Woman Loses Home For Failing To Pay $6.30 In Tax

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A Pennsylvania widow having a difficult time coping with the recent loss of her husband is losing her home after overlooking a $6.50 delinquent property tax payment.

Didn’t know about $6.30

The homeowner, Eileen Battisti, was still grieving for the loss of her husband, who paid all the bills, and missed the payment.  “I paid everything, and didn’t know about the $6.30,” Battisti said in an AP report. “For the house to be sold just because of $6.30 is crazy.”

Proper legal procedure followed, say court participants

The widow was given ample notice, the court ruled, before her $280,000 house was sold at a tax auction three years ago for $116,000, most of which will be paid to Battisti after the $6.50 tax bill is subtracted.

The county tax claim bureau complied with notification requirements in state law before the auction, Beaver County Common Pleas Judge Gus Kwidis wrote in his judgement. She had previously owed other taxes, according to the report, but at the time of the sale she owed just $235, including other interest and fees. “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.”

Not a lot of room for error

“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,” Joe Askar, Beaver County’s chief solicitor, was quoted as saying, supporting the judge’s decision based on the law.

“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.”

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About the Author

Mark Melin
Mark Melin is an alternative investment practitioner whose specialty is recognizing a trading program’s strategy and mapping it to a market environment and performance driver. He provides analysis of managed futures investment performance and commentary regarding related managed futures market environment. A portfolio and industry consultant, he was an adjunct instructor in managed futures at Northwestern University / Chicago and has written or edited three books, including High Performance Managed Futures (Wiley 2010) and The Chicago Board of Trade’s Handbook of Futures and Options (McGraw-Hill 2008). Mark was director of the managed futures division at Alaron Trading until they were acquired by Peregrine Financial Group in 2009, where he was a registered associated person (National Futures Association NFA ID#: 0348336). Mark has also worked as a Commodity Trading Advisor himself, trading a short volatility options portfolio across the yield curve, and was an independent consultant to various broker dealers and futures exchanges, including OneChicago, the single stock futures exchange, and the Chicago Board of Trade. He is also Editor, Opalesque Futures Intelligence and Editor, Opalesque Futures Strategies. - Contact: Mmelin(at)valuewalk.com

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