A Long Island man who hasn’t paid his mortgage for over 20 years got another free pass to court this week after hiring a new lawyer.
Guramrit Hanspal, 52, hasn’t cleared his throat to live in his East Meadow home since making a single mortgage payment in 1998, but has evaded eviction for decades. filing claims and bankruptcy, records show.
The house, which was foreclosed many years ago, is now owned by Diamond Ridge Partners, which brought Hanspal to court in an attempt to finally strip him of his title.
At a hearing in Nassau County Court on Wednesday, Judge William A. Hohauser agreed to postpone the trial after Hanspal’s attorney William D. Friedman asked for more time, stating that his second attorney, David Gevanter, had been hired the day before.
“This is the last of about 40 lawyers to appear on the eve of the hearing,” an irritated Diamond Ridge lawyer Jordan Katz told the judge.
“It’s very typical for a defendant to use lawyers to buy more time,” said Max Sold, who works at Diamond Ridge. “This guy mostly mocks the courts.”
At the hearing, Friedman accused Katz of “scandalous vocabulary.”
After speaking on the phone, Friedman refused to provide Hanspal for an interview.
When asked why Hanspal did not pay off the mortgage, a lawyer blamed Governor Cuomo’s moratorium on evictions in March 2020, stating that the governor had made paying rent a “moral obligation.” He hung up after a Post reporter noted that his client hadn’t paid before the pandemic for 20 years.
The COVID-19 safeguards that inhibit evictions should not be applied to Hanspal, he said, as Hanspal does not legally occupy the house.
“We do not believe that this law was passed to protect such people,” he said.