New York Passes Legislation to Extend COVID Hardship Declaration Moratorium on Residential Foreclosure and Eviction Proceedings

by Adam Gross, Partner
Gross & Polowy, LLC
The Hardship Declaration requirements of the New York COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2020, scheduled to expire on August 31, 2021, were extended by the legislature until at least January 15, 2022.  Click HERE for a complete copy of the legislation.   

Additional language was added to the foreclosure Hardship Declaration as of September 2, 2021.  Hardship Declarations included with the 90 day notice sent in after September 2, 2021 must include the additional language.  Click HERE for copy of the new Hardship Declaration for foreclosure and HERE for a copy of the Hardship Declaration for Eviction. The additional language is highlighted in yellow.

The legislation adds three new provisions that allow a Plaintiff to challenge the claimed hardship.  These additions were added to meet the requirements of an August 12, 2021 U.S. Supreme Court Ruling that found that the eviction Hardship Declaration “scheme violates the court’s longstanding teaching that ordinarily ‘no man can be a judge in his own case’ consistent with the Due Process Clause.”  The Hardship Declaration includes notice that the Plaintiff can challenge the declaration of hardship. New foreclosures and residential evictions can be filed even if a Hardship Declaration was returned by the mortgagor if an affidavit is provided that states that “… the foreclosing party believes in good faith that the hardship certified in the hardship declaration does not exist.”  In pending cases the Plaintiff can challenge the Hardship Declaration by making a motion asking the court to hold a hearing to determine whether the defendant’s hardship claim is invalid.  The Plaintiff must have a good faith belief that the defendant has not experienced a hardship to make this motion.

The remainder of the foreclosure related requirements of the COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2020 were not changed.

Click HERE to read the NY Senate Press Release.

More information on the COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2020 and the foreign language translations of the Hardship Declaration, when updated by the Office of Court Administration, are located on the NY Court’s website at:

https://www.nycourts.gov/covid-eefpa.shtml
https://www.nycourts.gov/eefpa/

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Governor Signs Eviction/Foreclosure Moratorium Bill

A bill drafted and introduced by the NYS legislature on December 24, 2020 (A.11181/S.9114) that would prevent evictions and eviction proceedings against residential tenants and prevent foreclosure actions against homeowners and certain small landlords experiencing financial or health-related hardships due to coronavirus until May 1, 2021, was passed in a special session on December 28th and signed by the Governor that evening and is effective immediately.

Under the COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2020, tenants and homeowners must make "hardship declarations," subject to penalty of perjury,  to their landlord (tenants) and lienholder (homeowners) of their inability to pay their housing expense.  The bill stays residential foreclosure proceedings for sixty days, and allows borrowers who own ten or fewer residential dwellings, including their primary residence, who are experiencing financial hardship to file a hardship declaration with the mortgage lender, other foreclosing party or the court that will prevent the filing and proceedings on a foreclosure action until May 1, 2021. 

Governor Cuomo's Press Release, 12/28/2020
Bill A.11181/S.9114. 12/24/2020

RESOURCES

          New York Department of Financial Services–Industry Letters