Emergency Protect Our Small Businesses Act of 2021
5/4/2021- Moratorium Extended to August 31, 2021.
On March 9, 2021, Governor Cuomo signed into law the COVID-19 Emergency Protect Our Small Businesses Act of 2021 (L. 2021, c. 73; “Act”). The Act was recently extended through August 31, 2021 (L. 2021, c. 104) and continues to provide relief to respondents and defendants in commercial eviction proceedings and certain commercial foreclosure actions in New York State, including, among other things:
- Commercial eviction proceedings and commercial real property mortgage foreclosure actions (“Covered Commercial Foreclosure Actions”) filed within thirty days of March 9, 2021 were stayed for at least sixty days.
- Publishing a form “Hardship Declarations” to be used by tenant-respondents in certain commercial eviction matters (“Covered Commercial Eviction Proceedings”) and defendant-mortgagors in Covered Commercial Foreclosure Actions in reporting financial hardship during or due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Staying (or delaying the filing of) Covered Commercial Eviction Proceedings and Covered Commercial Foreclosure Actions until at least August 31, 2021, where a Hardship Declaration has been properly sent to the landlord, mortgagee, or the Court as described below.
- “Covered Commercial Foreclosure Actions” are commercial foreclosures involving a mortgagor which owns ten or fewer commercial units (whether directly or indirectly) and is a business resident in New York, independently owned and operated, not dominant in its field, and employing fifty or fewer persons.
- “Covered Commercial Eviction Proceedings” are evictions involving a commercial tenant which is a resident of New York State, is independently owned and operated, employs fifty or fewer persons, and is not “dominant” in its field.
- Ch.104, L.2021, The COVID-19 Emergency Residential and Commercial Evictions Extension
- The COVID-19 Emergency Protect Our Small Businesses Act of 2021
- Administrative Order AO/161 /21 (addressing evictions)
- Administrative Order AO/159 /21 (addressing foreclosures)
- Memorandum of Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence K. Marks (addressing commercial eviction proceedings), dated May 24, 2021
- Memorandum of Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence K. Marks, dated May 24, 2021 (addressing foreclosure proceedings)
Commercial Hardship Declarations:
When signed and submitted by commercial tenants and commercial mortgagors, the Hardship Declaration requires that the case be temporarily delayed until August 31st, 2021. Also, the Declaration can help prove financial hardship that may be a defense against commercial eviction or commercial foreclosure under New York law.
If your landlord or mortgage holder has not yet started a proceeding against you, you should send the Hardship Declaration to the landlord or mortgage holder (or to their agent). If you are already a party to a commercial eviction or foreclosure proceeding, you should file the Hardship Declaration directly with the Court, and send a copy to your landlord or mortgage holder (or their agent).
Important: If you have a lawyer, you should discuss the Hardship Declaration with the lawyer before signing and sending it to your landlord, mortgage holder, or the court.