A widow has lost her home because she owed $6.30. That amount is not a misprint: six dollars and change.
For the second time, a Pennsylvania court told Eileen Battisti, 53, of Aliquippathat, that her home’s sale at auction after she failed to pay property taxes is valid, even though she owed only $6.30 at the time it was sold.
She lost legal rights to her $280,000 home more than two years ago after failing to pay the measly sum.
However, there is a bit of a silver lining. The property sold for about $116,000, and she is entitled to $108,039 if subsequent appeals are unsuccessful to retain her home, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Battisti has the right to one more appeal. She will be allowed to stay in the home until a final ruling is made.
“She’s going to get that money, but she’s going to lose her house. All the notice requirements were met,” wrote Beaver County Common Pleas Judge Gus Kwidis in his ruling. “In tax assessment laws, even if I feel sorry for her, I can’t do anything to help her. Everyone felt bad about it.”
She has made multiple appeals on grounds she did not know that the $6.30 in taxes was owed.
The most recent decision made last week denied her request to reverse the September 2011 sale of the house.
“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.”
The judge said Battisti also owed about $235 in various interests and fees at the time of the 2011 tax auction. The $235 was paid. It’s the unpaid $6.30 in taxes that triggered the sale of the home.
Kwidis also ruled that the county tax claim bureau complied with notification requirements under state 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 Newspaper.