As Melrose Credit Union looks to seize assets instead of refinancing medallion loans, individual owners fear for their future.
Conrado Medina woke up April 22 to a taxi driver’s nightmare. The medallion attached to his 2012 Toyota Camry yellow cab had been removed as the car sat overnight in his driveway in Jackson Heights, Queens.
The worst part was that he knew who did it: his lender, Melrose Credit Union. Already hit with millions of dollars in losses due to bad loans, Melrose had toughened its stance on the terms it was willing to offer Medina to refinance. It didn’t matter that he’d never missed a payment. If he didn’t put his house up as collateral, the lender would foreclose.
“They said, ‘We’re going to repossess the medallion in 10 days if you don’t put up the house,'” Medina said. “They didn’t care that this has been my job for 30 years.” To fend off the lender, which has continued to demand payment, Medina has decided to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection. But without his medallion, he can no longer drive his cab.
A livery-cab driver for 14 years, William Garfield bought one of the first green-cab permits in 2013, allowing him to pick up street-hails outside Manhattan’s core business district. He grossed “$300 and change” in six hours. And now? “You can make $90 in a day.”
Continue reading this excellent piece on the ins and outs of New York’s taxi and mobility business: http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20170709/SMALLBIZ/170709944/as-a-taxi-lender-seizes-medallions-cabbies-are-caught-in-the-carnage
- A removed medallion means: no more taxi work in New York City.