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Impress

Covid-19 & Mutual Walkaway - Opinion

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Hope everyone is doing well.

I was contacted by Plaintiff's lawyers on a pending case letting me know they received my answer and wanted to see what they could do to resolve this.  I sent an email stating roughly given the uncertainty of everything I would be willing to accept a mutual walkaway with prejudice.  Mind you, there is no arb option for this case so I figured it really wouldn't hurt.  The worst they could say is no. 

But this got me wondering.  Since we really have no idea how long it will be until we return to normal, what do you think the odds are of JDB being willing to do walkaways?  Arb or not.  For example, I have another case pending (filed pre-pandemic) for which I have an MTCArb submitted.  Would emailing them now, instead of when MTC is granted (as @fisthardcheeserecommends) hurt? 

Anyhow, curious to hear people's opinions on whether you think JDBs would be willing to do walkaways now.

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I doubt it. JDBs often sit on judgments for 10 years before trying to collect on them. Waiting a few weeks for courts to move on a filled lawsuit doesn't set them back any. It happened this way before the current pandemic, actually. Courts would often sit on motions for 60 days. That's longer than COVID-19 has been a 'thing' in the US.

You'll have your answer from them soon enough, though. 

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8 hours ago, Harry Seaward said:

I doubt it. JDBs often sit on judgments for 10 years before trying to collect on them. Waiting a few weeks for courts to move on a filled lawsuit doesn't set them back any. It happened this way before the current pandemic, actually. Courts would often sit on motions for 60 days. That's longer than COVID-19 has been a 'thing' in the US.

You'll have your answer from them soon enough, though. 

I agree with Harry. 
 

I once had a case in which the Plaintiff’s attorney left the small law firm before filing.  The firm had to get all the attorney’s active cases dismissed without prejudice.  More than a year later, they hired a new attorney, whose first job was reactivating the old cases.  He contacted me a few months before SOL. 
 

Consider, with Coronavirus, some courts are automatically tolling the SOL during lockdowns.  

It is possible the JDB would just sit on the case and forget about it   Not likely, but I had some OCs walk away from difficult back in the Great Recession   One HUGE bank walked away from $60-70k in debts because I kept sending DV letters and they were too busy to answer   That was very good luck, but in those days the collectors were swamped   

What would more likely happen: the case sits around for a while. Then they finally get to it before SOL.   This case is already with an attorney. 
 

What may be a better tactic:  

Once this is over, a lot of firms will be swamped. You are more likely to get a favorable settlement before they file, just to save them some work.  It can’t hurt.  

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2 minutes ago, BackFromTheDebt said:

You are more likely to get a favorable settlement before they file, just to save them some work.

They already filed and served the OP.  This call is in response to the OP answering the suit and is the standard "lets see if we can get a consent judgment or full payment and dispose of this before we have to go to court" call.

9 hours ago, Impress said:

Anyhow, curious to hear people's opinions on whether you think JDBs would be willing to do walkaways now.

Absolutely NO way to predict this given the current economic climate.  NO ONE knows what the full fall out from this is going to be.  You have two things in your favor.  First, is that you are in Texas which is VERY debtor friendly and their biggest weapon (wage garnishiment) cannot be used in TX.  Second, with the current craziness there is going to be a LOT of bad debt to purchase over the next several years and they MAY walk from you now to concentrate on much lower hanging default judgments down the road.

What they have in their favor is the current economic crisis means even if you cannot pay NOW you will want or need credit in the future and have to pay they at which time 10% annual post judgment interest will have ballooned the initial judgment.  You will probably have to address it down the road at a much greater expense.  Since judgments are good for 10-20 years in many states and can be renewed in perpetuity they have a LONG time to collect even with the current chaos.

You made an offer.  You will know soon enough what their answer is.

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Sorry that this sucks, but stories about stimulus dough being grabbed by everyone from Midland to your corner Credit Union confirms what others have said.

 

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1 hour ago, Goody_Ouchless said:

Sorry that this sucks, but stories about stimulus dough being grabbed by everyone from Midland to your corner Credit Union confirms what others have said.

I don't know if Midland grabbed any money but Ruth's Chris Steakhouse, Potbelly Sandwiches, Dave and Busters and quite a few other high profile large national businesses got the lion's share of the money.  I saw one statistic that stated 4% of the businesses got 45% of the money.  One investment firm in Pennsylvania took 48 separate loans for their individual brokers.  True small local businesses had ZERO chance of getting a loan because the banks put their applications aside and focused on the large clients only.  Now there is talk of adding another 450 BILLION dollars to the Paycheck Protection Act.  Unfortunately with no oversight involved the big companies will simply grab the cash again freezing out hard working people who are just trying to survive.

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4 hours ago, Clydesmom said:

What they have in their favor is the current economic crisis

Please stop telling people we're in an economic crisis. We aren't. The stock market is roaring. Stores are full of people spending money. Virtually everyone that needs to work to eat is still working, and the only people that aren't working are those that have fixed incomes.  We're going to be ok. 

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38 minutes ago, Harry Seaward said:

Please stop telling people we're in an economic crisis. We aren't.

Your opinion.  

38 minutes ago, Harry Seaward said:

The stock market is roaring.

No it isn't.  It is a roller coaster from day to day.  The only two days the market was up last week were Monday and Friday.  We haven't even begun to see the fall out from shutting down the economy. The bottom fell out of the market when states started going on lockdown.  My 401k lost half its value because of the market fluctuations.  

40 minutes ago, Harry Seaward said:

Stores are full of people spending money. Virtually everyone that needs to work to eat is still working, and the only people that aren't working are those that have fixed incomes. 

Maybe in Phoenix but not here.  Not in most states.  For my company our volume on elective surgeries is down 70-80%.  They just cut our salaries by 30% and most likely by year's end myself and 3 other colleagues in Vegas will be laid off. I spend NOTHING except rent, insurance, utilities and food. Going to stores to go shopping isn't an option anymore. The entire economy in Las Vegas is based on the hospitality industry and NONE of them have been working since the end of March.  Our stores are closed except for grocery and pharmacy.  Few if any here have money to spend.  Unemployment is at an all time here and there is no sign our idiot Governor has any intention of pulling us out of the economic nose dive he has the state in. Worse the antiquated unemployment system is over loaded and I have yet to meet anyone who has managed to get benefits so far.  NONE have worked in 3 or more weeks.  I don't know where you get your information but you might look beyond the people on your street.  

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1 hour ago, Harry Seaward said:

Stores are full of people spending money. Virtually everyone that needs to work to eat is still working, and the only people that aren't working are those that have fixed incomes.  We're going to be ok. 

I agree we're going to be OK, Harry.  I just don't know how long it's going to take us to reach that point.

I own a brick-and-mortar store that has been ordered closed since last month. Nobody is spending money in my shop.  For nearly 20 years my main business has been selling my own line of products online.  This is usually my second-biggest season of the year.  I'm lucky if I see $150 in sales in a week, a 95% decline.  (I'm grateful for every dollar.)

The only shops open in my town are the grocery stores and gas station convenient stores  Restaurants are struggling to do business by preparing everything for take-out.

If things in your neck of the woods seem more normal, consider yourself fortunate.

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3 hours ago, Goody_Ouchless said:

Sorry that this sucks, but stories about stimulus dough being grabbed by everyone from Midland to your corner Credit Union confirms what others have said.

 

I've heard reports about this, too.  Debt collectors with judgments are waiting for $1,200 stimulus deposits to hit accounts so they can swoop in and garnish the funds.  Also, if a stimulus payment is deposited into an account with a negative balance, the bank or credit union can apply these funds to the arrears.

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A few localities have enacted measures to forbid levy of stimulus funds. Some members of congress have expressed interest in adding some similar language to one of the next bills.

On the other side, debt buyers are lobbying against this and have sought local designation as essential businesses.

AG issues emergency regulation to protect consumers during coronavirus crisis

Time is Running Out to Protect Americans’ Relief Payments from Debt Collectors

Debt collectors are going after consumers during the COVID-19 crisis

Stimulus Checks Are Coming Next Week. Could Private Debt Collectors Grab Them?

Debt Collection Industry Deems Itself Essential To “Financial Health” Of Consumers, Fights Covid-19 Shutdown

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@Clydesmom If your 401k lost 50% of its value at this point, you really need to look at what you are invested in. I consider the investment options in my 401k as horrible and have lost at most 20% from this.

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8 hours ago, Clydesmom said:

The entire economy in Las Vegas is based on the hospitality industry

Ok, so you're in an economic crisis because of where you have chosen to live. Hospitality is only 2.8% of US GDP. In 2008, casinos and hotels continued to operate and it didn't save us then. Having them shut down now isn't going to sink us. 

The other thing that makes this completely unlike 2008 is that, we, US Citizens, are in complete control of when we decide to turn this thing around. 

8 hours ago, Clydesmom said:

My 401k lost half its value because of the market fluctuations.

Unless your entire 401k portfolio is invested in Palazzo stocks, i don't buy this for one second. 

I don't know where you get your information but you might look beyond the people on your street.

You might follow your own advice. 

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May be off topic, but I'm curious how many of you are scared of the virus, itself. I know people that haven't left their homes in over a month, and I know people that are going to need a return to normalcy in order to recover from their non-stop house parties. I, personally, don't fear it at all. I have an old N95 that I use for yard work, which I will wear in stores just to keep others from freaking out. I've found Home Depot to be the most "normal" hang out - people are in good spirits and clearly have no intention of buying the lumber they are browsing. Was surprised to see a couple idiots arguing at the golf course yesterday - they really don't need any "incidents" that will summon the wrath of the Mothers of Prevention.

 

 

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Remember the old parable about the blind men and the elephant, arguing about what sort of thing they had discovered?  

One man found the trunk.  Another a tusk.  Another a leg.  Another the tail.  

Remind you of anything?

Both Harry and Clydesmom are partly right, and partly wrong.

The Coronavirus situation is a medical health crisis that has the side effect of severely damaging our economy.  

And some industries suffer more than others.  

One person, Jeff Bezos, is said to be $24 billion richer than a few months ago.  He has done well.

Then there is the other extreme.  

The tourism industry has been hit hard.  Hawai'i, Nevada, Florida, etc. are being clobbered.  I thing I read recently that 37% of the employees in Hawai'i have filed for unemployment.  If that isn't an economic crisis, I don't know what is.  

Many other industries as well.  One of my kids was working for a major retailer on a co-op, which ended a few months early.  The co-op was going very well, and my kid had a great chance of a job offer after graduation.  Now she is wondering if the company will even exist when she graduates.  I hope so, even if she doesn't get a job there.  My mother says that store is her favorite place to shop, and my wife likes to shop there as well.  

 

 

As far as whether the governor of Nevada is damaging the economy -- historical evidence, up to and including the Spanish Flu, shows that locales which locked down tighter suffered fewer casualties and less economic damage than place with looser lock downs.  The most famous comparison is St. Louis vs. Philadelphia.  More recent studies have shown several other pairs of similar cities:  LA locked down more than SF, and fared better economically.  Cleveland more than PittsburgH, and the Mistake by the Lake fared better.  Are these apples to oranges?  How about Minneapolis, which locked down tighter than St. Paul, and fared better economically.  That is more of a lutefisk to lutefisk comparison. In each case, the city that locked down tighter also had fewer deaths.

What about 2020?  South Dakota has about the loosest restrictions of any state in the Union.  Yet Sioux Falls saw its large meat processing plant close, because the workers were sick.  Nobody wants to buy food from a contaminated factory.  

 

As it is, nobody wants to fly anywhere these days.  

At some point, tourists will start travelling.  I hope soon, because at least one of my kids has a summer job lined up in Midwest summer tourism.  If things don't open by the summer, well, that means she'll have to borrow more $ for student loans, I am truly sad to say.  

Tourism will rebound when people feel safe travelling.  People will go back to Vegas when they feel they can experience the good times of Vegas without worrying about getting sick.  And the first part of that is making sure Las Vegas gets rid of Coronavirus.  The governor could remove every restriction from every business, and nobody would go to the casinos and shows and bars, etc.  

They say "we are all in this together".  Nope.  Some people have enough money to ride out the storm.  A few are making money off of this.  Almost all of us are hit to some degree or another.  Many are having extremely difficult financial times.  Some are getting sick.  Some are dying.  Some, like my MIL and FIL, are stuck in tiny NYC apartments and haven't seen the outside of their apartments in over a month.  Some are on large farms and ranches and can wander all over the place.  

 

This is an economic crisis.  They say most Americans can't come up with $400 for an emergency.  I have been in that position far too much of my life.  Many of the people who can't come up with $400 in a crisis are being hit the hardest.  Poor people are getting the virus more than the wealthy, although the first people outside of Asia to get the virus were wealthy skiers.  

 

So what does this mean?

To say this is not an economic crisis is wrong.  To say that the effects on Las Vegas are what the rest of the US is going through are wrong.  To say that the governors who are closing things down are causing the economic crisis is wrong.  

 

What can we do?

There is a saying in programming -- garbage in, garbage out.  So far the data we have are garbage.  We can't make predictions. 

The "novel" part of Novel Coronavirus means "new".  That means we don't know what we are facing.  

All we can do is hope there is a treatment soon enough to re-open the economy before it completely collapses.  

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According to the CDC, I fit in the higher risk category because of an underlying medical condition.  This doesn't scare me, though.  We don't have any reported cases close to us.  Still, I'm careful about washing my hands and using disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer.  We're not too far from Sioux Falls, SD, so the fact that the largest COVID-19 cluster in the country is located there makes me a little nervous.

My retail shop has been ordered closed, so I spend practically all my time at home.  I'm longing to return to some semblance of normal.  My days and nights are blending together, and I rarely know what day and time it is.  We're learning to live lean, a lesson my husband and I can carry on when we're through all of this.

Has anyone else seen the video interview a certain politician from California gave?  During a time when so many people, families, and small businesses are facing extreme financial hardship, she sat in her kitchen in front of two Sub-Zero refrigerators that retail for more than $24,000 and bragged about her freezer drawer filled with pints of ice cream that sell for $13 each.  I'm wondering if the peasants will storm her compound like the French stormed the Bastille.

I hope everyone here remains healthy and safe.

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1 hour ago, BackFromTheDebt said:

I thing I read recently that 37% of the employees in Hawai'i have filed for unemployment.  If that isn't an economic crisis, I don't know what is. 

Again, very localized effects based on a very specific industry. Hawaii going back to pineapple exports being its #1 revenue generator isn't gong to upend the US economy. 

1 hour ago, BackFromTheDebt said:

Spanish Flu

This isn't anywhere near anything comparing to Spanish Flu. It pales in comparison to regular flu, which kills 500,000 EVERY YEAR.  COVID-19 (or any other pandemic)  isn't a true crisis until it doubles the casualties of a regular flu season. Otherwise we'd have been going though this every one of the last hundred or so years. 

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1 hour ago, BackFromTheDebt said:

All we can do is hope there is a treatment soon enough to re-open the economy before it completely collapses.  

History gives us some idea of how long things like that take, and it does not appear the economy, or our sanity, can survive until then (2022, but estimates I have read).

1 minute ago, LaneBlane said:

I'm wondering if the peasants will storm her compound like the French stormed the Bastille.

Unfortunately it feels like one of these "Open Now" protests is going to go sideways and that's when the levee breaks. They'll get as tired of horn honking as I already am of reading about it...

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1 hour ago, BackFromTheDebt said:

We can't make predictions. 

Which is exactly what I said in my answer to the OP.  Given the economic climate NO ONE can predict how this is going to go.  

 

1 hour ago, BackFromTheDebt said:

As far as whether the governor of Nevada is damaging the economy -- historical evidence, up to and including the Spanish Flu, shows that locales which locked down tighter suffered fewer casualties and less economic damage than place with looser lock downs. 

The problem is you cannot make a direct comparison of the Spanish Flu and Covid 19.  Health care has changed a million times over since then.  Penicillin wasn't even discovered until 10 years after the Spanish flu pandemic.  The treatments and knowledge at hand world wide is vastly different from 1918.  

The Governor in NV is damaging the economy because he has closed everything down but in all this time has not done an ounce of work on a plan to re-establish the economy.  For all the protests to just open things back up it isn't that simple either.  Opening the doors and saying "open for business" is not going to right the ship.  Much like 9/11 people around the globe are going to be very hesitant to travel.  Initially there won't be shows, sports, or even all the dining and shopping.  Then why come?  On top of that those from areas that don't rely on tourism for their economic income have been impacted in other ways significantly where traveling on vacation just isn't an expense worth investing in.  There is no plan and that is worse than shutting down.  Many small businesses will not survive this and since 4% of the businesses in the USA took 45% of the PPA money they have zero hope of hanging on.  Long term high unemployment is not a boost to the economy either.

2 hours ago, Goody_Ouchless said:

I'm curious how many of you are scared of the virus, itself.

I am not and I am in health care.  While my primary duties are typically in surgery I have seen some virus patients as a result of the change in business operations and care that is needed.  I thnk the lock down is an over reaction but the problem is getting everyone to cooperate for a strategic lock down would be impossible.  High risk people DEFINITELY need to isolate.  I have been patronizing my favorite cafe for take out.  They have hand sanitizer at the door and control the number of people inside.  That could have easily been mandated without forcing them to close their dining area.  I am sure that many businesses would have gladly complied to keep their doors open.

Cancelling all elective surgeries across the country was way over blown.  Instead of the knee jerk over reaction those cases could have been reduced by half until we saw which areas were going to have the biggest need.  NV cancelled all surgeries but we had almost no need for ventilators or ICU beds.  Elective cases are how hospitals make money.  NOT critical care.  Until now..

What the public doesn't realize is the government promised a $39k per patient subsidy for Covid 19 patients in ICU beds.  There is a big incentive to over state your crisis and need if it means more money pouring in from the feds.  Only 37% of our ventilators were in use last week but the idiot governor sent for more from California.  We peaked 2 weeks ago in cases.  Initially the number of deaths was predicted at several thousand.  To date we have had less than 200.  58% of those diagnosed with Covid 19 in NV have recovered.  NY took the brunt of it and FL isn't faring well because they didn't react at all.  (I think that is where I MIGHT have got it because I was in FL for 3 weeks in February and got BAD sick but was never tested formally)  Some will argue the lock down and quarantine contained the virus.  Another argument can be made that it had nothing to do with it.  There is NO WAY for certain to say what is or is not working effectively because we can't go back in time and do it differently.  We can only try what we think works and hope that we all survive this physically, economically and emotionally.

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39 minutes ago, Goody_Ouchless said:

Unfortunately it feels like one of these "Open Now" protests is going to go sideways and that's when the levee breaks. They'll get as tired of horn honking as I already am of reading about it...

As we've seen in the past, it doesn't take much for a protest to go sideways.   Like you, I hope they'll get tired of horn honking and just go home.

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Far more afraid of the government and its overreaction, and resulting economic devastation, than of the virus.  Poverty, stress and despair can and will kill people too.  This will be another Great Depression, thanks to the government.

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Insane that we had a stimulus designed for a two week lock down in answer to a condition that required a two year lock down. Message should have been "if you don't want to get sick, wrap yourself in plastic and hide under your bed. If you don't want to be a Doctor, then do something else. As a 'civilization' we decided to not take the threat of pandemic seriously, so now we live with it - same as if it was a meteor strike."

Still really kind of amazed that Putin didn't take that stance: "Russians are used to suffering, so let's stay open and pick up the pieces of what's left everywhere else."

 

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Lots of people don’t seem to be scared of Coronavirus.  Some claim it’s “just the flu”  

Look at the numbers.  
 

The worst flu epidemic in my life was the extremely contagious Hong Kong Flu, which was brought to the US by soldiers returning from the Vietnam War.  It came in 2 waves. The first wave was 1968-69.  The second wave, which I caught, was 69-70.  The second wave was worse because the first wave came when schools were closed for the winter.  
 

The total number of deaths in the US was about 100,000.  Not quite as bad as the Asian Flu a decade or so earlier, but bad enough.  Very few precautions were taken.  They didn’t lock down stares or close schools.  
 

The Coronavirus pandemic is, as far as we know, in its first wave.  Look at the number of deaths so far in NYC, which has been in lock down for about a month so far.  My MIL and FIL haven’t left their apartment in a month.  People are taking precautions.  Schools and most other businesses are closed.  
 

NYC seems to have hit its peak, but there will be thousands more deaths.  If one takes the official death count, which is probably severely undercounted because of lack of testing, and extrapolate thorough the population of the US, we would see a death rate of over 500,000.  
 

This is just part way through the first wave.  
 

Nor is NYC the hardest hit.  New Orleans has been hit at least as hard, maybe harder.  Normally this time of year it is hot enough in NOLA to kill off any flu virus.  
 

Consider that a normal flu virus dies in about half an hour in 80 degree weather.  
 

Some researchers put the Coronavirus in an oven for one hour at 140 degrees F.  The virus survived and was able to replicate.  They were able to kill off the virus at 200 degrees F in 15 minutes.  
 

So summer may not save us.  
 

This is NOT the flu.  This is much deadlier than any flu virus seen in the past 100 years.  

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15 hours ago, BackFromTheDebt said:

we would see a death rate of over 500,000

Not a chance in hell. Maybe combined over 10 years time, but no way in these first few years. 90% of the people infected with coronavirus never develop COVID-19, and of those that do develop COVID-19, only 3% die. 

Edit: testing results from USC released just last night suggests that less than 2% of infected people develop symptoms. 

https://abcnews.go.com/Health/antibody-research-coronavirus-widespread/story?id=70206121

Quote

This is much deadlier than any flu virus seen in the past 100 years.

No it isn't. Regular flu kills 500,000 every year. 

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