Times Square Bomber Suspect Faces Foreclosure

The alleged Times Square car bomber, apprehended last month on suspicion of leaving a homemade bomb in his SUV, is on track to lose his Shelton, Conn., home to foreclosure.

The suspect, Faisal Shahzad, 30, is in jail without bail for five felony charges. To avoid foreclosure, he is being ordered to repay $213,000 to Chase Home Finance LLC, part of the JPMorgan Chase conglomerate, by July 31.

Several media sources are reporting that Shahzad stopped making his mortgage payments in June of last year, the time when federal authorities have said that he returned to Pakistan to visit a terrorism training camp.

So why didn't the delinquent mortgage payments clue in government officials earlier?
According to Geoff Smith, a senior vice president with the Woodstock Institute, a nonprofit policy and research organization, the length of the foreclosure process can vary from state to state, but the duration roughly takes the same amount of time.

"In practically every state it is about a year from the time you stop paying your mortgage payments until you get evicted," he says. "In some states, it can be longer."

In Connecticut, foreclosures are handled judicially, or through the court system. Generally the way it works in these states is that a homeowner will receive a notice from his lender to appear in court within 90 days of defaulting on a mortgage.

Mug of the alleged Times Square car bomber
Some states have a redemption period, which gives the borrower a set amount of time to become current on their home loan, but this forbearance does not exist under Connecticut state laws.

Shahzad's housing troubles compounded when he missed a hearing on his home's foreclosure that was scheduled for May 4, a day after the alleged terrorist was caught trying to leave the country on a Dubai-bound plane.

A homeowner missing a court appearance allows lenders to lawfully fast-track foreclosure cases, says Smith, but he further notes that the backlog of foreclosures is hindering the court from expeditiously processing violations in many states.

As of July 31, the foreclosure on Shahzad's home will become final and at that point, the home can be auctioned off. In 2004, Shahzad took out a mortgage of $218,000. But at the time of his arrest, he was living in a rented Bridgeport, Conn., apartment.
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