Via Matt Welch, here is a fascinating story about rent control and bankruptcy. There is much pulling of the heartstrings by New York Times reporter Mireya Navarro and it’s clear how Navarro and the newspaper come down. I’m going to ignore the emotional blackmail* and instead focus on the relevant facts:
Two years ago, [Mary Veronica Santiago] took refuge in bankruptcy, hoping to have her debts wiped away. … The issue, pending before the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, is whether a rent-stabilized lease can be treated as an asset in a personal bankruptcy, just like a car or a piece of land, and used to pay off creditors. …
Mrs. Santiago has lived for 50 years in a two-bedroom apartment near Tompkins Square Park, in a neighborhood where unregulated apartments rent for thousands more a month than Mrs. Santiago’s rent of $703. Her main income is a Social Security check and, under normal bankruptcy proceedings, her lawyers said, she would have avoided repaying the $23,000 she owes because she had no assets. …
But as her case was nearing conclusion, her landlord stepped in with an offer to buy her rent-stabilized lease and produce the funds to pay off her debt. …
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