With apologies to Alfred Lord Tennyson, it seems that Spring has arrived and with it a young person’s fancy has lightly turned to thoughts of evictions and foreclosures. (Seriously, I apologize Mr. Tennyson.) Motivated by the admirable goal of protecting those economically harmed by the pandemic (but in the face of ever escalating and cascading repercussions flowing form those protections), the New York Legislature is considering again extending the current, nearly total ban on evictions and foreclosures.
Assembly Bill A7175, as well as Senate Bill S6362, would extend the moratoria created by the "COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2020" and the "COVID-19 Emergency Protect Our Small Businesses Act of 2021".
The moratoria are set to expire on May 1, 2021. These bills would extend those protections until August 31, 2021.
The bills currently reside with the respective legislative chambers’ rules committees. We expect that a conformed bill, one that both chambers agree on, will soon come to a vote.
How will that vote play out? In the current political climate, I’d wager that both the Assembly and the Senate will pass the bill which will then be signed into law by the Governor quicker than you can say, “dead English poet, really?” I base this suspicion on the fact that the analogous protections extended to small landlords against foreclosures, as well as those in the Emergency Protect Our Small Businesses Act, may diffuse and reduce the opposition of stakeholders who would otherwise lobby against extension. But then again, I’m an atrociously bad gambler who only goes to Vegas for the shows. (I’m down for anything Circ de Solei; I’m a sucker for sad clowns and Frenchmen flying recklessly through the air.) So, take my opinion for what it’s worth.
I will track these bills and post future updates in this space as developments merit.
Given that the legislative chambers haven’t yet agreed on conformed language, we cannot determine whether the final bill will merely extend the moratoria or if it will substantively change their scope of application and protection. I’ll make a comparison when and if we get a bill signed by the Governor.
The bottom-line is that none of us should be surprised if the nearly complete moratoria on commercial and residential evictions and foreclosures is extended into the summer. The starry-eyed, romantic, Tennyson residing in us all will approve. Landlords, maybe not so much.
This article is intended to be used for informational purposes only. Legal advice is neither implied by the author nor should be inferred by the reader. If you have specific legal questions, you should consult with your attorney.
Jeffrey Sculley, who may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, is an attorney and counselor at law focusing his practice on representing commercial and residential landlords; providing backroom human resource and employment support to businesses and not-for-profits; representing clients in appealing adverse trial-court and administrative decisions; logo and brand development and trademark protection; and representing clients in all types of administrative, regulatory and compliance matters, before governmental agencies and administrative hearing officers and law judges.
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