A persistent squatter who delayed repaying his mortgage for decades is ineligible for pandemic protections, a New York court ruled on Sept. 14.
Nassau County Housing Court declared Guramrit Hanspal must vacate his East Meadow property, because Chinese Communist Party (CCP) virus moratoriums do not apply to him.
Since Hanspal bought the 2.5 bedroom home in 1998 he has only repaid $1,200 of the original $290,000 purchase price.
Although the property was repossessed in the year 2000, the former home owner repeatedly filed for bankruptcy and litigated to avoid eviction. In 2001, he submitted two bankruptcy petitions, two in 2002, and once again in 2003.
Diamond Ridge offered Hanspal $20,000 to leave the property after purchasing the home in 2018. However, the man still refused and this resulted in Diamond Ridge racking-up a legal bill exceeding $150,000. The company was also forced to pay at least $50,000 in property taxes according to the Daily Mail.
So-called “automatic stay” provisions of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code gave Hanspal temporary reprieve from collection operations, harassment, and seizures. It also let him stay in the house.
The CCP virus eviction moratorium also caused extensive delays since landlords were prohibited from removing tenants.
After 23 years of postponement Judge William Hohauser decided the time has finally come for the 52 year-old to find a new home.
“This matter continued winding its serpentine meandering way through the state and federal court systems,” he said according to the New York Post. “With some dismay … that Diamond Ridge and its predecessors have been waiting for more than two decades.”
The judge rejected COVID-19 hardship statements from the defendant and another resident, Bhagwant Srichawla. BL understands this is because the pair is not renting and paying at all.
“Protections of the COVID declaration would inhere to tenants but not to those who have no financial obligation,” he said according to the Daily Mail. “No payments of any kind for decades, augurs strongly against any protection.”
Lawyer Jordan Katz, who advised Diamond Ridge, welcomed the court ruling.
“We intend on immediately enforcing the court’s order and ending this illegal occupancy,” he said according to the publication.