The financial toll of a health pandemic

The Cares Act Bill serves as a safe boat, keeping families afloat during this recession.

It even decreased the number of bankruptcy filings from last year in West Tennessee.

“In 2019 for instance, in the month of July, we had in the Western District of Tennessee, we had a total of 1,675.

For this year, according to bankruptcy attorney Verner Smith, the number of people who filed is closer to one thousand.

Smith, who has been practicing law for over 30 years, says that the cares act provides the funds for many Tennesseans to pay their bills.

“We have what we call a $600 stipend if you will for unemployment, that goes on top of regular unemployment benefit, that has saved them financially,”

That $600 a week is the federal pandemic unemployment compensation

“It has prevented a lot of people from having to file bankruptcy.”

Even though the Cares Act supplies people with additional payments, there are still some who are in need of a helping hand.

City Councilman Johnny Dodd along with Pastor Ronald Benton of Mount Moriah Baptist Church gave meals to a large number of families at a recent food drive.

Pastor Ronald Benton, Mount Moriah Baptist Church

“On Saturday, the 18th we were able to feed over 500 families. There are layoffs on jobs, they have not returned to work and people are struggling in the kitchen.”

Pastor Benton says he sees, firsthand how the coronavirus affects the community.

“There are layoffs on jobs, they have not returned to work and people are struggling in the kitchen.”

The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation helps workers and their families but that is scheduled to end on July 25. If there is no extension, millions of Americans will go into financial straits and according to Attorney Smith, the number of bankruptcies could increase.

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