New York Extends Foreclosure and Eviction Moratoria

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New York Governor Kathy Hochul recently enacted Senate Bill 50001 (SB 50001 or the Bill), which, effective September 2, 2021, among other things, further extends the state’s moratorium on COVID-related residential and commercial evictions and foreclosures until January 15, 2022.

Some of the key changes made by SB 50001 include, in part, the following:

  • Until January 15, 2022, the Bill allows residential tenants and homeowners facing hardship due to COVID-19 to avoid eviction and foreclosure proceedings by submitting a hardship declaration form.  However, SB 50001 still allows landlords to evict a tenant who intentionally causes significant property damage, fails to submit the hardship declaration form, or poses a substantial health and safety risk to other tenants.
  • Places a moratorium on commercial evictions and foreclosure proceedings for small businesses with 100 or fewer employees that demonstrate a financial hardship until January 15, 2022.  The Bill also allows landlords who own 10 or fewer dwellings to avoid foreclosures by filing a hardship declaration form with their mortgage lender, other foreclosing party, or a court.
  • Extends the ability for any state or local public body to hold virtual public meetings until January 15, 2022.
  • Expands the eviction protections in the COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) and allocates additional funds to the program. Additionally, applicants for ERAP are automatically protected from eviction while their application is pending and will receive a year of eviction protections if they qualify for assistance.  

SB 50001 also acknowledged the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling which struck down New York’s self-certification financial hardship process for tenants.  The Supreme Court held that a tenant’s ability to self-declare financial hardship under New York law while denying the ability of a landlord to contest such declaration was a violation of the landlord’s constitutional right to due process.  As a result of the holding, the Bill revises the prior law by providing a due process mechanism that landlords and mortgage lenders may use to challenge a tenant’s or homeowner’s hardship submission.  

See WBK’s prior coverage addressing the original legislation here, which established the COVID-19-related eviction and foreclosure protections, and the initial extension of such protections here.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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