Frequently Asked Questions

How Does the CARES Act affect Residents in Hackensack?

Ever since the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed in late March 2020, individuals and business owners alike have wondered how the bill might affect them during bankruptcy. At The Law Offices of Marc G. Alster, we want to help provide people the knowledge they need to know to protect their interests during the COVID-19 pandemic.

So, we’ve prepared this post to address a few questions that will commonly be asked about how the CARES Act will affect people and their finances during bankruptcy.

Read on to learn more and contact us or call (201) 878-4630 to arrange a consultation with our attorney if you have a nuanced situation or need help with your specific legal problems.

Does the CARES Act Help Me If I’m Already in Chapter 13 & Can’t Make My Plan Payments Due to Loss of Employment?

Yes. The CARES Act will permit modification to bankruptcy plans for those already in Chapter 13 bankruptcy and are experiencing new financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Qualified applicants can request extensions of their Chapter 13 plans by up to two years or 24 additional payments if their ability to successfully complete their Chapter 13 plans are negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic on or before March 27, 2022. Chapter 13 debtors who are negatively affected by that Pandemic should consult their bankruptcy attorney by late January, 2022 and certainly well before the March 27, 2022 deadline.

Does Receiving a Stimulus Check from the Federal Government Impact My Bankruptcy Qualifications?

No. Under the CARES Act, any stimulus payments you get from the federal government cannot be used to determine your eligibility for bankruptcy protection. When you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, your stimulus check(s) and/or payments cannot negatively affect a debtor(s) qualifying for bankruptcy protection and all pandemic related payments are 100% exempt (which is the bankruptcy terminology for fully protected from consideration by a debtor’s creditors and/or the Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Trustee).

Are Unemployment Benefits Considered Taxable Income?

Yes. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, your unemployment insurance benefits always counted as taxable income. This still holds true if a debtor’s unemployment benefits are unrelated to the COVID-19 crisis; however, Pandemic related unemployment payments which are related to the COVID-19 crisis are fully excluded from consideration of a debtor’s income.

What If I Have a Specific or Nuanced Question?

If you’re in a complicated legal and financial situation and aren’t sure how you may be impacted by current, COVID-19 related legislation, you should consult with a bankruptcy attorney. At The Law Office of Marc G. Alster, Marc G Alster has more than 30 years helping people resolve their bankruptcy problems from routine tasks to complicated legal maneuvers.

If you’re thinking about filing for bankruptcy during the COVID-19 pandemic or need held adjusting an existing plan to account for renewed financial hardship, we can help.

How Does the CARES Act Help If I’m a Small Business Owner Who’s Considering Bankruptcy?

The CARES Act provides an easier and less expensive/streamlined option for more businesses to reorganize their debt under Chapter 11 when they owe a total of less than $7.5 million of secured and unsecured debt. As with all Chapter 11 business bankruptcies, you will be able to maintain control of your company’s operations throughout the bankruptcy reorganization process if successful; but if the total amount of your business’ secured and unsecured debt is under $7.5 million, this becomes much less expensive and easier under Title V of the Small Business Reorganization Act. Title V is available to all small business owners; The $7.5 million limit on secured and unsecured debt expires on March 27, 2022; after that the debt limit will revert to $2,725,625.


Contact us online or call (201) 878-4630 to reach out to our attorney and tell us you need legal assistance as soon as possible.


Contact a Hackensack Bankruptcy Lawyer Today!

Call our firm today to schedule an appointment to speak to an experienced bankruptcy attorney who can help you get the protection you need against creditors while you regain control of your finances.

  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.