A man has used legal loopholes to evade eviction on a New York home he has squatted in for more than 20 years.
While Guramrit Hanspal purchased the home in 1998, he only made one mortgage repayment before his three-bedroom home was foreclosed just two years later, the New York Post reported.
Yet the 52-year-old filed bankruptcy multiple times which allowed him to stay at the Long Island home for free under the US Bankruptcy Code’s “automatic stay” rules, which gives those involved a period of reprieve.
Mr Hanspal has so far claimed bankruptcy seven times while filing four lawsuits to avoid eviction on from the East Meadow home originally bought for US$290,000 (A$373,000).
He isn't the only person at the address to have filed for bankruptcy, with at least three others also claiming "automatic stays" before eventually being rejected in court, the New York Post reported.
Mr Hanspal has saved more than US$440,000 (A$566,000) on mortgage payments, according to the publication.
Two banks previously owned the property while the attorney for current owners Diamond Ridge Partners says the behaviour of Mr Hanspal and others residing at the property is "an outrage".
“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,” he said.
The home is currently listed for sale on property site Zillow for US$399,000 (A$513,000).
Images from inside the property show the home in a cluttered and dirty state, with belongings strewn across multiple rooms.
The bathroom is covered in dirty clothes while there are signs of mould and cut hair appears to be on the floor next to an overflowing bin.
The current owners have attempted to pay Mr Hanspal US$20,000 (about A$25,000) to leave yet he rejected the offer.
The pandemic has further complicated Diamond Ridge Partners' attempts to evict Mr Hanspal as Covid-19 has created a backlog in the housing courts, hampering their pursuit of an eviction notice.
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