Widow loses $280,000 home over $6.30 property tax she didn’t know she owed

A judge in Pennsylvania has approved a sale that could cost a widow her home over a debt of $6.30 in unpaid interest on money she owed to her local tax office.

Photo: Business Insider

According to an Associated Press report, Eileen Battisti is still living in the Aliquippa, Pa., home that was sold for $116,000 to satisfy Battisti’s unpaid property taxes in 2011.

But Batttisti says she thought she had paid everything she owed in taxes, which was $235 at the time of the sale, including fees and other interest, AP reported. She said she simply didn’t know about that $6.30.

Last week, a court turned down Battisti’s request to reverse the sale, ruling she’d had proper notification before it took place.

Battisti said her husband took care of the family finances before he died in 2004. It took her a while to get a handle on things. Now, she plans to appeal the ruling.

“For the house to be sold just because of $6.30 is crazy,” she said.

It might be crazy, but it’s the law, said Beaver County Chief Solicitor Joe Askar.

“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.

AP reported the house was valued at $280,000 at the time of the sale. Most of the $116,000 raised in the sale will go to Battisti.

The purchaser wasn’t available for comment for the report.


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