Legal and Financial Relief 4/16/20

Thursday, April 16th, 2020

Episcopal Legal Aid

From Episcopal Legal Aid:

We  have compiled some updates on legal and financial aspects of the COVID-19 crisis. If you or anyone you know to be in need of assistance should feel free to call us at 610-709-6665 or send us a message at

Renters.  The Philadelphia Eviction Prevention Project has prepared a helpful one-page flyer, found here, summarizing options for renters who are facing eviction or who can no longer afford their rental payments.  As we previously reported, all evictions are suspended in Philadelphia through at least April 5.  Tenants in federally-subsidized properties are protected from eviction for a longer period extended into June.  And for people with rent hardships who are not yet facing eviction, the Project recommends that they contact their landlords to work out payment arrangements.  Alternatively, Good Shepherd Mediation Program is offering a free landlord-tenant mediation session with a neutral, private mediator.  Information can be found by going here. 

Loan Relief.  Many major banks in Pennsylvania, including  PNC, First Commonwealth, Dollar, Citizens, OceanFirst, Fulton, and  WSFS, are participating in an initiative launched by the Attorney General’s office called “PA CARE Package,” under which they agree to offer the following assistance to their customers:

  • Expansion of small and medium business loan availability
  • 90-day grace period for mortgages (at least)
  • 90-day grace period for other consumer loans such as auto loans
  • 90-day window for relief from fees and charges such as late, overdraft fees
  • Foreclosure, eviction, or motor vehicle repossession moratorium for 60 days
  • No adverse credit reporting for accessing relief on consumer loans

Individuals and businesses with accounts or loans at these banks may contact them directly for more information.  

Stimulus Checks.  People who filed tax returns this year or last and provided the IRS with bank deposit information should be receiving their stimulus checks now.  The IRS promises to send checks to other eligible recipients for whom they have address information, including tax filers and people who receive Social Security.  Individuals who do not believe the IRS has contact information for them, but who have access to a computer, may go to this web address and register for payment:

Paycheck Protection Program status.  If your church or someone you know is applying for relief under the PPP, our colleagues in the public interest law sector tell us that:  (1) you should have applied by now and received electronic confirmation your application was received; (2) you may or may not have received notice from your bank that your “loan” was approved; and (3) you probably have not received any funds yet.  Funds are being released on a daily basis, however, so hopefully you will have good news about that soon!