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 $5.1 million in debt cancellation for the first 26 owners to fully restructure their loans. As of this week, 954 medallion owners have completed appointments with the TLC’s Owner/Driver Resource Center and are in various stages of renegotiations, a significant portion of which will be completed by the end of 2021.
“Medallion owners have more than earned their place as an essential part of the City’s transportation network, and this visionary program will ensure that those in distress get the economic justice they need to support their families and eventually retire with deserved dignity,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “This program is the first of its kind anywhere and is really government at its best—helping our neighbors in crisis with innovative, inventive tools. The progress we’ve made thus far is really impressive.”
“The TLC is fully committed to the vitality and success of the Yellow Taxi sector,” said TLC Commissioner and Chair Aloysee Heredia Jarmoszuk. “The Medallion Relief Program is delivering $65 million in financial support, which is inarguably material, and we will not rest until we exhaust our reach to Owners who are facing insolvency due to Medallion-related debt.”
“Helping essential workers like taxi drivers is core to our mission and the pandemic has only exacerbated their need for help navigating their finances,” said Department of Consumer and Worker Protection Commissioner Peter A. Hatch. “We are proud to have already, in partnership with TLC, NYLAG and others, provided hundreds of driver/owners with legal assistance and free, confidential, one-on-one financial counseling that has helped lower and even eliminate their debt and we are eager to help more.”
“NYLAG is pleased to continue the work of representing yellow taxicab medallion owners impacted by ongoing economic hardship,” said Associate Director of the Consumer Protection Unit at NYLAG Rose Marie Cantanno. “Thus far, NYLAG has met with over 1,100 owners and begun the process of negotiating and advocating on behalf of the individual clients who have retained us. Along with all local, state, and private resources available, the MRP will aid many owners in reducing their medallions debts. We are ready to move forward with dozens of MRP cases which will assist clients in keeping their medallions following their devastating loss of income.”
About the Medallion Relief Program
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 here to make an appointment.