MORATORIUM EXTENDED THRU AUGUST
Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an order on Tuesday extending the eviction moratorium by another sixty days. The protections afforded by the COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2020, and the COVID-19 Emergency Protect Our Small Businesses Act, were initially set to expire on May 1. But residential and commercial tenants across the state now have another—albeit short—lifeline that prohibits evictions, foreclosure proceedings, credit discrimination, and negative credit reporting related to the COVID-19 pandemic, until August 31.
The state is also expected to roll out its $2.4 billion rent relief program that promises to provide financial assistance to struggling tenants and COVID-impacted landlords. The Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, which will administer this program, is preparing to accept applications later this month.
Here are some of the highlights of the now extended protections:
Residential evictions may be delayed until August 31, 2021, for tenants who have endured COVID-related hardship. Tenants must submit a hardship declaration, or a document explaining the hardship’s source, in order to prevent evictions. Landlords can seek to remove tenants that are creating safety or health hazards, and those who do not submit hardship declarations.
Residential Foreclosure Proceedings
Residential foreclosure proceedings are in a holding pattern until August 31, 2021. Homeowners and small landlords who own 10 or fewer residential dwellings can file hardship declarations with their mortgage lenders, other foreclosing parties, or a court to prevent a foreclosure.
The law now stays evictions of commercial tenants, that have endured COVID-related hardship, until August 31 2021, but is only applicable to small businesses with under 50 employees that can demonstrate a financial hardship.
Commercial Foreclosure Proceedings
Commercial foreclosure proceedings are now on hold until August 31, 2021.
Tax Lien Sales
Local governments are prohibited from engaging in a tax lien sale, or a tax foreclosure, until at least August 31, 2021. Payments due to the locality are still payable.
Credit Discrimination and Negative Credit Reporting
Lending institutions are prohibited from discriminating against a property owner seeking credit because the property owner has been granted a stay of mortgage foreclosure proceedings, tax foreclosure proceedings or tax lien sales. They are also prohibited from discriminating because an owner is in arrears and has filed a hardship declaration with the lender.
Senior Citizens’ Homeowner Exemption and Disabled Homeowner Exemption
Local governments are required to carry over SCHE and DHE exemptions from the 2020 assessment roll to the 2021 assessment roll at the same levels. They are also required to provide renewal applications for anyone who may be eligible for a larger exemption in 2021. Localities can also set procedures by which assessors can require renewal applications from people who the assessors believe may no longer be eligible for an exemption in 2021. Recipients of the exemption do not have to file renewal applications in person.
If you have a question as to if, or how, these protections apply to you, please do not hesitate to reach out to one of our attorneys at 212-619-5400.