Until recently, New York State residents with rent stabilized apartments risked losing their homes in bankruptcy. This unhappy state ended in the recent decision, In the Matter of Mary Veronica Santiago-Monteverde. etc., (Santiago-Monteverde.")1 New York State's highest court ruled that rent stabilized leases are "public assistance benefits" which are unavailable to be converted to cash to pay creditors.
We can't overemphasize the importance of filing accurate schedules and statements in a bankruptcy case. Regardless of lawyers' skills, clients must review their schedules carefully before signing them. The recent decision in Crawford v. Franklin Credit Management Corp.1 ("Crawford") illustrates the dangers of inaccurate schedules and a lucky "escape hatch."