ORLANLDO, Fla. — As millions of Floridians struggle with unemployment during the coronavirus pandemic, one nonprofit is expecting to see a surge in bankruptcy filings once the CARES Act money runs out.

What You Need To Know

  • A percentage of people say they file for bankruptcy due to COVID-19

  • Upsolve believes there will be more filings once CARES Act runs dry

Stephanie Sanchez says the coronavirus pandemic threw her, and her finances, for a loop, and since the start, her hardships have not slowed down.

“It’s like a roller coaster right now. It was a sinking ship, now it’s a roller coaster," said Sanchez.

Right now, she is still struggling to make ends meet, but is not quite to the point of feeling the need to file for bankruptcy.

“Not yet," she said. "I mean I do have student loans, you know, so I’m worried, but I’m trying to just keep going and stay positive.”

Many people in Florida have already taken that step.

Rohan Pavuluri is the CEO of Upsolve, a nonprofit website dedicated to helping people file for bankruptcy.

He said 28 percent of the families in Florida who have used Upsolve told the nonprofit that COVID-19 is the main reason they are filing for bankruptcy.

He also said he is expecting people to run into a lot more financial trouble once CARES Act money runs out, in which bankruptcy may be one of the few options.

“There is a big challenge now where people aren’t going to be able to afford their rent," said Pavuluri. "They’re not going to be able to afford their basic living expense because that’s what they were using to float themselves during this financial challenge.”

Sanchez says she is trying to make the most of her situation, and hang tough.

“Right now, you’ve got to improvise and adapt. These are new times. So either get hurt and get run over, or you gotta think up a new plan and reinvent yourselves.” 

One thing to keep in mind, if you do choose to file for bankruptcy, you can only do so every eight years.

That is why Pavuluri says you should be sure that is the best option for you before you do it.​

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