Some people who don't necessarily understand this business might. But as one
who worked in the registrar business before, let me share a few things.
First, your registration agreement's terms defines one another's relationships.
One of them happens to say you don't really "own" the domain, and you only
"have" it as long as it's paid for.
The moment the domain expires, your registration agreement-contract expires
too. If you take time to read your registrar's contract, you'll also find a term
essentially saying "we can do anything to the domain name after it expires" up
until it's deleted from their system.
I don't know 000domain's policy for expired domains, so best ask them.
Then again, I've explained that to some people who complained they lost their
domains simply because they expired, yet some still believed we conspired in
some way. Goes to show some people will believe whatever they want, even
if it isn't necessarily true.