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New York imposes 6-month moratorium on evictions, foreclosures

The Library Lions outside of the New York Public Library are outfitted with face masks and holiday Christmas wreaths in New York City on December 10. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
The Library Lions outside of the New York Public Library are outfitted with face masks and holiday Christmas wreaths in New York City on December 10. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 29 (UPI) -- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed into law legislation that places a moratorium on evictions and foreclosure proceedings throughout the state in an effort to stop thousands of residents from losing their homes due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Cuomo signed the COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2020 on Monday soon after it passed the New York Senate 40 to 21 and the New York Assembly 99 to 47.

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"As we fight our way through the marathon this pandemic has become, we need to make sure New Yorkers still have homes to provide that protection," Cuomo said in a statement. "This law adds to previous executive orders by protecting the needy and vulnerable to who, through no fault of their own, face eviction during an incredibly difficult period for New York."

The law places a moratorium on residential evictions for tenants who have "endured COVID-related hardship" until May 1, 2021. The Tenants must submit a declaration or document that states the hardship they have experienced to prevent eviction.

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It also prohibits forecloses until May 1, 2021, on homeowners and small landlords who own 10 or fewer residential dwellings. They are also required to file a hardship declaration with their mortgage lender or other foreclosing party or court.

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It also prohibits negative credit reporting and discrimination in extending credit for those who have fallen behind on mortgage payments for properties where they reside.

The law, however, does not absolve the financial obligations of renters or homeowners but provides a four-month pause, state Sen. Pete Harckham said in a statement.

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"Ensuring that our friends and neighbors can remain in their homes during this extensive and unforeseen economic downturn was a necessary action," he said. "Allowing people to be put out into the streets during a pandemic is inhumane and will exacerbate the public health crisis."

The legislation was signed a day after President Donald Trump signed a $900 billion coronavirus relief bill, which included $1.3 billion in rent and eviction relief for the state that Sen. Chuck Schumer described as "historic and unprecedented."

New York has been one of the hardest-hit states to the pandemic, suffering more than 932,000 infections, including nearly 30,000 deaths.

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Cuomo on Monday announced the state had received an 259,000 additional vaccine doses, 139,400 from Pfizer and 119,600 from Moderna.

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