Ease The Burden
The coronavirus is causing massive layoffs and widespread furloughs around North Texas. Fortunately, a number of local, state-wide, and national agencies are offering some financial relief; Fort Worth residents and businesses can find some resources on the city's web site.
Here are some options to get through these tough times.
Say Yes to Dallas is a new, DFW-wide job-search site launched by the Dallas Regional Chamber with openings in fields such as hospitals, pharmacies, grocery stores, and warehouses.
Uber Works is a new app-based initiative connecting shift workers looking for temporary jobs in labor, customer service, production, and commercial cleaning.
State car fees have been put on hold. The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles is allowing extensions on registration, renewals, and vehicle titling. There's no end date on this temporary waiver; the DMV says it'll be in effect for at least 60 days.
Auto insurance companies are pausing payments, extending payment deadlines, issuing credits toward future payments, and more. For example, Geico is offering flexible payment plans, and Allstate is allowing deferred payment plans that let you go two billing cycles of nonpayment with no penalty.
Most evictions across the state have been halted until at least April 20, thanks to an order by the Texas Supreme Court. Tarrant County also has temporarily suspended eviction court hearings indefinitely.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency has suspended evictions and foreclosures on any mortgages through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Some private lenders are also offering grace periods, including Chase Bank which has a payment assistance program here or call 1-800-848-9136; and Wells Fargo, which is offering a three-month payment suspension with an option to extend for an additional three months, with no late fees.
The Salvation Army of North Texas is offering financial help on rent, mortgage, utility bills, and medications.
The newly enacted Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act has a variety of programs for small businesses including the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program, which has grants of up to $10,000. It began on April 3, although lenders were anticipating delays since they were awaiting guidelines.
The Small Business Paycheck Protection Program gives small businesses enough funds to pay up to eight weeks of payroll costs, including benefits. Find out more about it here and download an application here.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on April 13 announced announced that Goldman Sachs and the LiftFund, along with other community development financial institutions (CDFIs), are partnering to provide $50 million in loans to affected small businesses in Texas. Find out more and apply here.
The Small Business Administration has a page dedicated to coronavirus relief options that include low-interest loans and disaster relief.
The City of Fort Worth has a page dedicated to business resources, including childcare, HR issues, utility expenses, and more.
The IRS has extended tax day, which means you don't have to file until July 15, free of interest and penalties.
Some workers qualify for state unemployment benefits through the Texas Workforce Commission. The site has been slow due to a surge in applications, but the organization is waiving the normal waiting period; once you apply, you get your first check in about a month.
Taxpayers who filed tax returns for either 2019 or 2018 are due to receive a check of up to $1,200 for individuals or $2,400 for married couples, and up to $500 for each qualifying child. The payments decrease if you make more than $75,000, or more than $150,000 as a household, so check the site to see how much you qualify for.
Federal student loan payments have been placed on hold until September 30. U.S. Department of Education Select loans will carry zero percent interest rate.