It might surprise you how long a resolute buyer of a New York residential property can remain in a home without paying the mortgage. Media report the remarkable story of one man's twenty-three-year battle with lenders and authorities, still ongoing, to remain in a home on which he has reportedly made only a single first mortgage payment. See if you think how this borrower allegedly waged his battle was worth it.
Battling Eviction for Nearly a Quarter Century
According to the report, the buyer initially purchased the Long Island home, now worth nearly $400,000, for just $290,000 in 1998, then making only a single $1,602 payment. Within a couple of years, the lender had naturally foreclosed. Yet the buyer promptly filed the first of no fewer than seven bankruptcies, each time invoking rules delaying eviction. The buyer also deeded the home to a friend who adopted the same tactic.
Federal and state court battles prolonged the fight, which successor lenders passed on from one to another. One of those lenders got a 2010 order for the now-foreclosed buyer to vacate, but further litigation somehow enabled him to hold the Nassau County Sheriff's Office at bay. The pandemic's onset and its legal restrictions on evictions handed the buyer new weapons to avoid eviction. The real-estate company currently owning the home on foreclosure sale has spent nearly $200,000 to evict the buyer and others living with him.
Costs of a Fight: Is It Worth It?
Fighting foreclosure and eviction can make great sense when the resident has a sound end game. But fighting the wrong way can come at a great cost. While this buyer's home reportedly increased substantially in value, the buyer also reportedly owes more on the home, which he no longer even owns, than its estimated market value. A home can be a great investment, but this home surely hasn't been for this buyer whose credit bankruptcy after bankruptcy has likely ruined. Think, too, of the enormous financial and emotional drain on the buyer of the so-far endless litigation.
The lessons here are to count the costs and have a sound end game. Better to get expert advice than to go tilting at windmills. Better to retain expert representation to discern wise and attainable goals than to fight on your own at the cost of those goals. Legal protections against foreclosure and eviction are not to facilitate scorched-earth campaigns. With the advice and representation of a skilled real estate lawyer, those protections should preserve and enhance, not destroy, the owner's finances, personal and business relationships, way of life, and peace of mind.
If you face foreclosure and eviction, then consult New York/New Jersey real-estate lawyer Melvin Monachan. Melvin Monachan helps residential and commercial clients adopt sound foreclosure and eviction strategies that achieve sound personal, financial, and business goals. Melvin Monachan can also help you close on your New York or New Jersey real property. Call (347) 389-1682 or go online for an appointment with the industry-focused, relationship-driven Law Offices of Melvin Monachan, PLLC.
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