– Est. –
1927

Retirement Plan Participant May Elect Loan Repayment Deferrals

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020 does more than aid small businesses. In addition to the PPP loans that received the bulk of the media attention, the CARES Act authorizes qualified retirement plan sponsors to amend retirement plans (401(a), 401(k), 403(b) and government plans) to help participants (qualified employees) who have been adversely economically impacted by the Corona Virus by allowing the deferral of loan payments. Once such an amendment is implemented by a plan sponsor, participants who have outstanding loan amounts from the qualified retirement plan may elect to defer loan payments for up to one year (with interest accruing) between now and December 31, 2020. 

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SBA Announces Reopening of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has announced that it will resume accepting Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) applications from participating lenders on Monday, April 27, 2020 at 10:30 am EDT.  The announcement comes following the April 23, 2020, passage by Congress of H.R.266, the “Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act.” The President signed the bill into law on April 24, 2020. Among other appropriations to respond to the COVID-19 crisis, the bill adds an additional $310 billion in funding for the PPP.  The initial $349 billion in funding was exhausted in less than two weeks following the launch of the PPP.

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Senate Approves Additional Funds for Paycheck Protection Program

On Tuesday, April 21, 2020, the U.S. Senate passed H.R. 266, the “Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act” by voice vote. The bill appropriates an additional $310 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which exhausted its initial $349 billion in funding within two weeks of Congress’ passage of the CARES Act. The bill also provided $60 billion for community banks and smaller lenders, $75 billion for hospitals, $25 billion for testing, and $60 billion for emergency disaster loans and grants.

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Where’s My Stimulus Check?

The IRS sent out the first wave of stimulus payments this  past week to around 80 million Americans. In order to speed up the process, the IRS has prioritized sending payments to Americans that have previously submitted their direct deposit information with the agency. Those that have not authorized a direct deposit account with the IRS will receive their stimulus payment in paper check form. However, the IRS estimates that it only has the capacity to mail out 5 million checks a week, so many Americans will not receive their payment until likely August or later.

Based on the income level eligibility requirements, at least 90% of Americans should qualify for at least some amount of stimulus payment. If you think you should have received your stimulus payment by now, here are several reasons why the IRS has delayed your payment.

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Real Estate

COVID-19 Federal, State, and Local Prohibitions Against Non-Payment Evictions

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has encouraged Oregon State Governor Kate Brown to issue a Stay at Home order effective statewide in an effort to curb the spread of the virus. As a result, many individuals are out of work, causing emotional stress and financial hardship.

Federal, state, and local governments have each taken action in an attempt to reduce financial stress on residential and commercial tenants.

On March 27, 2020, President Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”). In Section 4024, the CARES Act imposed immediate protections for some residential tenants. Specifically, the CARES Act placed a federal eviction moratorium for nonpayment of rent on covered properties. Landlords are temporarily prohibited from filing new eviction actions for nonpayment of rent as a result of COVID-19, as well as prohibited from charging late fees or other penalties for tenants’ nonpayment of rent. It is critical for landlord to review the definition of covered properties, and confer with a knowledgeable attorney is they are unsure whether they own a covered property.

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Treasury Department Releases Additional Guidance on Paycheck Protection Program

On April 8, 2020, the U. S. Treasury Department updated its “Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)” guidance on the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) that is being administered by the Small Business Administration (SBA). While this document was previously issued by the Treasury Department, it has been updated to address some of the questions that borrowers and lenders have raised as lenders have been inundated with applications for the forgivable loans under the PPP. Congress is currently considering allocating another $200 to $250 billion to the PPP.

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Contracts, Coronavirus, and Force Majeure: How Does COVID-19 Affect Contract Obligations?

When I was a first year law student I learned about contract formation, contractual obligations, and breach of contract. We also learned about a term called Force Majeure. You may have recently seen the term. 

Force Majeure is a French term that means something along the lines of “superior or irresistible force”, but it is also a term used in conjunction with contract law. In the context of contract law, force majeure is an uncontrollable event that prevents a party from fulfilling their contractual obligations. Force majeure is commonly thought of as a provision included in the terms and conditions of a contract. But, because “uncontrollable events which prevent a party from fulfilling their contractual obligations” seldom occur, especially on a wide spread basis, force majeure provisions aren’t invoked very often.

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How to Prepare for Bankruptcy

This sudden economic downturn will cause a large number of individuals and corporate entity debtors to consider bankruptcy in order to get a better handle on their financial situation. While many associate declaring bankruptcy as an admission of failure or destitution, bankruptcy can actually offer debtors a path toward recovering from a devastating financial situation. When considering whether bankruptcy is the right option for your situation, it is essential to have a basic understanding of how bankruptcy works and the initial actions you should take should you need to proceed with bankruptcy. 

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U.S. Treasury Releases Paycheck Protection Program Loan Application, Additional Information

On March 31, 2020, the U.S. Treasury Department released the initial loan application for borrowers under the “Paycheck Protection Program,” a Small Business Administration (SBA) forgivable loan program that is part of the CARES Act passed by Congress last week.  In addition, the Treasury Department provided borrowers with an “Information Sheet” for borrowers under the program. 

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Multnomah County Presiding Judge Issues Child Custody and Parenting Time Orders During COVID 19 Pandemic

Last week we wrote about the State Family Law Advisory Committee (SFLAC) recommendations for custody and parenting time issues that may arise during this COVID 19 pandemic. Since that post, those recommendations have been adopted in a Court Order as of March 27, 2020 issued by Presiding Judge Stephen Bushong and Presiding Family Law Judge Susan Svetkey of the Multnomah County Circuit Court. This Order applies to any person who has a court-ordered parenting plan in a Multnomah County Circuit Court case that is still in effect.

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COVID-19: Changes in Federal Tax Law You Need to Know

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the last few weeks have seen an unprecedented series of legislative actions by Congress, as well as a number of significant administrative actions by the Internal Revenue Service. Here is a brief synopsis of federal tax extensions and changes due to COVID-19.

Initially, the IRS only offered a payment deadline extension in response to COVID-19, but after much pressure, the IRS in response has instead provided much more comprehensive relief to mostly taxpayers in the U.S. 

All taxpayers refers to: individuals, trusts, estates, (some) partnerships, associations, companies (including LLCs), corporations, nonprofits, and more that have a filing date of April 15, 2020.

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The COVID-19 Oregon Special Session

For those of you who are following the Oregon Legislature’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we expect the Governor to announce a special session in the next day or two. Topics that we expect the legislature to address include: provisions for rent and mortgage assistance, bans on evictions, loans to small businesses, food benefits, and

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Changes to Charitable Giving Limits in the CARES Act

The newly passed Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”) contains two provisions that will be of interest to folks who want to help their communities this year.  Section 2104 creates an above the line deduction of up to $300 for contributions made in 2020. This is important because after the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) a couple years ago, many folks no longer itemize, which means that they are not eligible to receive a tax benefit for the charitable deductions that they make over the course of the year. So, if you now claim the standard deduction, individual taxpayers can claim a deduction for the amounts up to $300 that they donate to charity. They don’t let you double-dip though, so if you itemize, you would claim your deductions on Schedule A as usual.

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Family Law Experts Issue Recommendations for Co-Parenting During Pandemic

Lots of families are struggling with how to best protect and parent children as the world responds to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, divorced parents may have additional concerns, such as “Is it safe to allow my children to travel to their other parent’s house for parenting time?,” “How can supervised parenting time continue if it was usually held at a restaurant?,” and “When is spring break, anyway?”

While each family may decide to approach these issues differently, the Oregon Statewide Family Law Advisory Committee (“SFLAC”) has issued recommendations for families who cannot reach their own agreements. Some common issues are addressed.

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Creative (and free!) Options When You Can’t Hit the Gym

We have a few free and fun ways to get moving and out of your head when you can’t get out of the house.

The recent Stay-at-Home order issued in Portland, Oregon has many of us adjusting to the new day to day life of remote work. It can be a hard balance when your work and home life all take place in the same building. Remember to take a few minutes for yourself and your mental wellness – stretch, or engage in a form of exercise you enjoy.

Though we are still able to go outside for walks and recreation (allowing for 6 feet of distance), Portland weather isn’t always so accommodating. If you’re in need of a creative way to move, but don’t have the space for an at home gym, we have a few suggestions.

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Congress Passes CARES Act, Adds Forgivable Loan Program for Small Businesses

Late in the evening on March 25th, the United States Senate passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”) by a vote of 96-0. The House passed the Act on Friday, March 27th. President Trump is expected to sign the Act very soon. While SamuelsLawBlog.com will provide additional details on the CARES Act in the coming days, here are additional details of the Act’s significant $349 billion expansion of the Small Business Administration’s (“SBA”) Section 7(a) loan program.

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COVID-19: Resources

We’re getting a lot of questions right now about what resources are out there for individuals and businesses. I recommend taking a look at this comprehensive list that Representative Blumenauer’s office is developing and maintaining, for a start.

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Senate Bill Provision Offers Hope to Small Business

In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States Senate is currently debating S. 3548, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or the “CARES Act.” It is estimated that the CARES Act could provide a $1 to $2 Trillion stimulus in economic aid to both businesses and workers.

While multifaceted, one provision sets forth a significant benefit to small businesses that can apply for forgivable loans from the Small Business Administration (SBA).

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Family First Law & What It Means

On March 18, 2020, President Trump signed into law the Family First Coronavirus Response Act, which provides, among other benefits, emergency paid sick leave and emergency family medical leave to employees affected by COVID-19.

There are many facets of the emergency law with complex details. Below is a brief overview of the major changes that many employers must consider during the COVID-19 pandemic. We encourage you to contact an attorney for more details regarding the requirements specific to your situation.

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Mnuchin Announces Deadline to File Extended by Tweet

In a tweet at about 10 am Eastern Time this morning, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin announced “We are moving Tax Day from April 15 to July 15. All taxpayers and businesses will have this additional time to file and make payments without interest or penalties.”

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