Rent stabilized apartments in New York are apartments in buildings of six or more units built between February 1947 and January 1974. Approximately one million apartments in New York City are covered by rent stabilization.
Recently, Mary Veronica Santiago filed for bankruptcy. Her husband had passed away and she had begun to fall behind on her bills and she hoped that she could wipe her debts away. Her Chapter 7 filing has created a host of controversy, however, as the court debates whether a rent-stabilized lease can be treated as an asset in personal bankruptcy.
Mrs. Santiago’s case now puts millions of other New Yorkers, and individuals living in rent stabilized apartments across the country at risk. The bankruptcy trustee in Mrs. Santiago’s case thinks that a rent-stabilized apartment can be treated as an asset, but the case is pending before the United States Court of Appeal for the Second Circuit.
Mrs. Santiago has lived in her two bedroom apartment for 50 years. If it turns out that the State of New York recognizes rent-stabilized apartments as assets in a bankruptcy case, this could make it easier for landlords to evict tenants if they file for bankruptcy.
Until this case is decided, many bankruptcy lawyers are recommending that individuals with rent-stabilized leases not file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This New York case illustrates two things: bankruptcy is more complex than most people think and you need to be prepared for any bankruptcy outcome.
When you hire the team of San Antonio bankruptcy experts at Malaise Law Firm, you can be confident that we will clearly walk you through every aspect of your bankruptcy case. We will do our best to prepare you for every outcome and will lay out every option in front of you. With over 40 years of experience behind us, you can trust us to guide you effectively and protect your rights at all costs! For more information about our bankruptcy services, contact us today!