A woman has recently lost her house after it being sold at auction due to her having back-property taxes in the amount of a whole $6.30. The woman’s house, valued at $280,000, in which she lived for two years, was sold for a measly $116,000.
You can imagine 53-year-old Eileen Battisti’s outrage after learning in court that it was too little too late to settle on her property taxes. At that point, the government had fully taken over rights of the estate over a reported $6.30 worth of property tax that she owed.
Beaver County Common Pleas Judge Gus Kwidis explained:
“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. Moreover, on Aug. 12, 2011, a notice of sale was sent by first class mail and was not returned.”
Of course, at the time of the auction that amount was a little more than the 6 bucks and change as fees and interest took its toll raising the amount to $235. It seems highly unlikely that a woman who was able to keep up on the mortgage payments of a $280,000 house, would be unwilling to pay off either the $6.30 or $235 amounts at any given time in order to keep her home.
Although Battisti is losing her home, she didn’t entirely get the shaft as she is entitled to $108,309 of the amount the home was sold for. Kwidis went on to say, “She’s going to get that money, but she’s going to lose her house. All the notice requirements were met.In tax assessment laws, even if I feel sorry for her, I can’t do anything to help her.”
During the court hearings, Battisti did eventually admit to getting the notices, but Kwidis shared that, “Everyone felt bad about it.” Apparently, Battisti’s spouse, who died back in 2004, had handled all the paper work up until the point of his passing.
Beaver County’s chief solicitor, Joe Askar, conveyed that the judge did the right thing according to the law as he mentioned, “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.”
However, he did say, “It’s bad — she had some hard times, I guess her husband kind of took care of a lot of that stuff. 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 remains adamant that she does not want the proceeds of the house and will be fighting tooth and nail to remain in her home.
What do you guys think – is this right? Over $6.30? Or does the law clearly outline what is right and wrong and there really aren’t any gray areas? Let us know in the comments below.