A serial squatter who has avoided paying the mortgage on his home for 23 years will finally be evicted after a judge ruled he is not covered by COVID protections.
Guramrit Hanspal, 52, who has been living in his three-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath East Meadow home for free for over 20 years is facing eviction after Nassau County Housing Court Judge William Hohauser ruled that he does not qualify for COVID protections because he is an illegal squatter and not a renter.
Three different owners have tried to kick the 52-year-old from the home since he was foreclosed upon by Washington Mutual in 2000.
But Hanspal 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.
Guramrit Hanspal, 52, (pictured) who has been living in his home for free for over 20 years is facing eviction
Three different owners have tried to kick Hanspal from the three-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath East Meadow home (pictured) since he was foreclosed upon in 2000
The basement of the home, whose mortgage hasn’t been paid since 1998, is a mess, with at least two mattresses stacked, clothes everywhere and insulation falling from the ceiling
A formal dining room is covered with kitchen items, with a dresser stacked full of china
‘The protections of the COVID declaration would inhere to tenants, but not to those who have no financial obligation,’ Hohauser ruled, adding people who stay in foreclosed homes illegally ‘could be considered occupants at ”sufferance” if not outright squatters.’
Hanspal’s behavior ‘which reflects no payments of any kind for decades, augurs strongly against any protection,’ Hohauswer said in his ruling.
This ruling was good news for real estate firm Diamond Ridge, which currently owns the home and has been actively trying to boot Hanspal.
The firm’s attorney, Jordan Katz, told the Post they were ‘very satisfied’ and added ‘we intend on immediately enforcing the court’s order and ending this illegal occupancy.’
Hanspal bought the house at 2468 Kenmore St. for $290,000 in 1998. Shortly afterwards, he made just one mortgage payment of $1,602.37 before defaulting, the New York Post reported.
Original foreclosure agency Washington Mutual tried to boot Hanspal 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.
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.
The firm was also forced to pay at least $50,000 in property taxes.
Hanspal has used every loophole in the book – from hiring lawyers at the last minute to drowning the courts in legal action to remain in the house.
Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit, which clogged New York’s housing courts because of a rule banning landlords from evicting tenants, which was designed to protect people who’d lost their jobs because of pandemic shutdowns.
Another filthy sight is the toilet area of the bathroom, where a trash can overflows
The living room on the Zillow listing shows the apparent front door blocked with junk
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.’
That often applies 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 that a real estate agent managed to take despite Hanspal’s refusal to leave offer a peek inside the home.
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.