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NY passes law to limit evictions, closures in pandemic

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Posted at 9:21 PM, Dec 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-28 21:21:37-05

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York will freeze evictions and certain foreclosures under a bill just signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo Monday.

Renters who are facing pending evictions or who face evictions in the next 30 days would be protected from eviction for at least 60 days.

And the law would also suspend evictions until May 1 for anyone who submits signed paperwork stating they’ve faced hardship amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The legislation would also make it harder for banks to foreclose on smaller landlords who say they are facing similar hardships.

According to the governor's office, bill helps tenants facing eviction and mortgagors facing foreclosure proceedings due 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 the 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 foreclosing 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 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 the 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 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.