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  4.  » The Weekly Pulse: Eviction Moratorium Extended Until May 2021

Just days before we transitioned into a new year, the state Assembly and Senate passed a new residential eviction moratorium bill and Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed the COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2020. The Act prevents residential evictions, foreclosure proceedings, credit discrimination and negative credit reporting related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, it extends the Senior Citizens’ Homeowner Exemption and Disabled Homeowner Exemption from 2020 to 2021. The Act adds to New York State’s efforts to protect tenants and homeowners from economic hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The new law has the potential to protect tenants from eviction through May 1, 2021 if they complete the Hardship Declaration form saying they’ve been impacted by the pandemic. The moratorium would suspend eviction proceedings for the next 60 days to give tenants a chance to fill out that form. Homeowners and landlords who own 10 or fewer residences can also file hardship declarations with their mortgage lender or a court to prevent a foreclosure. This legislation helps tenants facing eviction and mortgagors facing foreclosure proceedings due to the pandemic in five areas:

  • Residential Evictions:
      • The Act places a moratorium on residential evictions until May 1, 2021 for tenants who have endured COVID-related hardship. Tenants must submit a hardship declaration, or a document explaining the source of hardship, to prevent evictions. Landlords can evict tenants that are creating safety or health hazards for other tenants, and those tenants who do not submit hardship declarations.
  • Residential Foreclosure Proceedings:
    • The Act also places a moratorium on residential foreclosure proceedings until May 1, 2021. Homeowners and small landlords who own 10 or fewer residential dwellings can file hardship declarations with their mortgage lender, other forecasting party, or a court that would prevent a foreclosure.
  • Tax Lien Sales:
      • The Act prevents local governments from engaging in a tax lien sale or a tax foreclosure until at least May 1, 2021. Payments due to the locality are still due.
  • Credit Discrimination and Negative Credit Repairing:
    • Lending institutions are prohibited from discriminating against a property owner who has been granted a stay of mortgage foreclosure proceedings, tax foreclosure proceedings or tax lien sales. They are also prohibited from discriminating because the owner is in arrears and has filled a hardship declaration with the lender.
  • Senior Citizen’s Homeowner Exemption and Disabled Homeowner Exemption
    • Local governments are required to carry over SCHE and DHC 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.

As a recap, Governor Cuomo first announced a State moratorium on residential and commercial evictions on March 20, 2020 to ensure no tenants are evicted during the height of the public health emergency. The Governor signed the Tenant Safe Harbor Act on June 30, 2020 which became effective immediately as well as additional legislation providing financial assistance to residential renters and landlords. On May 7th, 2020, New York Governor Cuomo issued the executive order which then extended the eviction moratorium from June 20, 2020 to August 20, 2020. Most recently the moratorium has been extended to May 1, 2021.

Here at The Law Offices of Marjory Cajoux, we are doing our very best to keep everyone informed about the resources available during these difficult times. Below is a list of resources available to you. 

Resource List:

Information and Resources available for NYC Tenants Impacted by COVID-19

Eviction Moratoria and Courthouse Operations

The COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2020

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