ALIQUIPPA (KDKA) — From the outside, it’s a beautiful house in Aliquippa that has the appearance that all is well inside, but that is far from the truth.
The home’s owner, Eileen Battisti, has been crying quite a bit lately.
“I just hope this never happens to anybody else,” she says.
As she prepares to sit down with a cup of coffee, she told KDKA’s Brenda Waters that she never knows when it will be her last cup in the house.
Her problem stems from a $6.30 debt she owes to Beaver County. Her story has gotten the attention of news agencies across the country.
In 2008, Battisti owed more than $4,000 in school district taxes, penalties and interest. A year later, she paid it off.
“I paid the total balance, the $4,000… yes, never knew that there was more money on that bill,” she said.
What was left on the bill was a $6.30 interest charge because she paid it late.
“They claim they put sticky notices on my door, on the garage for $6. I never saw anything, neither did my kids never see anything,” Battisti said.
Battisti says she tried to pay the $6, but it was rejected. Instead, a common pleas judge auctioned her house off for $116,000.
The new owner has offered to sell it back to her for $260,000, but Battisti who works two jobs says she can’t afford to do that. In fact, she says she is bankrupt.
Her husband died of cancer in 2004. Two years later, her daughter suffered severe injuries from a car accident. Battisti has filed a second appeal on the state level.
“I hope and pray that I win,” she says.
So, for now, Battisti remains in the house she has owned for 15 years. She says her only glimmer of hope comes from the candles she has in her windows.