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Woman’s house sold because of $6.30 bill for delinquent payment

As jobs are still scarce and costs still rising, those of us who reside in Waco are well aware, $6.30 doesn’t buy much these days. You could almost get a month’s subscription to Netflix, possibly a combo meal at a fast food restaurant, or maybe even a frozen yogurt.

But, as it turns out, $6.30 was the difference between losing and keeping a home for one Pennsylvania woman.

The woman bought the home in 1999, with her husband. In 2004, her husband died, leaving her with three children and a mortgage to look after. Debt relief was likely something she was familiar with, but unfamiliar with obtaining.

Unable to work due to a serious injury, the woman fell behind on her bills and experienced financial challenges. She missed the due date to pay her property tax bill in 2008, but was able to pay it—plus late fees—six days later. What she neglected to realize, because it was not included in her tax bill, was that she owed interest on the late payment.

The interest added up to a whopping $6.30.

When 2010 rolled around, the woman was again unable to pay the bill on time. She eventually did square the bill, but only for tax year 2010. Left behind was that pesky little $6.30 which, by this point, had swelled to $234.72 after interest and fees since 2008.

By 2011, the county decided to sell the woman’s house for non-payment of taxes and they did just that at a sheriff’s sale, garnering $120,000 for the property, which was valued at $280,000.

The woman claims she never received the notices of the outstanding debt and remains defiant. She has stayed in the home and she and her lawyer plan to appeal.

Her case may not be typical, but if you are facing the prospect of losing your house due to foreclosure, there are things you can do to fight back and that may give you a much needed fresh start. Consulting a Waco bankruptcy attorney who understands debt relief may be able to help keep you in your home. 

Source: forbes.com, “Widow Loses House Over $6.30 Tax Bill,” Kelly Phillips Erb, April 29, 2014

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