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NY Post
New York Post
16 Dec 2023

NextImg:LI squatters fail to pay mortgage for 14 years, ‘abuse’ the system to stave off eviction: Court docs

A “shrewd and devious” Long Island couple failed to pay their mortgage for at least 14 years, dragged out their foreclosure for more than a decade, and refused to leave after a new family bought the house from the bank, court records show.

To make matters worse, one of the alleged interlopers was caught on video telling the legal owner to “go back to Pakistan.”

The frustrated owners of the Jericho home claim they’ve shelled out $85,000 and counting to keep up with taxes, mortgage payments, and other bills, while alleged squatters Barry J. Pollack and his wife, Barbara, live in their house and keep a Mercedes in the driveway.

“It’s sickening. . . . I have no guarantee when this guy is leaving. It kills me, you know, to see him just acting like he owns my house,” said Bobby Chawla, who teamed up with his dad and other relatives to pay $762,200 for the home in February 2022.  

They plan to give the home to Bobby’s six-month-pregnant sister, Gege, and her husband.

The four-bedroom, two-bath home was sold at a bank auction in 2022 — after the Pollacks managed to delay the sale 13 times in 11 years. Dennis A. Clark

Barry Pollack, 72, at first promised to leave in a month.

But the family blew off a March 31, 2022 exit date and hasn’t budged since.

The Chawlas sued to evict the Pollacks in Nassau County Housing Court.

“This is not a typical case where a tenant thought they could vacate within a certain period of time and found they needed a bit longer,” according to the legal filing. “This is a calculated, shrewd, and devious litigant who has perpetrated a scheme on the judicial system for the past 15 years.”

Bobby Chawla and his pregnant sister, Gege, say they’re “devastated” at being unable to take possession of the home their family purchased. Dennis A. Clark

The Pollacks bought the four-bedroom, two-bath, 1,536-square-foot home on Friendly Lane in September 1990 for $255,000, records show.

Though they paid off one mortgage, financial trouble followed.

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They’ve fought in three different courts for 17 years to stay in the home — frequently without regularly paying.

In 2006 the Pollacks were sued for foreclosure, having failed to pay a $310,000 second mortgage.

They settled for an undisclosed amount.

By 2008, they were foreclosed on again in a case that plodded along for 11 years as they sought 13 different delays, their debt ballooning past $600,000.

In 2012, the Pollacks filed the first of seven bankruptcies, what the Chawlas describes as “frivolous” and “skeleton” petitions that are a “direct abuse of the bankruptcy system.”

The latest bankruptcy came in November — with the couple showing up with bankruptcy paperwork to stave off the Nassau Sheriff and movers who were about to clean out the home.

“Right before they’re about to end the eviction, the sheriffs are going to sign off on the eviction, magically, they pull up and hop out of the car with this paperwork in their hand like they had just won the lottery,” said Bobby Chawla, whose parents are originally from India and now live in Lawrence, LI.

The squatters have fought in three different courts for 17 years to stay in the home — frequently without regularly paying. Dennis A. Clark

Barry Pollack claimed in court papers filed this summer that his family’s efforts to move to Florida had fallen through, and moving was too difficult at their age.

“I will not survive on the street if I am ousted,” he said in the litigation, citing heart problems.

He denied abusing the court system to freeload in a house that is not legally his.

“Inaccurate,” he told The Post, without giving details. “Right now, I’m just trying to survive.”

Barry Pollack said allegations he has “abused” the court system are “inaccurate.” Dennis A. Clark

He insisted he is “looking for a place to live,” and said the court proceedings are still being contested. Pollack accused the Chawlas of harassment, without providing evidence.

The Chawlas denied the allegations and said they were desperate.

Gege Chawla said she dreams of the day when she can get “a normal-sized crib,” which won’t fit in her tiny apartment.

“It’s not fair,” she said. “We’re paying what we need to pay. … We did everything by law.”