Very strange story.
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A western Pennsylvania woman is getting another chance to keep her $280,000 home after it was auctioned over $6.30 in interest owed to the local tax collection authority.
Commonwealth Court on Monday sent the case back to Beaver County Common Pleas Court, saying it was a mistake to rule against Eileen Battisti without first holding an evidentiary hearing.
Battisti’s lawyer says she still lives in her Aliquippa home, even though it was sold nearly two years ago to S.P. Lewis of Imperial for about $116,000. Messages seeking comment weren’t returned on Monday by Lewis and his lawyer, or by the Beaver County solicitor’s office…
The opinion by Leavitt said Battisti had difficulty taking over the financial matters, in part because of a series of personal setbacks. She fell behind on various tax bills, but believed she had paid them all off, even though some were late.
The $6.30 penalty was added to her tax bill in 2009, which grew with interests and costs to $235 by late 2011, when the home was sold at auction. She appealed the sale to county court, which ruled in May 2012 that she received all notices required by law. A month later, Judge C. Gus Kwindis ordered that the Beaver County Tax Claim Bureau could not issue a deed to Lewis while Battisti appealed.
An attorney for Lewis offered to settle the dispute last year for $160,000 from Battisti. David Holland wrote in a court brief that Battisti did have notice of the tax sale, and that she made arguments in the appeal that legal procedures should not permit.
Lack of common sense throughout the whole process.