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Adding Insult to Injury: Fined For Not Cutting the Grass on Foreclosed Home

 
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03/04/2012 05:14 PM

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Adding Insult to Injury: Fined For Not Cutting the Grass on Foreclosed Home
The Intel Hub
By Madison Ruppert
March 4, 2012

City of Arlington, Texas (Image credit: City of Arlington)

Imagine for a moment you have been foreclosed on and evicted from your home. Unfortunately this isn’t a leap for far too many Americans who have experienced just that.

Now imagine that on top of getting kicked out of your house due to predatory lending practices and an economic downturn thanks mostly to the same predators in the financial industry, you get fined for not keeping up the house they took from you.

It is quite unfortunate to say that this isn’t an absurd hypothetical situation, but in fact the reality of David Englett of Crowley, Texas.

Englett is now being charged for not paying a series of fines from the city of Arlington for such infractions as not mowing the lawn, owning an alarm without the proper permit and for having a fence that is in bad shape, according to the Dallas-Fort Worth local CBS affiliate.

Englett’s story is nothing short of insane, given that he was foreclosed on some two years ago and hasn’t lived in the house since.

“I feel like I’m being punished for something I didn’t do.” Englett said. “It’s really frustrating and costing me a lot of time.”

Englett discovered that he had outstanding warrants when he attempted to renew his truck driver’s license last july.

“I don’t want to go to jail over nothing – never been to jail – don’t want to go to jail,” he lamented.

“I didn’t live there, so why would I worry about it the bank foreclosed on it,” Englett said. In response to the warrant for operating an alarm without a permit he said,” Even when I lived there we never activated the alarm.”

The City of Arlington has responded to Englett’s plight by claiming that if the title hasn’t officially changed, then you’re still the owner of the home and thus responsible for everything on said property.

Englett is having to pay a significant amount of money to the city, even though he is likely having financial woes given his home was foreclosed on.

He has already forked over $150 to remove a hold on his license and he says that he still owes the City of Arlington hundreds more.

The local CBS station’s legal expert Jerry Loftin explained it by saying, “You have to remember cities are all about grabbing money from you[.] I mean they try anyway they can.”

Although Loftin also stated, “If it’s foreclosed, it’s not his,” which is a phenomenal point. If he’s not allowed to live there since he was evicted, how can he possibly be expected to keep up the state of the house?

Englett had a hearing on the matter earlier this week and he is hoping that he can get the matter cleared up.

The City of Arlington simply said that they are looking into his case, without providing any details about what they have found or if they think it is remotely reasonable to engage in such activities.

“I don’t understand why the City of Arlington wants to keep on with something when I showed proof and the bank owned it and not me,” Englett stated.

As far as I’ve been able to find, it has not been reported how the hearing went or if the ridiculous fines were lifted.

Unfortunately, Englett’s unfortunate situation is not a wholly unique one, as cities across the nation try to deal with their budget shortfalls by collecting more money in fines and fees.

According to a study by New York State Senator Jeff Klein, a Bronx Democrat, New York City has a large problem with reclaimed homes with property violations.

His survey, cited by the New York Daily News found that banks have reclaimed around 2,000 homes which amounted to some 3,700 fines.

Banks have been guilty of refusing to pay the fines in many cases, indeed hundreds. This is likely why the City of Arlington chose to go after Englett and not the bank that actually foreclosed on his home.

more>

[link to theintelhub.com]
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Anonymous Coward
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03/04/2012 05:18 PM
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Re: Adding Insult to Injury: Fined For Not Cutting the Grass on Foreclosed Home
Bump and a pin Please....
Anonymous Coward
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03/04/2012 05:30 PM
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Re: Adding Insult to Injury: Fined For Not Cutting the Grass on Foreclosed Home
Actually it is the City's that are getting their steaks on the property. That is why the Bank do not normally foreclose on Condos, they do not want to pay or be liable for the maintenance fees. You will see the City's and Banks going head to head on this one.
Anonymous Coward
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03/05/2012 09:17 AM
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Re: Adding Insult to Injury: Fined For Not Cutting the Grass on Foreclosed Home
bump
Anonymous Coward
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03/05/2012 09:23 AM
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Re: Adding Insult to Injury: Fined For Not Cutting the Grass on Foreclosed Home
Actually it is the City's that are getting their steaks on the property. That is why the Bank do not normally foreclose on Condos, they do not want to pay or be liable for the maintenance fees. You will see the City's and Banks going head to head on this one.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 11919767


and then what when the banks do not pay ? not a fucking thing will happen to the senior managment and boards of directors
Midnite_rider

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03/05/2012 09:28 AM

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Re: Adding Insult to Injury: Fined For Not Cutting the Grass on Foreclosed Home
Just another way for government, albeit a local one (they are greedy too) to squeeze money from population.
I'd like to agree with you, but then we would both be wrong.

To get ahead in life, you have to learn to saddle your own horse.
Anonymous Coward
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03/05/2012 09:29 AM
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Re: Adding Insult to Injury: Fined For Not Cutting the Grass on Foreclosed Home
Sounds like it's time to move back in.
tiger1

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03/05/2012 10:35 AM

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Re: Adding Insult to Injury: Fined For Not Cutting the Grass on Foreclosed Home
This is not unusual. The banks and mortgage companies refuse to pay the fines levied by the communities, and the former owners or the new owners of the foreclosed properties get stuck with them. This similar thing happened to my middle daughter and her husband. They bought a forclosed home at the tax sale. There were several liens on it, unknown to them, until they went to get a permit to do the plumbing. Their lawyer did not find the leins when she did the title search, we think they were slapped on, AFTER my daughter bought the house, even though the leins were supposedly from 4 years prior to her buying the house. Most of the leins were bogus, and we proved it. She managed to get all of them removed, except for one. One of the leins was mysteriously attached as an additional charge to the property taxes. That lein was also not evident until after she got the title to the house. When she showed proof of the property taxes being paid, the city removed that last lein.My daughter had a lawyer do all the paperwork, title search, etc. All bases were covered. Like I said, NOTHING showed up until my daughter bought the house and got the supposedly clear title.
Most of the foreclosed homes in any given state, are owned by a mortgage company in another state. There is no way the cities are going after an out of state mortgage company, as the cost to pursue them is too high. So, instead, they go after the easy targets, the former homeowner, or the new owners of the house.
Anonymous Coward
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03/05/2012 10:59 AM
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Re: Adding Insult to Injury: Fined For Not Cutting the Grass on Foreclosed Home
If he had a mortgage on the home, *he did not own it*. That is why the bank has the title, because they go out and buy the house and sell it to you for 3-4 times what they just paid for it. Until that last payment, the bank owns the house.

Get a lawyer and go for the jugular, my friend.

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