/how-to-enroll/?fbclid=IwAR1-l7nYoKiiKy2rAgG2_9wdSc3IEjzN4isPzhMSfTuDl_ambiLsftGV23U


Can I apply for unemployment?

You do not have to be unemployed to file a claim in Nevada, if your hours are reduced you may file a claim for lost income, just make sure to abide by the rules and reporting requirements.

You can file an unemployment claim 24/7 at ui.nv.gov/css.html – the fastest way to file.


The Nevada DETR Call Center will have expanded hours (8 to 8 M-F) for those unable to file online:


North: (775) 684-0350

South: (702) 486-0350

Rural: (888) 890-8211


http://ui.nv.gov/css.html?fbclid=IwAR2hAgVehkcePq--vhTYDzRu5BMVNqb2vORp3cSqbnR2HaHFuuE7MDYHFpE


For anyone needing information on how to file for unemployment in Nevada, DETR has a YouTube Video.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=share&v=VhVcEV9JqfI&fbclid=IwAR2sYK0F04TVw0iM-nqyZlHPx4-kYtkIYQpfd7_l6CZRatFdRTY1b2YD0as&app=desktop


If you are a bartender, bar back, or cocktail server who needs financial assistance, you can apply to the USBG National Charitable Foundation’s Bartender Emergency Assistance Program. USBG Membership is not required to receive the funds.


https://www.usbgfoundation.org/beap


Will the Government call me requesting information?

Scammers are already starting to take advantage. Do not give out credit card or account information to anyone who calls you first. The government agencies will not be calling you, not the IRS, not the CDC, etc. If you are tempted to donate, make sure you vet the alleged charity with state agency websites or better business bureau. Below are some other resources:

Charitable Organizations must register with the Nevada Secretary of State's office before soliciting charitable contributions in Nevada.


https://www.nvsos.gov/sos/licensing/charitable-organizations

https://www.guidestar.org/NonprofitDirectory.aspx

https://www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits/tax-exempt-organization-search

https://www.charitywatch.org/

  

How can we find resources for assistance in Nevada?

Nevada 2-1-1, a program of the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services, is committed to helping Nevadans connect with the services they need.


https://www.nevada211.org/?fbclid=IwAR2T17kykmrAbRzQZSgOL7O1aASQR18qQe-6aLtfXO07BEzHMmZQtRtZiwM

Safety Tips 

Secure the valuables in your cars. Do not leave anything in your car, including your insurance information and registration. Thieves will take advantage of the current health crisis. Thieves will use your information found in the car including mail to open credit card accounts and other financial crimes. Go outside and empty your glove box and remove everything from your car immediately.


If someone knocks on your door and you aren’t expecting anyone, given the times we are in, do not answer and tell them through the closed door that you are sick and quarantined and cannot open the door. Also, get a security door guard, make sure you get long fasteners so it sinks into the framing around the door not just the drywall and molding.


Prevention

Per the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services you can help prevent the spread by using some of these prevention guidelines: 


  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water, or use an alcohol-based gel, 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, 
  • Clean things that are frequently touched (like doorknobs and countertops) with household cleaning spray or wipes, 
  • Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. Use a tissue or your inner elbow, not your hands.