NYC Taxis


City And State Investigating Taxi Medallion Lending Practices

May 21, 2019 - 8:52 am

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Lending practices that left taxi medallion owners under crushing debt are coming under city and state microscopes.

The duel state and city probes come after a New York Times exposé of an industry that issued reckless loans, devastating a generation of taxi drivers.

“In a 12-month period, we’ve had suicides by eight drivers. We have never seen this level of crisis for drivers before,” said Taxi Workers Alliance Director Bhairavi Desai at a press conference earlier this year to fight congestion pricing fees.

In one case, a driver making $30,000 a year was duped into paying $50,000 for a medallion with a promise to pay $1.7 million more.

An analysis of court records show that more than 950 medallion owners have filed for bankruptcy.

The New York Times reports that the Taxi and Limousine Commission even urged drivers to buy medallions, calling them a better investment than the stock market.

The attorney general’s probe will look into any criminal activity.

Other elected officials on the city and state level are calling on the government to pressure lenders to either soften or forgive the terms of the crushing loans.

Mayor Bill de Blasio has ordered a 45-day review by the Taxi and Limousine Commission, Department of Finance and Department of Consumer Affairs. The state attorney general's office is also looking into medallion loans.