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Federal and some state laws proprosed to slow asset forfeiture

The government has been shut down for over a month now, and it has caused financial stress to Connecticut families and others all across the nation. While some households of government employees have lost one -- or both -- sources of income, many are certainly wondering how their bills are going to be paid. It is encouraging to see numerous local or national restaurants offering free meals to those furloughed employees. Now, one state has proposed legislation that will protect the employees affected by the shutdown from potential asset forfeiture, and other federal relief may be on the way.

The state bill provides an extension to the due dates for 2019 property taxes. Instead of being due on Jan. 31, government employees will now have 90 days after the shutdown is over to pay those taxes. A federal bill is pending that could offer some protection from mortgage foreclosure. This bi-partisan Federal Employees Civil Relief Act would provide this protection during the shutdown as well as in the following 30 days. The Act would also protect workers from defaulting on student loans, getting a car repossessed or being evicted from a residence.

The law would protect government employees who are working without pay, government contractors or employees on furlough. Some employees from the Environmental Protection Agency, Bureau of Prisons, Transportation Security Administration and other agencies are still working, despite not receiving paychecks. The lawmakers supporting the bill stated that these employees should be protected from losing their homes, vehicles or insurance coverage.

These provisions against asset forfeiture are positive steps for those employees involved in the government shutdown. However, there are many other individuals facing the possibility of repossession or foreclosure who are not employed by the government. A Connecticut bankruptcy attorney can evaluate a client's situation and determine if asset forfeiture can be stopped.

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