By Seni Popat, Esq.
Special to the Eagle
In today’s current economic climate, many changes are occurring including with technology and cell phones. Many people are using Uber, Lyft, Juno and other apps for taxi services. This is directly impacting the yellow cab and black car taxi industry in NYC.
Many taxi drivers own medallions that are “under water,” meaning they owe more than the value of the medallion.
Unfortunately, our politicians are not doing much to help our NYC taxi drivers when faced with foreclosure of their medallions, which results in the loss of their home and other assets when they default on the monthly payments to the lenders for the medallions and a judgment is obtained against them in New York State Supreme Court.
Many of these taxi drivers have worked decades and have bought homes and other assets and worked very hard to accumulate their wealth, some even working 12-hour shifts, 7 days a week.
Also, due to the lack of understanding by the taxi drivers when dealing with the medallion lenders, they often sign documents and are misled resulting in tremendous loss of their financial portfolio.
What can be done?
You can possibly take control today with bankruptcy!
The federal laws help individuals like you. You haven’t done anything wrong and the fact that the taxi industry is failing due to the technology isn’t your fault.
Do you own a home? A car? A bank account? Have cash?
You may have options to save your assets. You also may be able to keep your house after bankruptcy and your cash, cars, and other items depending on the exemptions afforded by the NYS laws.
The purpose of the exemptions are to allow you to file for bankruptcy but at the same time – be able to keep certain assets.
Many of the lenders that loaned for NYC Taxi Medallion such as Rapid Funding, Medallion Funding, Melrose Credit Union, Banco Popular, LOMTO, First Jersey Credit Union, and Capital One Equipment Finance and other lenders are foreclosure on medallions and they pursuing judgments against the taxi drivers.
Filing for Bankruptcy for your taxi medallion yellow cab in a Chapter 7 or 13 may be an option.
In these difficult times, taxi medallion owners are looking to file bankruptcy under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 and get rid of their debt and have a fresh start.
Many lenders are filing foreclosure actions to foreclosure on the taxi medallions. Being informed of the options is the most important initial step.
With bankruptcy, the automatic stay come into play and may stop lawsuits relating to your medallion including foreclosure of medallions.
While the bankruptcy is pending, you may be able to use your medallion to continue to generate income.
With taxi medallions and bankruptcy, you have several options:
1.Renegotiate with the lender or bank for a modification of the loan to lower the monthly payments and try to have the past due payments put into the loan and make the loan current;
2.File a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and surrender or return the medallion to the bank or lender and attempt to discharge your future liability in connection with the medallion and keep some of your assets depending on the applicable bankruptcy exemptions;
3.File a Chapter 13 and arrange affordable monthly payments over the course of 60 months which is more likely for individuals who have assets which are not exempt and larger household income;
4. Let the lender foreclosure and retake possession of the medallion and if they come after you for a judgment, then file for bankruptcy to avoid any deficiency judgment.
Overall, I have worked with many taxi medallion owners whether yellow cab or black car owners in order to try to help them with bankruptcy and their taxi medallion. The goal is to try to make your life normal again and take the stress away.
Contact us today for a free consultation at 718-343-8888 to see if bankruptcy is right for you. Thank you.
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