Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Happy holidays from Shenwick & Associates!

As the holiday season gets fully into swing here in midtown Manhattan, we at Shenwick & Associates wanted to take this time to wish you a happy, safe and warm holiday season and a very happy and healthy 2015. We also wanted to thank you for your friendship, your business, your referrals and your trust in us. Personal and business bankruptcies and workouts are keeping us busy as 2014 draws to a close. We're here for you now and in the upcoming year, and we look forward to working with you.

We also wanted to update you on the fascinating case of Santiago-Monteverde v. Pereira (In re Santiago-Monteverde), which we've previously discussed here. When we last wrote about this case, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals had certified the following question to the New York State Court of Appeals:

Whether a debtor‐tenant possesses a property interest in the protected value of her rent‐stabilized lease that may be exempted from her bankruptcy estate pursuant to New York State Debtor and Creditor Law Section 282(2) as a "local public assistance benefit"?

In a decision issued on November 20th, the New York State Court of Appeals held in a 5-2 vote to answer the question in the affirmative. Writing for the majority, Judge Abdus-Salaam held that "[t]he rent-stabilization program has all of the characteristics of a local public assistance benefit" and "[w]hile the rent-stabilization laws do not provide a benefit paid for by the government, they do provide a benefit conferred by the government through regulation aimed at a population that the government deems in need of protection."

The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals still needs to issue its decision in the next few months, but this ruling finally settles that rent–stabilized and rent–controlled tenants in New York State no longer have to fear losing their leases when considering a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Any persons having questions about personal bankruptcy or the Santiago-Monteverde v. Pereira (In re Santiago-Monteverde) case should call Jim Shenwick.

Happy holidays and happy 2015 from Shenwick & Associates!