COVID-19 Resource List: What You Need to Know as a Consumer in New York

Updated 4/20/2020

  • CARES Act Stimulus – IRS FAQ on Stimulus
    • Who will receive Stimulus and how much will they receive:
      • Single tax filer with adjusted gross income below $75,000, and married couples filing jointly with adjusted gross income below $150,000 receive full amount; payment amount is lowered if income is above the level listed here
      • Those who do not file taxes but receives social security payments
        • Those who do not file taxes and claim dependents in such filings would not receive Stimulus funds for their children/dependents
      • If you do not receive social security payments or filed taxes from 2018-2020, you can file now and receive the Stimulus up until the end of 2020
    • What is the full amount:
      • Each adult: $1,200
      • Each dependent under the age of 17 claimed in tax filing: $500
    • Who is NOT eligible for the Stimulus?
      • Adult who are listed as dependents in another individual’s tax filing – usually college age adults
    • Where will the government send Stimulus payments
      • For tax filer(s), payment will be sent to the bank account where the tax filer(s) requested their tax refund to be deposited, or the address the filer(s) listed on tax filings
      • For social security payment recipients, the Stimulus payment will be deposited into the same bank account where social security payments are deposited
    • Can creditors seize Stimulus payments deposited into a bank account? – NY Attorney General’s Guidance on Stimulus Funds
      • The NY Attorney General’s Office issued a guidance stating that Stimulus funds are EXEMPT FROM ALL COLLECTION EFFORTS in the State of New York, including the use of the Stimulus funds to setoff negative balances in bank accounts
        • Although the NY AG’s guidance is persuasive, it is by no means absolute; therefore individuals is advised to take the precaution stated below if they have a negative balance in bank accounts or a judgment against them
      • If you owe a debt to the federal government or NY State government: Stimulus funds will NOT be seized to satisfy such debts, unless the debt owed is child support
      • If there is a civil judgment against you, best practice is to keep as low a balance as possible in the account where Stimulus funds will be deposited, and to withdraw enough money to keep the balance of the account well below $2,850, the amount above which a debt collector may be able to freeze
      • If you have a negative balance in any of the accounts at the bank where Stimulus funds will be deposited, withdraw the Stimulus funds as soon as it arrives
  • Federal Student Loans – CFPB on Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act
    • All borrowers with federally held student loans will automatically have their interest rates set to 0% until September 30, 2020
    • All borrowers will not have to make payments on their federally held student loans until September 30, 2020
    • Even if you pay nothing from now until September 30, 2020, “monthly payments” are still considered to have been paid under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program for these months
    • You do not have to apply for the reliefs listed in this section
  • Private Student Loans – NYS Department of Financial Services Press Release
    • Most private student loan servicers will provide to borrowers impacted by COVID-19 who requests relief:
      • Minimum of 90 days of forbearance
      • Waive late payment fees
      • Will not report late payments to credit reporting agencies
    • Borrowers should contact servicer if they cannot make payment. Do not assume that private student loans would be automatically enrolled into a forbearance program.
  •  Banks Generally – Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order 202.9
    • Banks must grant a 90-day forbearance to any person or business who has a financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic (this language is very broad)
    • This forbearance can be sought from now until April 20, 2020
    • DFS to promulgate emergency regulations to direct that fees for the use of ATMs, overdraft fees and credit card late fees, may be restricted or modified, taking into account the financial impact on the New York consumer, the safety and soundness of the licensed or regulated entity, and any applicable federal requirements
  • Mortgage – Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order 202.9; CFPB on Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security CARES Act
    • NYS Measures: DFS to ensure that the entities it regulates provide to any consumer an opportunity for a forbearance of payments for a mortgage for any person or entity facing a financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic
      • The application for such forbearance must be made widely available for consumers, and such application shall be granted in all reasonable and prudent circumstances 
    • Federal Measures: Suspension of foreclosures and right to forbearance on federally backed mortgages
      • Most non-subprime mortgages are federally backed. Call your mortgage servicer to find out if your mortgage is federally backed or not, or use tools in this link.
  • Insurance PremiumsGovernor Cuomo’s Executive Order 202.13, 14
    • Certain insurance can be deferred if the covered individuals or entities experience financial hardship due to COVID-19
      • Life insurance premium deferred up to 90 days
      • Property and casualty insurance premium deferred up to 60 days
      • Health insurance premiums deferred until June 1, 2020
    • Insurance companies must:
      • Continue to make payment on claims under the policies
      • Waive late fees and not report late payments to credit reporting agencies
      • Allow deferred premiums to be paid over the course of the follow year in 12 equal monthly installments – NOT applicable for health insurance premiums
  • Courts, Judgments, Evictions – Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order 202.8
    • All evictions and foreclosures are stayed for 90 days 
    • Only emergency applications will be accepted by the Civil Court of the City of New York: L/T lockouts, emergency repairs, post-eviction reliefs, and applications for stay of consumer debt judgments; therefore no new consumer or eviction cases can be commenced – DRP-207,AO/78/20
  • Collections of Certain Debts Owed to NYS Halted – NYS AG’s Office
    • Collection of medical debts owed to NYS suspended
    • Collection of student loan debts owed to NYS suspended
    • Other debts owed to NYS may be suspended if debtor apply for such a suspension here
  • Certain Debt Collectors Accepting Applications for Hardship Suspension of Debt Collection Activities – RMAI Letter
    • Signatories of this letter have promised to suspend collection actions against individuals who orally state that they are undergoing financial or medical hardship as a result of the COVID-19 crisis
    • Signatories will also suspend collection actions if an individual can show documentary proof that the individual only source of income and assets derived from exempt income, such as Social Security payments, SSI, SSDI, pensions, etc.
  • Utilities – NYS Dept of Public Service
    • Utilities Companies cease shut off of utilities to households during the COVID-19 crisis
  • Unemployment Benefits – Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order 202.1
    • Waiting period for unemployment claims is waived
    • Unemployment Benefits can be applied for online