Woman Loses Her Home After Forgetting to Pay $6 Tax Bill

Say What!? 20

OMG, this story makes me furious!!! A woman has actually lost her home because of a $6 bill. Yes, I'm not making this up!! The woman, Eileen Battisti, owned a $280,000 home in Pennsylvania. When her husband died, she was in the process of taking over all of the finances, which can be an arduous endeavor, let me assure you, and somehow $6.30 in interest on a property tax bill got overlooked. And apparently no one bothered to tell Battisti about it. Soon, interest and penalties accrued and the tax bill was up to $235. And then ... somehow ... horribly ... the house went to auction, with Battisti still living there. And was sold!

She appealed the sale, but the court actually ruled she had received all proper notices and the sale was final.

No one sits on a $6 bill when your house might be sold out from underneath you. This MUST have been a mistake.

Reportedly, Battisti was not only dealing with the death of her husband, but other personal issues as well. It's not stated what these issues were, but I can see a bill going unnoticed for months at a time if you're in the hospital or a family member is, or you're dealing with something else that's major.

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Most of these bills come in plain white envelopes and you don't know what the hell they are anyway. And most of us get so much junk mail, you can't tell one thing from another. I've mistakenly let important notices go unopened for months because I thought it was junk mail -- which I admit I have a habit of letting pile up.

No one from the county could, say, give this woman a call?!!

But there is some hope. Another judge has ruled that Battisti -- who still hasn't moved out of her home -- deserves another hearing. Her lawyer insists that despite what the town says, there was NOT sufficient notice of what was happening and there were extenuating circumstances.

As someone who has had to step in suddenly and deal with three different estates and the bills of family members who suddenly died or got sick, let me tell you, it's a strenuous process, and no one helps you, least of all the people billing you. I remember I almost had a heart attack trying to pay off my relative's Internet bill -- since I didn't have her account number, no one would let me pay her bill.

The county tax collector's office should have picked up the damn phone and asked this woman why she hadn't paid a $6 bill before they put it into foreclosure. That's the human thing to do. Whatever happened to being human?

Give the woman her house back!

Have you ever been screwed over by the system for a tiny bill?


Image via Moyan_Brenn_BE_BACK_IN_SEPTEMBER/Flickr

home life, home finances


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keelh... keelhaulrose

I once had my phone shut off because the idiot behind the counter said I paid ten cents less than I did, and I was on one of those month-to-month plans. It was such a pain in the butt to get back on I switched companies. The worst part was I had paid in full, but they said I paid $45.40, not $45.50

Melissa Phelps-Groves

Or someone could have just paid the darn $6 bucks for her or IDK overlook 6 measly dollars.  So not worth it when in the end it probably cost them way more in paper/postage etc. to send her out a bill each month SMH where's the compassion


IH_Mommy IH_Mommy

When a family member of mine lost their house it was required that they have some kind of aknowledgment from the homeowner before it could be put up for sale. Not saying they had to agree with it. Just that it had to be clear that they were aware of the situation before the sale. The courts would send a certified letter to be signed for  (if you signed for it but didn't open it, it wasn't the courts fault) or of you never signed for the letter they would send a police officer to your door with a notice and have you sign for it in person. Either way they make a point of making sure you are aware of the situation before they are allowed to place it for sale in my area.

Sarah Sydenstricker

Because the bank gets a sweet cut out of the deal. They always do. Thats why they let it rack up.

hexxuss hexxuss

Talk about horrible...  they're crooks - she better get her house back.

tmrvi... tmrvica1225

Poor woman! Wow! She lost a $280,000 house over $6?! That's cruel punishment! 

nonmember avatar Kristi

I had a $1.13 bill sent to collections, when my account showed a $1.13 credit.......??

nonmember avatar Tracy

I would have purchased the house and given it to her.
We once had our phone shut off because someone had called to have theirs shut off and the girl who took the disconnect order was new and didn't write it down. When she finished the call, she realized she hadn't taken the number down and guessed. They actually told us she said "I figured if I got it right, great. If I didn't, they would call and let me know." I don't know if they fired her but I hope they did. At the time I was working as a surgical nurse and had to be on call within 5 min of the hospital at all times. I almost lost my job because I had to fight to get an emergency turn on cause I was on call that night. Additionally, they actually expected me to pay a disconnect and re-connect fee !!! They billed me for months and even sent me a shut off notice. I had to get an attorney to write a letter to get them to leave me alone.


The reason the county is pushing it is because there is a county official who wants to get the property for the $6 tax bill. How do i know this? One of my inlaws used power the same way.

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