Happened in 2004.
Small town Iowa. Mayor lived next door and there was a 10acre lot behind a foreclosed home that was inside city limits. Mayor kept calling the Bank of New York complaining that this lot needed to be maintained since it was inside city limits and posed a fire risk since kids were going down to the pond and having camping fires and fishing.
The lot was basically covered in horseweeds up to 20' tall. We put a bid in for a John Deere tractor with a sickle mower to spend a day cutting this down (this was before the stupid requirement of picking up grass clippings) and a seperate bid to have it baled.
Bid was $2000 for transportation of tractor and mower and time on site. We received approval from Safeguard. After sending in pictures they denied payment since "they couldn't tell it was mowed". The mayor called the Bank of NY and Safeguard telling them "someone was blind and quit playing games"....
Never got paid for the mowing (yet)! BUT the mayor voluntered that the back of the property line for the house was seperated from the field by an abandoned alleyway..... HMMMM After some discussions with Safeguard about the non-pay and giving them their last opportunity to pay (with no favorable outcome) I bought that alleyway for a grand total of $68.00 and put a fence up along the backyard and the entryway into the field--basically the house yard and the barns were on the house property had no access to the field from the home..... There was another access gate on the backside of the 10acre lot which allowed a new owner access to 4 acres of the 10acre lot then there was a creek that they were going to have to build a crossing.
I was contacted by Bank of NY about our purchase of the abandoned alleyway. I was more than happy to tell them about the NONPAY on the mowing and to make amends I would sell the alleyway to them for $35,000. NO is what they said and for the next 2 years realtors called, Safeguard called and the BANK called. Each time they called the price increased.
3 years after my purchase the house was still vacant and got transferred to HUD who then started calling. The price had increased to $60,000 for that little 8' strip of land.
4 years after the purchase we were paid $52,000 (after negotiations) for that little strip of land AND Safeguard paid $2400 for the mow ($2000 + accrued fines/interest).
Loved that little piece of land!