An increasing amount of borrowers may get to keep their homes without ever having to pay another dime.

According to an article in The New York Times, the reason is that lawyers argue the cases drag on too long in the judicial system.

In a growing number of foreclosure cases filed when home prices collapsed during the financial crisis, lenders may never be able to seize the homes because the state statutes of limitations have been exceeded, according to interviews with housing lawyers and a review of state and federal court decisions.

There are tens of thousands of homeowners who have missed more than five years of mortgages payments, the article stated.

And the majority of them are in states like Florida, New Jersey and New York, where lenders must get judges to sign off on foreclosures. T

hese so-called judicial states hold around half the nation's shadow inventory.