COVID-19 HOMEOWNER AND RENTER INFORMATION (click here for printable PDF)
Mortgages: If homeowners cannot make mortgage payments, contact mortgage servicers to request payment forbearances. Forbearances do not forgive the debt, but they may extend loan terms with no late payment fees and no negative reporting to credit bureaus. Mortgage lenders/servicers are required to offer mortgage forbearance plans to a New York borrower of a “home loan” who is “in arrears or on a trial period plan, or who has applied for loss mitigation and demonstrates financial hardship.”
Foreclosures: In all residential foreclosure cases where the homeowner submits a declaration attesting to hardship resulting from or during the COVID-19 pandemic, those cases will be suspended until January 15, 2022, although now the hardship declaration is rebuttable by the foreclosing party. New residential foreclosure cases started between December 28, 2020 and January 27, 2021, are suspended for sixty (60) days from the date of commencement. These suspensions also apply to tax lien foreclosures of residential properties. Foreclosed borrowers with federally insured loans may not be evicted until October 1, 2021.
Rental Assistance: For information on NYC rental assistance programs, see: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/hra/help/rental-assistance.page
Evictions: No eviction proceedings for holdover or nonpayment of rent can be commenced against applicants until determination of program eligibility is made. In cases where a warrant of eviction has been issued, and the tenant provides a hardship declaration, the eviction will be suspended until January 15, 2022, although now the hardship declaration is rebuttable by the landlord. A newly passed Emergency Rental Assistance Program (“EARP”) will soon be available to provide funds to pay for up to 12 months of past due rent from March 13, 2020, plus three more months of payments, for tenants currently struggling to pay.
The Center for Disease Control (“CDC”) has issued a nation-wide moratorium on eviction of qualifying tenants for the non-payment of rent, effective through June 30, 2021. To qualify for this protection, a tenant must submit the declaration here to their landlord. Late fees and missed payment fees are also banned, and essential applications (lockouts, repair orders) are allowed.
New eviction proceedings are still being filed, but tenants cannot be defaulted for not appearing. Additionally, the Tenant Safe Harbor Act creates an affirmative defense for tenants in eviction cases, was recently expanded by Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order 202.66. The Act now prohibits landlords from evicting tenants for rent that accrued during the state’s shutdown prior to March 7, 2020. This period expires January 1, 2021. For tenants who qualify, warrants or judgments of eviction may not be executed during that period. While a landlord may not evict a tenant for rent not paid during this period, the landlord may still seek and receive a money judgment against a tenant for that past due rent.
Utilities: Governor Cuomo ordered that all essential utilities (electric and gas) not be shut off for nonpayment.
If you – or someone you know – have legal questions and would like legal help, please call our intake help line at (718) 624-3894 or by starting an online intake.