A court has ruled that rent-stabilized apartment renters have legal protection to file for bankruptcy without fear of losing their homes.
The Court of Appeals ruled 5- to-2 on Thursday.
The case involved an 80-year-old woman who filed for bankruptcy protection from $23,000 in credit-card debt after her husband died. She lived in the same East Village apartment for about 50 years.
Last month, the state attorney general's office and the city's Law Department filed a joint brief in the case. It said it was important to ensure rent-stabilization rights are not treated as property to be disposed of by a bankruptcy trustee.
The woman's landlord, who was not one of her creditors, had agreed in bankruptcy court to buy the rights to her lease and pay off her debt.