An elderly couple in Royal Palm Beach Florida has racked up over $400,000 of fines from citations received due to the deplorable condition of their home. 

Ralph and Marguerite McCormack, age 75 and 71, are reported to have dementia, have no children or close family, and suffer from a hoarding addiction.  Conditions were so bad at their home that investigators had to wear hazmat suits and gas masks just to enter their home.

The McCormack’s cleaned up their home in 2018 and want to sell it and use the proceeds to fund assisted living for both of them but at least one judge is taking a harsh stance,

“We are here at your mercy,” said attorney Jason Evans. “What happens now in this moment will affect them for their remaining days.”

But Doug MacGibbon, the special magistrate, denied the request. He said the hefty fines “are all self-inflicted wounds” from violations “that could have been cleaned up by” the McCormacks. 

The McCormacks filed an appeal Aug. 17 in Palm Beach County Circuit Court. Unless a judge overturns MacGibbon’s decision, the village can foreclose on the house.

“I can’t believe the village can be so vicious,” said Lisa Kline Goldstein, an attorney for the McCormacks, who specializes in elder law.

Source: $443,000 in fines: Elderly hoarders must pay up or lose home – News – The Times – Apalachicola, FL