On March 21, Governor Cuomo issued an Executive Order stating that banks (those subject to the jurisdiction of the NYS Department of Financial Services) must grant a forbearance to any person or business facing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic for 90 days. If they do not, it would be deemed “an unsafe and unsound business practice.”

The Department of Financial Services has been ordered to “ensure under reasonable and prudent circumstances that any licensed or regulated entities provide to any consumer in the State of New York 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.”

An application will be created to be made available to consumers, and applications “shall be granted in all reasonable and prudent circumstances solely for the period of such emergency.” The Superintendent may issue rules regarding ATM fees, overdraft fees, and credit card late fees to be restricted or modified in light of the pandemic as well.

We will continue to report on this Executive Order as more information becomes available.