DoNotPay is ready to help you out if you need to delay your rent, credit card, or utility bill payments as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The company, known for its legal aid chatbot, is launching a new service that requests waivers and payment extensions from companies and landlords.
The new product allows the service to identify any bills such as utilities and rent that are eligible for an extension or a late fee waiver. DoNotPay will then reach out to the company to make a “compassionate and polite request.” If the request is denied, the service will send out a second letter citing relevant local and state laws. Right now, this service is only available in the US, but DoNotPay founder Joshua Browder told The Verge that the company is looking to bring the service to other countries, such as the UK.
Although not all 50 US states have coronavirus-related laws or orders in effect, some states, including California and New York, have measures in place forbidding landlords from using unreasonable late fees on housing matters or evicting tenants at this time. DoNotPay says it will use the “full force of the local and state laws” for states with no related coronavirus laws or orders in effect.
When it comes to credit card bills, Browder told The Verge that extensions or waivers for these matters are a “negotiation process.” Some companies, such as Apple, are allowing card holders to skip their March payment, but Browder said a majority of businesses are treating business “as usual,” requesting customers pay their statements on time with no extensions or waivers.
The pandemic has put a harsh financial burden on many Americans as businesses shut down and many lose their source of income. Although some companies are waiving or extending payments, many companies are furthering the financial burden by sticking to strict deadlines and late fees. This new DoNotPay service is meant to allow Americans to focus less on finances and more on staying healthy and taking care of their loved ones.
DoNotPay originally launched back in 2018, allowing individuals to receive legal advice through an AI-powered legal counsel. The app provides numerous legal aid services and will draft documents to pursue legal action against an individual or company.