Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced New York City’s $65 million Medallion Relief Program (MRP), which could result in $500 million of debt forgiveness for thousands of drivers.
Has delivered nearly $700,000 in relief for the first three owners to fully restructure their loans. The Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) is poised to close deals with 13 more owners by the end of September, which would result in as much as $2.6 million in relief. Nearly 800 medallion owners are in stages of renegotiations, a significant portion of which will be completed by the end of 2021.
“Medallion owners have worked tirelessly to keep New York City moving, and they deserve economic justice to make manageable payments and retire with dignity,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “This program is an innovative, powerful tool to connect debt forgiveness to New Yorkers who need it, and I’m excited to celebrate even more successes in the weeks and months to come.”
“Today, the Medallion Relief Program is delivering real debt forgiveness to economically distressed medallion owners,” said TLC Commissioner and Chair Aloysee Heredia Jarmoszuk. “Taxis provide essential transportation for both New Yorkers and the tens of millions of people who visit each year. The money provided by the MRP is critical to help medallion owners achieve significant debt reduction and to ensure a thriving taxi industry.”
“The Medallion Relief Program is a vital lifeline for the many taxi medallion owners who have been struggling to make ends meet because of their medallion loans and whose financial burden has only been exacerbated by the pandemic,” said the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) Commissioner Peter A. Hatch. “The Program, coupled with free, confidential, one-on-one financial counseling and legal services at the TLC Owner/Driver Resource Center, will be essential to helping drivers manage and reduce their debt.”
“Yellow medallion owners have served as a vital mode of transportation to the people of New York for decades and a lifeline for their families. In this moment, we recognize the risk to their livelihood and are encouraged by the expansion of the Medallion Relief Program to assist them. NYLAG is privileged to represent these hard-working individuals and to work with them to become financially stable in this ever-changing environment. We truly hope we can continue to assist medallion owners to restructure or settle their medallion debt and encourage them to continue to seek out resources,” said Rose Marie Cantanno, Associate Director of the Consumer Protection Unit, New York, NYLAG.
The City of New York will provide $65 million in grants to economically distressed individual medallion owners. This includes $20,000 as a down payment to restructure loan principals and set lower monthly payments, as well as up to $9,000 for monthly debt relief payments.
Many medallion owners will have over $200,000 in debt forgiven, and loan payments reduced to about $1,500 or less per month. Some owners will achieve total debt erasure through settlements.
TLC’s Owner-Driver Resource Center, which offers a range of free financial counseling and legal assistance for TLC Licensees, as well as connecting them with government benefits and health and wellness resources, has already served over 1,000 licensees. TLC Licensees in need of these services can call 311 or visit nyc.gov/taxi to make an appointment.