A Long Island man who’s been living for free in a three-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath home for over 20 years has dodged eviction again by hiring a new lawyer a day before a judge was set to hear his case.
Three different owners have tried to kick Guramrit Hanspal, 52, from the East Meadow home since he was foreclosed upon by Washington Mutual in 2000.
But he has managed to avoid eviction numerous times by drowning each of the three owners in legal actions and perverting the courts’ rules to his favor.
The current owner is real estate firm Diamond Ridge, which tried to boot Hanspal from the home on Wednesday.
Hanspal’s lawyer, William Friedman, requested more time because his co-counsel, David Gevanter, had been hired the day before, the New York Post reported.
Nassau County Judge William A. Hohauser agreed to delay the case.
Guramrit Hanspal is the owner of the house who bought it in 1998 and only ever paid one mortgage payment. A backlog in housing court cases likely means it’ll be a while before he’s finally evicted
The Long Island home looks relatively tidy from the outside, but isn’t in great shape on the inside. A late-model Mercedes sits out front along with a Volkswagen
The house, at 2468 Kenmore St., was purchased originally in 1998 for $290,000. Only one payment was ever made on the mortgage, but banks have failed in evicting the laggard owner
‘This is the last of approximately 40 attorneys who have appeared on the eve of a hearing,’ Diamond Ridge lawyer Jordan Katz told the judge.
‘This is very typical of the defendant — he recycles lawyers to buy himself more time,’ said Max Sold, who works for Diamond Ridge. ‘This guy is basically mocking the courts.’
In the court hearing, Friedman accused Katz of using ‘scandalous language’.
Hanspal bought the house at 2468 Kenmore St. for $290,000 in 1998. He’s made only one mortgage payment of $1,602.37 before defaulting, the New York Post reported.
He hasn’t paid anything since.
Friedman declined to make Hanspal available for an interview, according to The Post, and then pinned the blame on Gov Andrew Cuomo’s March 2020 eviction moratorium, claiming the governor had made paying rent ‘a moral obligation’.
The New York Post reported Friedman hung up after being reminded that his client’s failure to pay predates the pandemic by 20 years.
When Diamond Ridge bought the home from Chase in 2018, the company offered Hanspal $20,000 to leave. He refused the offer, forcing Diamond Ridge to continue running a legal tab of over $150,000 and paid at least $50,000 in property taxes.
Hanspal has used everyone loophole in the book – from hiring lawyers at the last minute to drowning the courts in legal action.
Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit, which clogged New York’s housing courts because of the pause in cases and bought Hanspal more time.
The living room on the Zillow listing shows the apparent front door blocked with junk
A formal dining room is covered with kitchen items, though the hutch looks full of nice china
A view of the living room shows a giant TV set surrounded by plush sofas; the crowded dining room can be seen in the foreground with the table covered in kitchenware
Another bedroom also is stuffed with furniture – and an apparent sewing machine
Before Diamond Ridge took over the property, Washington Mutual and Chase banks fought Hanspal in long, arduous legal battles to no avail.
He continues to live in the house by leveraging the U.S. Bankruptcy Code’s ‘automatic stay’ rules, which give debtors a temporary reprieve from all collection efforts, harassment and foreclosures.
Diamond Ridge has a sale pending, which gave an inside look into the house.
The house is listed on Zillow with a ‘pending status,’ meaning the seller and buyer agreed to a deal but the sale hasn’t closed yet, in this case because Hanspal won’t leave.
The Zillow listing, for $399,000, noted the requirement for a ‘cash offer,’ oftentimes used when a home is in foreclosure and being sold as ‘REO’ or real estate owned by a bank or other financial institution.
It had been listed for Diamond Ridge for sale – so the Zillow pictures give a peek inside the home that Hanspal won’t leave.
From the listing photos, he hasn’t taken care of the home well in the 23 years he’s lived there for free. Shots of the interior show a filthy bathroom. A living room and dining room and strewn with items everywhere. And a basement looks to be jammed with junk.
The person who apparently put an offer on the home – hence the pending status – hasn’t been identified.
The basement of the home, whose mortgage hasn’t been paid since 1998, is a big mess, with at least two mattresses stacked, clothes everywhere and insulation falling from the ceiling
One of the bathrooms in the home isn’t any nicer, with clothes and trash seen and a sink and toilet in dire need of cleaning
Another filthy sight is the toilet area of the bathroom, where a trash can overflows
A bedroom has boxes – perhaps in preparation for a move that has never been ordered by the courts after the home’s owner has tied up lawsuit after lawsuit in red tape
Washington Mutual tried to boot Hanspal after the foreclosure in 2000, but he filed two bankruptcy claims in 2001, two in 2002 and one in 2003, the New York Post reported.
It’s unclear how Hanspal was able to file bankruptcy so many times.
The two sides were still entangled in legal battles when Washington Mutual went under in 2008 in one of the largest bank collapses in American history.
Chase took over Washington Mutual’s assets, including this East Meadow house, and tried to evict Hanspal, but he filed three lawsuits against Chase in Nassau Supreme Court, according to the New York Post.
Even the outside is a mess just beyond the fence – with trash piled against the home
In the garage, tires are stacked, a bicycle is set against the wall and other junk is everywhere
The home, on Long Island, has has an offer that is ‘pending’, but it’s held up with the backlog in housing court as New York has cases piled up in the wake of the coronavirus shutdown
[h/t: Daily Mail]