New York State Court of Appeals – Bankruptcy – Debtor/Creditor – Local Public Assistance Benefit – Rent-stabilized Lease
Santiago-Monteverde v. Pereira
Background: At issue is the question of whether a bankruptcy debtor’s interest in her rent-stabilized lease be exempted from her bankruptcy estate pursuant to the New York State Debtor and Creditor Law section 282 (2) as a “local public assistance benefit.”
Ruling: The Court of Appeals held that the DCL exempts a debtor-tenant’s interest in a rent-stabilized lease. The program has all of the characteristics of a local public assistance benefit. It is local as that it depends on periodic determinations by local authorities as to the continuing existence of an emergency in the particular jurisdiction. It was a public program as the legislature deemed it necessary to provide affordable housing to low-income people. Further, the regulatory framework benefits a targeted group of tenants.
Ronald J. Mann for the appellant; J. David Dantzler Jr. for the respondent