Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The $6 House

This is a story that I had to read 3 different times from 3 different media outlet's to believe, and I am still having trouble digesting it.

A widow has been told for the second time by a Pennsylvania court that her home's sale at auction after she failed to pay property taxes is valid - she owed only $6.30 at the time it was sold.

Eileen Battisti, 53, of Aliquippa, lost legal rights to her $280,000 home over two years ago after failing to pay the paltry sum but has made multiple appeals on grounds she did not know it was owed.

The most recent decision made last week denied her request to reverse the September 2011 sale of a house she is still reportedly living in.

'I paid everything, and didn't know about the $6.30,' Battisti said. 'For the house to be sold just because of $6.30 is crazy.'

She had previously owed other taxes, the court noted, but at the time of the sale she owed just $235, including other interest and fees.

Beaver County Common Pleas Judge Gus Kwidis wrote in his ruling that the county tax claim bureau complied with notification requirements in state law before the auction.

'There is no doubt that (she) had actual receipt of the notification of the tax upset sale on July 7, 2011, and Aug. 16, 2011,' the judge wrote. 'Moreover, on Aug. 12, 2011, a notice of sale was sent by first class mail and was not returned.'

Battisti also admitted to receiving those notices, according to the judge.

He wrote in the ruling there “is no doubt' Battisti “had actual receipt” of them.

The property sold for about $116,000, and she is entitled to $108,039 if subsequent appeals are unsuccessful.

'She's going to get that money, but she's going to lose her house. All the notice requirements were met,' wrote Kwidis. 'In tax assessment laws, even if I feel sorry for her, I can't do anything to help her.

'Everyone felt bad about it.'

Evidently not bad enough


Her beloved home: Battisti's house was sold at far less than even half market value

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