Widow devastated as judge rules her $280,000 home will be sold over unpaid $6.30 tax bill

truther April 29, 2014 1
Ryan Gorman

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.

Widow devastated as judge rules her $280,000 home will be sold over unpaid $6

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, the judge asserted, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

He write 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, according to the paper.

‘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.’

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

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

An attorney for the purchaser did not return a phone message left on Monday.

Joe Askar, Beaver County’s chief solicitor, said the judge got the decision right, based on the law.

‘The county never wants to see anybody lose their home, but at the same time the tax sale law, the tax real estate law, doesn’t give a whole lot of room for error, either,’ Askar said.

Battisti argued her husband handled the paperwork for the property’s taxes before he passed away in 2004.

‘It’s bad — she had some hard times, I guess her husband kind of took care of a lot of that stuff,’ Askar said. ‘It seemed that she was having a hard time coping with the loss of her husband — that just made it set in a little more.’

Battisti told the paper she has no desire to collect the funds and will do everything in her power to retain possession of her home.

Part of that process will include an appeal to the Commonwealth Court, which earlier ordered an evidentiary hearing that led to this ruling.

She will be allowed to stay in the home until a final ruling is made.

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One Comment »

  1. George Peabody May 2, 2014 at 3:18 am - Reply

    Solution: in Hawaii, the REDEMPTION rule allows the homeowner to recover the home from the tax sale by simply paying to the Buyer the RPTax allegedly owed that was paid by the Buyer [$6.30 in this stupid case] within one year. The Buyer knows this voids the sale when they buy it at auction, and is required to give up the house and the RPTax Agency must void the sale and return the Buyer’s money paid at auction. That is REDEMPTION Rule. I wonder if she has that rule there in Penn?
    Is this America, USA? Think you OWN your property? Crooked communist Politicians have corrupted the Right to OWN property with their RPTaxation Slavery. Stop all RPTaxes ! Stop Obama’s Death Tax, NOW !!

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