“I celebrate my kids’ birthdays over the phone. Why?” Hervias stated.
While some medallions are held by giant house owners with fleets, proudly owning a single medallion was lengthy seen as a ticket to the center class for immigrants like Hervias, who’s from Peru.
Many of them now owe extra on their medallion loans than they initially paid for the medallions as a result of they used their fairness within the medallion for a house, a toddler’s schooling or different bills.
Hervias stated he borrowed towards his medallion to pay for medical look after his mom, a brand new automotive and a go to to his homeland.
“Every time we want to go on vacation or do something, where do we go? To the equity of the medallion,” he stated.
Other medallion house owners inform comparable tales.
Constant Granvil purchased his medallion for $102,000 in 1987 and stated he now owes greater than $300,000 to his lender. He might have bought the medallion for 2 or 3 times that a number of years in the past, “but I said no, I’m not going to sell it,” stated Granvil, who’s 76. “And then I got caught.”
The worth of Granvil’s medallion is tough to pinpoint as a result of 2017 sale costs have assorted from the $200,000s to the $500,000s relying on whether or not lenders are prepared to finance the acquisition.
Meanwhile, Granvil, who not drives due to poor well being and makes use of a dealer to rent a driver, stated he’s dealing with threats from the lender, Melrose Credit Union, to foreclose on not just his medallion, but also his home.
“How am I going to live?” he stated. “And now Melrose wants to take my house?”
The New York State Department of Financial Services took possession of Melrose Credit Union in February and appointed the NCUA as conservator.
Critics say the federal company is enjoying hardball with medallion house owners like Granvil, who’ve been making their funds, by demanding that they repay their loans in full or face foreclosures.
“They’re approaching it with this cookie-cutter idea,” stated David Beier, head of the Committee for Taxi Safety, an affiliation of taxi leasing brokers. “They want you to mortgage your house to them as collateral. It’s forcing borrowers into bankruptcy.”
John Fairbanks, a spokesman for the NCUA, stated that the company has employed a administration group to run Melrose and that it will be inappropriate to touch upon the administration workforce’s actions.