Do your tenants owe you large amounts of pandemic residential rent? Landlords should start lawsuits for unpaid rent as soon as possible, before new rent/debt collection rules go into effect. Not only will the statute of limitations be shortened, but New York residential rent collection lawsuits will be much more complicated.
The New York Consumer Credit Fairness Act (Act), which amends the New York Civil Practice Law and Rules (CPLR), significantly impacts debt/rent collection lawsuits filed in New York state courts by landlords, creditors and third-party debt collectors.
Effective April 7, 2022, the New York statute of limitations for debt/rent collection lawsuits arising out of a consumer credit transaction is reduced from six years to three years. Also, payment toward the debt/rent or written or oral affirmation of the debt/rent by the consumer/tenant does not revive or extend the limitations period.
Effective April 30, 2022, the Fair Consumer Judgment Interest Act reduces the annual rate of interest on judgments arising out of a consumer debt where the defendant is a natural person from 9% to 2%. The reduced rate will apply not only to judgments entered on or after the new law’s effective date but will also apply to any portion of a judgment entered before the effective date that is unpaid as of the effective date.
Effective May 7, 2022:
- Plaintiff/landlords must attach to the complaint the contract/lease upon which the action is based.
- The complaint must also include, among other things, the name of the original creditor/landlord, the last four digits of the account number, and the date and amount of the last payment.
- Plaintiff/landlords must provide a completed “additional notice of lawsuit” to the court clerk when filing the proof of service for the complaint, which the clerk will then mail to the consumer/tenant.
- Third-party debt collector requesting a default judgment must submit supporting affidavits from the original creditor/landlord, any prior assignors or sellers of the debt, and a witness for the collector who can verify the chain of title for the debt.
- Plaintiff/landlords requesting a default judgment must also include an affidavit, stating that the statute of limitations to enforce the debt has not expired.
Contact Buffalo Landlord Attorneys Justin R. Friedman and Robert Friedman at 716-543-3764 for advice on evictions, leases, rent collection and the proper screening of tenants.