A man has managed to live in a house for more than two decades, despite paying just one mortgage payment.
Guramrit Hanspal, 52, has lived in the house in Long Island, New York, for 23-years after buying it for $290,000 (£209,893) – but court papers claim he has stumped up just one mortgage payment of $1,602.37 (£1,159.75) in all that time.
Court papers seen by the New York Post, say Hanspal has filed four lawsuits and declared himself bankrupt seven times to avoid being kicked out of the property, which has since been owned by two different banks and a real estate company since 2000.
As Hanspal isn’t the only person living at the address, a rule from the US Bankruptcy Code – called the ‘automatic stay’ – has kicked in, which means debtors have a temporary reprieve from foreclosures, harassment and collection efforts.
The court papers go on to claim that ‘at least three other people’ listed as living at the home have also filed for bankruptcy and been given the same ‘automatic stay’ rules, only to have the claims later dismissed in court.
Jordan Katz, an attorney working on behalf of the property’s owner Diamond Ridge Partners, told the New York Post: “It’s really a group of people that are more than willing to use the courts and abuse the courts to whatever extent they need to extend their illegal occupancy.”
Katz went on to say: “He’s not legally occupying that property. It’s an outrage.”
Hanspal got a mortgage for the home in 1998 from Washington Mutual bank.
He made just one payment before defaulting and in May 2000 the bank took ownership of the home, with Hanspal ‘forever barred’ from any claim to the property.
However, despite the foreclosure Hanspal never left.
According to the New York Post, by January 2001 Hanspal filed his first bankruptcy claim, he filed another in November of the same year, as well as two more in 2002 and one in 2003.
In 2008, Washington Mutual collapsed and its assets were taken over by JP Morgan Chase, but this bank also had no luck in getting Hanspal out of the house and he’s still there today.