Cozen O’Connor: Tax Sale Decisions Continue [Tax Alert]

Tax Sale Decisions Continue

Tax Alert

April 16, 2015

The substantial volume of tax sale decisions from appellate courts continues. A tax sale was voided where the tax claim bureau failed to take reasonable steps to notify the owner when service was unsuccessful. 777 L.L.P. v. Luzerne County Tax Claim Bureau, Appeal of Mannino, No. 925 C.D. 2014 (Pa. Commw. Mar. 30, 2015). In another case, a tax sale was voided where the tax claim bureau did not advise the taxpayer of her right to enter into a payment plan, once she had paid more than 25 percent of the liability before the sale. In re Sale of Tax Claim Bureau, Appeal of Joann P. Vignola, No. 718 C.D. 2014 (Pa. Commw. Mar. 30, 2015). The court distinguished a case in which a taxpayer had paid 25 percent of the delinquency after the upset sale. In a third case, the court rejected the argument of a mortgagee that the property was occupied by the taxpayer based on the facts. Brentwood Borough School District v. HSBC Bank USA, N.A., No. 2346 C.D. 2013 (Pa. Commw. Mar. 24, 2015). In a fourth case, the court remanded an appeal from a tax sale for an evidentiary hearing whether an individual was an owner of the property. In re Tax Parcel Nos. J6-7-1-0520, Appeal of Edwin Filchner, No. 2097 C.D. 2013 (Pa. Commw. Mar. 9, 2015) (unreported).

The high volume of decisions suggests that it may be time for the General Assembly to review the tax sales statutes. 


Authors

Joseph C. Bright

Member

jbright@cozen.com

(215) 665-2053

Dan A. Schulder

Member

dschulder@cozen.com

(717) 703-5905

Cheryl A. Upham

Member

cupham@cozen.com

(215) 665-4193

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To discuss any questions you may have regarding the opinion discussed in this Alert, or how it may apply to your particular circumstances, please contact: Joseph C. Bright at jbright@cozen.com or 215.665.2053, Dan A. Schulder at dschulder@cozen.com or 717.703.5905 or Cheryl A. Upham at cupham@cozen.com or 215.665.4193.