Mayor Bill de Blasio announced this week that the City’s $65 million Medallion Relief Program was "in full swing." That's true if "full swing" means minimal swing. The city say that 57 loan restructuring deals have been approved, "delivering $10.4 million in debt cancellation to financially distressed Owners." But there are roughly 13,000 medallions and pretty much all of them are financially distressed as the buyers tend to have loans in excess of half a million dollars and the medallions are now selling for roughly $100,000, if they can be sold at all.
Somehow, the City says, "In total, the program could bring $500 million of debt forgiveness to thousands of Individual Medallion Owners." Even if the $65 million program does bring that level of debt relief, the total debt on medallions likely exceed 6 BILLION.
As of this week, 1,000 medallion owners have reached out and completed appointments with the TLC's Owner/Driver Resource Center, according to the City and adds that "a significant portion of the renegotiations would take place by the end of the calendar year." By any reckoning, though, it's a fairly token gesture that is much too little, much too late.
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