Details on the DOF’s new ECB Amnesty Program have finally been released, giving clarity on this opportunity to save money through reduced payments for outstanding ECB-related (OATH) penalties. Per the Department of Finance, this new program will be called FAIRER – Fines and Interest Reduction Enabling Recovery.
Per the city, “If you have unpaid OATH ECB judgments that are eligible for the FAIRER Program, you may be able to save up to 75% and have the penalties and interest associated with your judgments waived.”
The program started September 20th and has been extended to March 20th (exceeding the city's original guaranteed 90 days, per the city council’s mandate). To participate, you will have to pay violations in full by March 20, 2022.
According to the DOF, “Any respondent—an individual or business named on a violation—may participate in the FAIRER Program. In addition, payors—individuals or businesses who are not the respondent—may participate.”
This program is separate from the OATH-Adjudicated ECB Violations Settlement Program, which is for default judgments entered on or after 6/23/21. If any newer outstanding judgments at your properties aren’t eligible for amnesty, they may be eligible for this.
While many OATH/ECB-related fines are eligible for this program, it’s important to note that some tangential judgments, penalties, and fees are not. Below are some examples of what won’t be included:
- Civil penalties issued by the DOB, included but not limited to the following:
- Elevator inspection penalties like EVCAT1, ACC1
- Boiler inspection penalties like LBLVIO/HBLVIO
- Façade civil penalties
- Benchmarking penalties
- AEUHAZ1 penalties
- Criminal/civil court judgments
- HPD Emergency Repair Charges
- Water Bills
- Most DOHMH Judgments
- Property Taxes
- ECB Violations Under a Marshal’s Docket
Tiers of Eligibility & Expected Savings
Per the city, “The amount that customers can save will depend upon when their violations went into judgment and whether the party named on the violation (respondent) attended a hearing held by the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings:”
|Type of Judgment||Reduction Amount|
|Contains a Default Penalty for Not Attending a Hearing||Default Penalty and Interest|
|No Default Penalty and Entered on or After March 7, 2020, and prior to June 23, 2021||75% of Base Fine and Interest|
|No Default Penalty and Entered Before March 7, 2020||25% of Base Fine and Interest|
An important note – DOB and FDNY judgments within all tiers must be Certified Correct before the program ends in order to qualify. If you have open DOB or FDNY violations that were issued via OATH, now’s a good time to start the Corrections process.
It’s well worth looking at your SiteCompli account – specifically at outstanding OATH/ECB judgments – to understand the following:
- Which, if any, violations require correction ASAP to be eligible
- Which outstanding judgments fall into which tier based on the docketed date
- Possible savings based on the outstanding fine amount