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(Yahoo)   PA appeals court rules that maybe, just maybe, a judge should have given a widow a hearing before ordering her $300k home sold to satisfy a $6.30 "late fee" on her property taxes   (news.yahoo.com) divider line 100
    More: Obvious, late fees, Western Pennsylvania, settlement offer, evidentiary hearing  
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11661 clicks; posted to Main » on 20 Aug 2013 at 11:11 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-08-20 12:37:53 PM  
This is a state where a judge was recently sent to jail for selling kids to a private prison. It is not unreasonable to assume that someone is on the take in this instance as well.
 
2013-08-20 12:39:17 PM  

danvon: FTFA: 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.

A a $6.30 penalty turn into a $235.00 penalty due to interest and costs in the course of 2 years? That's farking criminal.


Usury isn't illegal when the government does it.
 
2013-08-20 12:40:35 PM  
Yet I have a friend who will hop up and down about how she "deserved" it all the while being anti-big-government and Social Security, Affordable Healthcare Act, Medicare, etc, are all the spawn of Satan.

Jesus Mary and Joseph.
 
2013-08-20 12:43:49 PM  

wambu: I'm glad she wasn't facing an HOA or she would be on the street by now for $6.30,


She would have been hung in the square as a warning to everyone else in the neighborhood.

In Central PA here I goofed and totally forgot about the property taxes one year. Went the next year to pay them and Found out about the past due balance. Yeah there were fees on there, but never got a threat of foreclosure, never even got a letter that they were missed/late.

Why the fees went that high on $6.30 is easy. Some of the fees are a set amount, not a percentage. For instance one was more than likely constable fees and that is 100-200$ flat depending on the type of service.
 
2013-08-20 12:48:28 PM  
40Donnchadha
Article: $280,000 home

Headline: $300k home



Reality: it was sold [..] for about $116,000


Sounds to me like her property taxes should have been only about 40% of whatever she had to pay.
 
2013-08-20 12:48:29 PM  

doyner: If you have to pay the state every year for perpetuity, do you really own your home?

/trick etymological question


Actually you never own anything, it's only "on loan" until you die.
 
2013-08-20 12:48:34 PM  

Rude Turnip: This is a state where a judge was recently sent to jail for selling kids to a private prison. It is not unreasonable to assume that someone is on the take in this instance as well.


Back in the late 90's and early 2000's in Chicago the city sent out building inspectors in mass to certain neighborhoods in the city. These inspectors went to every house and wrote the houses up for everything they could think of if they were in violation or not. It was to the point that houses had anywhere from $50 - a few hundred thousand in violations. These people had to go to court, and most of them didn't have money to hire lawyers to fight the violations, so the judges ruled against them and gave them x amount of days to fix some violations and x amount of days to show that work was started on other violations or fines would start kicking in. However, if these people didn't have money to hire lawyers to fight these violations, they certainly didn't have money to fix these violations. So what was happening is that outside of the courthouse on the hearing days for the violations land developers had teams of lawyers staked out, and as people came out of the court these lawyers were offering them cash for there houses. At that point most of them didn't have a choice, they couldn't pay to fix the violations, so to avoid the fines they took what the developer was offering just to get something.
 
2013-08-20 12:48:58 PM  

CokeBear: doyner: If you have to pay the state every year for perpetuity, do you really own your home?

/trick etymological question

I know its a trick question, but I'll give it a shot anyway:
The annual payment isn't for the property, its for the maintenance of the road that lets you get to the property, and all the other services provided to the property (fire dept, police, etc). If you would rather not pay for those services, you are free to move to a location where everyone buys them for themselves on the free market.

/I hear there are no property taxes in Somalia.


I'm about the farthest you can get from being a soverign teahaddist.  Basically, "own" is a former conjugation of "to owe."  No one can ever really "own" real property.
 
2013-08-20 12:52:50 PM  

LazarusLong42: "An attorney for Lewis offered to settle the dispute last year for $160,000 from Battisti."

What sort of asshole do you have to be to consider this an "offer"? "I 'bought' your $280k home for $110k, which you haven't received a penny of, but how about I 'sell' it back to you for $160k and we'll call it even."

If you're going to scam an old lady out of $50k, at least pretend to be a Nigerian prince.


I could be wrong, but that's not how I read it.

Presumably Lewis is hanging in the lurch too, not knowing whether he will be able to take possession or not, so he has an interest in seeing the case reach a conclusion too. (I'm not trying to garner sympathy for him, just point out that he wants it over too.)

My guess is that he offered to  pay her an additional $50K to get her to drop her objection to thedsale. He'd still be paying way under what the home is worth, but he's not exactly be trying to scam her out of actual cash.
 
2013-08-20 12:54:07 PM  

Dead for Tax Reasons: $300k in aliquippa?  i guess i didn't see that part of town when i went there


It was only sold for 116k.

I don't know why they think it's 280k worth. IMHO it should be valued at what people are willing to pay for it.
 
2013-08-20 12:58:13 PM  

spawn73: Dead for Tax Reasons: $300k in aliquippa?  i guess i didn't see that part of town when i went there

It was only sold for 116k.

I don't know why they think it's 280k worth. IMHO it should be valued at what people are willing to pay for it.


vultures at an auction aren't going to pay anything near what is worth anyway
 
2013-08-20 12:58:43 PM  
There should be some common-sense rule, like if the "fine" or other discrepancy is less than approximately 1% of the money owed on the next tax bill then it should be carried over. Especially in cases where it would cost more money to enforce than it would generate.

You don't throw good money after bad.
 
2013-08-20 01:01:59 PM  
This should have never been taken to court at all . if the costs to go to court are higher than what you stand to collect it not worth it.
 
2013-08-20 01:09:59 PM  

doyner: If you have to pay the state every year for perpetuity, do you really own your home?

/trick etymological question


Your taxes pay for the tax collectors, you idiot.

Also garbage, sewer, fire, police, infrastructure, public works (which includes easement maintenance, insect and animal removal, repair on city systems, etc.)

Just... play SimCity for 25 minutes and you'll learn a ton of stuff.
 
2013-08-20 01:10:04 PM  

CokeBear: doyner: If you have to pay the state every year for perpetuity, do you really own your home?

/trick etymological question

I know its a trick question, but I'll give it a shot anyway:
The annual payment isn't for the property, its for the maintenance of the road that lets you get to the property, and all the other services provided to the property (fire dept, police, etc). If you would rather not pay for those services, you are free to move to a location where everyone buys them for themselves on the free market.

/I hear there are no property taxes in Somalia.


Your house should not be forfeit however. There are other ways of getting the amount owed. Taking a house worth far more then that is criminal. It encourages officials not to work with people to pay these debts since its far more lucrative to just steal their home.
 
2013-08-20 01:17:42 PM  

theMagni: doyner: If you have to pay the state every year for perpetuity, do you really own your home?

/trick etymological question

Your taxes pay for the tax collectors, you idiot.

Also garbage, sewer, fire, police, infrastructure, public works (which includes easement maintenance, insect and animal removal, repair on city systems, etc.)

Just... play SimCity for 25 minutes and you'll learn a ton of stuff.


Nice to meet you, too.
 
2013-08-20 01:20:52 PM  
They should make a movie based on this kind of situ.... oh.

babbleon5.files.wordpress.com
 
2013-08-20 01:28:00 PM  

evaned: LazarusLong42: "An attorney for Lewis offered to settle the dispute last year for $160,000 from Battisti."

What sort of asshole do you have to be to consider this an "offer"? "I 'bought' your $280k home for $110k, which you haven't received a penny of, but how about I 'sell' it back to you for $160k and we'll call it even."

If you're going to scam an old lady out of $50k, at least pretend to be a Nigerian prince.

I could be wrong, but that's not how I read it.

Presumably Lewis is hanging in the lurch too, not knowing whether he will be able to take possession or not, so he has an interest in seeing the case reach a conclusion too. (I'm not trying to garner sympathy for him, just point out that he wants it over too.)

My guess is that he offered to  pay her an additional $50K to get her to drop her objection to thedsale. He'd still be paying way under what the home is worth, but he's not exactly be trying to scam her out of actual cash.


He didn't offer to pay an extra $50k; he offered to settle if she gave him $160k, or $50k more than he paid.
 
2013-08-20 01:28:51 PM  

clancifer: PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY!

Oh wait, she's white?


Race baiting noted.
 
2013-08-20 01:31:02 PM  

SonOfSpam: They should make a movie based on this kind of situ.... oh.

[babbleon5.files.wordpress.com image 336x475]


That film sits right below "Requiem for a Dream" in terms of farked up, sad endings.
 
2013-08-20 01:50:10 PM  

spawn73: Dead for Tax Reasons: $300k in aliquippa?  i guess i didn't see that part of town when i went there

It was only sold for 116k.

I don't know why they think it's 280k worth. IMHO it should be valued at what people are willing to pay for it.


In my county the guy that does tax assessments drives up in his nice county SUV, looks at your house from inside the vehicle, and writes down a number.

This number has no connection in any way shape or form to what a real appraisal might say or what the house may have actually sold for at any point in human history.

On the plus side, you could put in a kitchen made of gold and they'd never know. Not sure why you'd do that though.
 
2013-08-20 01:53:41 PM  

SonOfSpam: They should make a movie based on this kind of situ.... oh.

[babbleon5.files.wordpress.com image 336x475]


or as i like to call it "the house of bad decisions".  read your farking mail.  end of movie.
 
2013-08-20 01:56:21 PM  

doyner: Nice to meet you, too.


Oh, my mistake.  I thought you were being serious.
 
2013-08-20 02:00:10 PM  

Dow Jones and the Temple of Doom: show me: Leavitt said the stateSupreme Court has "emphasized that due process under both the United States andPennsylvania Constitutions must be satisfied whenever the government subjects a citizen's property to forfeiture for nonpayment of taxes."

Well, just "find" a couple of joints in the house and they can take it, no questions asked. No due process, problem solved.

Wh... what? People are this stupid, aren't they?


interesting read: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2013/08/12/130812fa_fact_stillman? c urrentPage=all

After reading that, I'll think twice about ever carrying significant cash with me.
 
2013-08-20 02:02:23 PM  

Deep Contact: Some buddy of the judge must really want that house.


Yea, that was my first thought.
 
2013-08-20 02:04:58 PM  

Dead for Tax Reasons: vultures at an auction aren't going to pay anything near what is worth anyway


Vultures at an auction are going to pay  exactly what something is worth*, just like everyone else who buys anything. Whether it stays that value a fraction of a second later depends on the next buyer. A thing is worth what someone pays for it. At any other moment than when money is changing hands, you're just guessing.

This was the most frustrating thing about looking for a house with my wife. "It's a $300,000 house, and they're offering it for $220,000!" No--they  hope it's a $220,000 house, and they've abandoned all pretense that it's a $300,000 house.

Tax assessments are just guesses, but then they have to be. Usually they're pretty reasonable, and for political reasons, those guesses are probably way too low more often than they're way too high. If I had to guess about the disparity here, it might be because (for example) when you buy a house occupied by a tenant who's challenging the seizure in court, that drives the price down. Tax assessments are usually based on physically or geographically comparable properties and past sale prices, and wouldn't reflect the legal situation.

* Obviously this assumes the vultures aren't in illegal collusion with one another, and that the auction is public, etc. YMMV.
 
2013-08-20 02:09:05 PM  

semiotix: Dead for Tax Reasons: vultures at an auction aren't going to pay anything near what is worth anyway

Vultures at an auction are going to pay  exactly what something is worth*, just like everyone else who buys anything. Whether it stays that value a fraction of a second later depends on the next buyer. A thing is worth what someone pays for it. At any other moment than when money is changing hands, you're just guessing.

This was the most frustrating thing about looking for a house with my wife. "It's a $300,000 house, and they're offering it for $220,000!" No--they  hope it's a $220,000 house, and they've abandoned all pretense that it's a $300,000 house.

Tax assessments are just guesses, but then they have to be. Usually they're pretty reasonable, and for political reasons, those guesses are probably way too low more often than they're way too high. If I had to guess about the disparity here, it might be because (for example) when you buy a house occupied by a tenant who's challenging the seizure in court, that drives the price down. Tax assessments are usually based on physically or geographically comparable properties and past sale prices, and wouldn't reflect the legal situation.

* Obviously this assumes the vultures aren't in illegal collusion with one another, and that the auction is public, etc. YMMV.


they are going to pay what they can make a profit on, not what it is worth.  surely if they resell it they will only ask what they paid
 
2013-08-20 02:10:28 PM  

LazarusLong42: He didn't offer to pay an extra $50k; he offered to settle if she gave him $160k, or $50k more than he paid.


Never mind, I see you're right. I missed the "from" in "from Battisti."

I guess I just wanted to assume he wasn't completely crap.
 
2013-08-20 02:15:01 PM  
De minimus non curat lex.  Something our legal and commercial sectors have sadly forgotten.
 
2013-08-20 02:16:43 PM  
Typical. This is just another example of our socialist government taking away from the hard working Job Creators. Stealing a person's home because of an arbitrary (if not just plain fabricated) amount of unpaid fees is something that should only be done by the banks. This is just the government intruding where it doesn't belong yet again. Thanks, Obama!!
 
2013-08-20 02:19:39 PM  

theMagni: doyner: Nice to meet you, too.

Oh, my mistake.  I thought you were being serious.


S'ok.

I'm not anti-tax.  If I have any complaint about property taxes, it would be in how the funds entrench economic division within society.
 
2013-08-20 02:26:12 PM  

PJ-: I just don't understand why people don't get all shooty when this stuff happens.  If someone took my home for the equivalent of $6.30, you best believe some people better sleep with one eye open, gripping the pillows tiiiight, CAUSE I'M GOING IN DRY!!!


"there's no time for lube"
"THERE'S ALWAYS TIME FOR LUBE!"
 
2013-08-20 03:01:03 PM  

doyner: If you have to pay the state every year for perpetuity, do you really own your home?

/trick etymological question


If you have to pay the state every year for the privilege of selling your labor, do you really own your body?
 
2013-08-20 03:18:23 PM  

SonOfSpam: They should make a movie based on this kind of situ.... oh.

[babbleon5.files.wordpress.com image 336x475]


that's a farking good movie.
 
2013-08-20 03:19:34 PM  

chairmenmeow47: SonOfSpam: They should make a movie based on this kind of situ.... oh.

[babbleon5.files.wordpress.com image 336x475]

or as i like to call it "the house of bad decisions".  read your farking mail.  end of movie.


You didnt pay attention, then.
 
2013-08-20 03:36:48 PM  

Madbassist1: chairmenmeow47: SonOfSpam: They should make a movie based on this kind of situ.... oh.

[babbleon5.files.wordpress.com image 336x475]

or as i like to call it "the house of bad decisions".  read your farking mail.  end of movie.

You didnt pay attention, then.


really?  if someone is threatening to evict you over a mistake, completely ignoring those notices until eviction time comes is a reasonable solution?
 
2013-08-20 03:47:28 PM  

chairmenmeow47: Madbassist1: chairmenmeow47: SonOfSpam: They should make a movie based on this kind of situ.... oh.

[babbleon5.files.wordpress.com image 336x475]

or as i like to call it "the house of bad decisions".  read your farking mail.  end of movie.

You didnt pay attention, then.

really?  if someone is threatening to evict you over a mistake, completely ignoring those notices until eviction time comes is a reasonable solution?


reasonable? nah. but the woman was distraught and grieving, or did you miss that part? The movie kind of goes out of its way to show her as a few cards light of a full deck, if ya know what I mean.
 
2013-08-20 03:49:22 PM  
Wow, PA was also home to the judge who sued his dry cleaners, and the judge who took kickbacks to send innocent kids to juvie. WTF is going on with Pennsylvania's judiciary?
 
2013-08-20 03:59:59 PM  

Madbassist1: chairmenmeow47: Madbassist1: chairmenmeow47: SonOfSpam: They should make a movie based on this kind of situ.... oh.

[babbleon5.files.wordpress.com image 336x475]

or as i like to call it "the house of bad decisions".  read your farking mail.  end of movie.

You didnt pay attention, then.

really?  if someone is threatening to evict you over a mistake, completely ignoring those notices until eviction time comes is a reasonable solution?

reasonable? nah. but the woman was distraught and grieving, or did you miss that part? The movie kind of goes out of its way to show her as a few cards light of a full deck, if ya know what I mean.


i get that, but i guess i just don't see it as an excuse or a premise for a compelling movie i guess.  not to get all personal, but last year i had an illness that caused extreme pain, in addition to another illness that caused me to vomit daily for 6 months.  i still managed to resolve an issue with my bank (puke bag in hand) regarding fraudulent charges and did not just assume they would fix this without my intervention.  TMI, but jeez, woman could have picked up a phone!!!
 
2013-08-20 04:02:15 PM  

Madbassist1: SonOfSpam: They should make a movie based on this kind of situ.... oh.

[babbleon5.files.wordpress.com image 336x475]

that's a farking good movie.


Never seen it.
 
2013-08-20 04:43:57 PM  

chairmenmeow47: i get that, but i guess i just don't see it as an excuse or a premise for a compelling movie i guess. not to get all personal, but last year i had an illness that caused extreme pain, in addition to another illness that caused me to vomit daily for 6 months. i still managed to resolve an issue with my bank (puke bag in hand) regarding fraudulent charges and did not just assume they would fix this without my intervention. TMI, but jeez, woman could have picked up a phone!!!


Thats one of the reasons I liked the movie. Its very well written. They are not presenting that as a valid excuse. Anything but. Every turn they go out of their way to show the Jennifer Connelly character as a whiny needy user who relies on others to "take care" of her. She has low self esteem and is all "why me?" all the time. Despite the character deficiencies, the audience still cares about her, somewhat.

Ben Kingsly, however, gives probably the best perfomance of his career. Completely Oscar worthy.
 
2013-08-20 04:49:35 PM  
Madbassist1:

Ben Kingsly, however, gives probably the best perfomance of his career. Completely Oscar worthy.

i do agree with this :)
 
2013-08-20 04:51:55 PM  

chairmenmeow47: Madbassist1:

Ben Kingsly, however, gives probably the best perfomance of his career. Completely Oscar worthy.

i do agree with this :)


I am completely happy with this compromise.  :)
 
2013-08-20 05:12:43 PM  

foxyshadis: Wow, PA was also home to the judge who sued his dry cleaners, and the judge who took kickbacks to send innocent kids to juvie. WTF is going on with Pennsylvania's judiciary?


The judge sued the dry cleaners in D.C., not Pennsylvania
 
2013-08-20 05:54:35 PM  

Piizzadude: In Central PA here I goofed and totally forgot about the property taxes one year. Went the next year to pay them and Found out about the past due balance. Yeah there were fees on there, but never got a threat of foreclosure, never even got a letter that they were missed/late.


I can top that.  I inherited a couple of lots, at the time they weren't worth very much.  Turns out the property tax on one went unpaid for more than 20 years--the other went to a wrong address.  (There was a series of errors that made it not obvious that there was a problem.)  I simply paid the taxes, no problem.  I should have sold out when prices peaked.
 
2013-08-20 06:42:20 PM  

Dead for Tax Reasons: they are going to pay what they can make a profit on, not what it is worth.  surely if they resell it they will only ask what they paid


Economics does not work that way. If they resell it, they will be hoping to find a seller to whom it is worth more than they paid. But in anything remotely resembling an open market, you don't get to say "this house is inherently worth $X."

If the lawsuit gets resolved and the amount the next guy is willing to pay springs up from $116K to $280K, it doesn't mean the house was worth $280K all along. It means it's worth that  now. How do we know? Because there's a guy willing to pay $280K  now, whereas last week there was just this "vulture" winning an auction with a high bid of $116K.

/are  you my wife? We've been over this, honey.
 
2013-08-20 07:35:09 PM  

Donnchadha: foxyshadis: Wow, PA was also home to the judge who sued his dry cleaners, and the judge who took kickbacks to send innocent kids to juvie. WTF is going on with Pennsylvania's judiciary?

The judge sued the dry cleaners in D.C., not Pennsylvania


Silly me, I though it was in Philadelphia. Guess I was a hundred miles off.
 
2013-08-20 07:43:32 PM  

semiotix: Dead for Tax Reasons: they are going to pay what they can make a profit on, not what it is worth.  surely if they resell it they will only ask what they paid

Economics does not work that way. If they resell it, they will be hoping to find a seller to whom it is worth more than they paid. But in anything remotely resembling an open market, you don't get to say "this house is inherently worth $X."

If the lawsuit gets resolved and the amount the next guy is willing to pay springs up from $116K to $280K, it doesn't mean the house was worth $280K all along. It means it's worth that  now. How do we know? Because there's a guy willing to pay $280K  now, whereas last week there was just this "vulture" winning an auction with a high bid of $116K.

/are  you my wife? We've been over this, honey.


and when people go to a pawn shop and get $100 for something doesn't ,mean it is only worth $100, it a matter of who has the money at that moment and how desperate the seller is.  many people may be interested in the house at $300k but don't have it or can't arrange it in order to bid at an auction
 
2013-08-20 08:57:40 PM  

rumpelstiltskin: doyner: If you have to pay the state every year for perpetuity, do you really own your home?

/trick etymological question

You don't have to pay taxes if you reject the fictitious business name the government assigned to you on your birth certificate.


You're not assigned a birth certificate. You must apply for one. There's an important legal distinction there.
 
2013-08-20 09:00:03 PM  

Kuroshin: Usury isn't illegal when the government does it.


Have you seen the recent explosion in "payday loan" and "cash advance" places? Usury just plain isn't illegal anymore. You just need to know what to call it to get in on the loopholes in the law like those places do. See also: Rent-to-own.
 
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