Homeowners can be subject to foreclosure for a number of reasons. The most common types of foreclosure are based upon non-payment of amounts due under a promissory note and mortgage or non-payment of fees due to an association. There are, however, other types of foreclosures, such as non-payment of tax liens or foreclosures based upon city fines. The latter is what happened to a Dunedin, Florida man who did not cut his grass for many months. He left town for an extended period of time to tend to his late mother’s estate and when he returned, he learned that he amassed $29,000 in fines due to his grass exceeding the 10 inches that the city allows. (The man who was supposed to cut his grass also passed away). The homeowner said he was not aware of the $500 per day fine until the fines were already “out of control.” He has not paid the fines and the city has sued for foreclosure. His lawyers argue that the fines are unconstitutional.
These cases occur more than one might think and are often resolvable through appropriate negotiation with the governmental entity, which is generally not looking to fine its residents, but instead to enforce its rules. If this happens to you, you should hire a skilled attorney to represent you through this process so that you can avoid unnecessarily losing your home.