File Bankruptcy, Lose Rent Stabilized Apartment

On September 19, 2012, in Bankruptcy, by Robbie L. Vaughn, Esq.

Rent Stabilized Status Lost in Bankruptcy

Will filing bankruptcy cause you to lose your rent-stabilized apartment?

Quite possibly.

On April 10, 2012, the United States Bankruptcy Court, S.D. New York ruled that a chapter 7 debtor could not exempt the value of her rent stabilized lease (SeeIn re Santiago-Monteverde, 466 B.R. 621 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. 2012).  Unfortunately,0n September 10, 2012, the debtor lost her appeal to the United States District Court, S.D. New York.  The District Court affirmed the bankruptcy court’s ruling which rejected the debtor’s argument that the value of her rent-stabilized lease is a qualifying local public assistance benefit under section 282(2) of New York Debtor and Creditor Law.

It appears that the debtor’s chapter 7 case was going rather smoothly until the chapter 7 Trustee received an offer from the Debtor’s landlord to purchase the Trustee’s interest in the Rent-stabilized lease.  This set off a chain of events which, for the time being, have resulted in the debtor potentially being forced out of her rent-stabilized apartment.

Thus, until legislation is enacted which allows debtors to safely exempt the value of their rent stabilized lease, bankruptcy practitioners will have to tread carefully when dealing with a debtor who leases a rent-stabilized apartment.

Bankruptcy Attorney in Mineola

If you would like more information regarding the subject of this post or a free consultation with a bankruptcy attorney, call the Law Firm of Vaughn, Weber & Prakope, PLLC at 516-858-2620.

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