Real Estate & Property Law

Widow who lost $280K home over $6 tax penalty wins court hearing

A Pennsylvania woman who lost her $280,000 home at an auction over $6.30 in unpaid interest has won a chance to keep her home.

The Commonwealth Court ruled Monday that it was a mistake for a judge in Beaver County to rule against Eileen Battisti without first holding an evidentiary hearing, the Associated Press reports.

“This was particularly inappropriate because the outstanding liability was small and the value of the home was far greater than the amount paid by (the) purchaser,” Judge Mary Hannah Leavitt wrote for the court.

Battisti still lives in her home in Aliquippa, despite its sale two years ago for $116,000. The AP reports that Battisti purchased the home with her husband in 1999 and paid off the property with life insurance proceeds after his death in 2004. In 2009, a $6.30 penalty was added to her tax bill, an amount that grew to $235 by 2011, when the home was auctioned.

She appealed the sale alleging lack of notice, but a Beaver County judge ruled the notice was adequate.

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