Montgomery county pa public real estate records

However, she did not learn about the tax sale until 10 days before settlement. She authenticated photographs taken by Farrell's son that recreated the posting to depict how it would have looked from the street. Notably, she testified "the sign [was] placed so it [was] visible to the public" and could be seen by someone driving on the road.

On cross-examination, she agreed that a front door of a home, where such postings are typically placed on properties containing a dwelling, may be much farther than 20 feet from the road. Farrell's son, who resided nearby, testified he drove by the Property almost daily to access the highway.

He also mowed the Property regularly. Nevertheless, he never saw the posting. He confirmed his father lives in Florida about six months a year; otherwise, his father lived close to him. He explained that Big Road was the address of the family's prior residence, where they also operated a separate family business. He testified that neither he nor his siblings participated in Owner's business.

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We didn't have mail delivery at that particular address. Farrell testified he never received notice of the tax sale for the Property. He learned about the sale after the fact, in November , and he likely learned about the mailings and posting from his son.

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He testified that tax notices pertaining to other properties he owned were forwarded to his Florida address, and that notices pertaining to the Property should have been similarly forwarded. Farrell disclaimed any intent to avoid paying the taxes. He testified his daughter, Heid, who signed the certified delivery card, had no authority to accept mail on Owner's behalf.

However, Farrell acknowledged his daughter had access to the post office box and could have retrieved mail from there.


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Because Susan Heid did not testify and Owner offered no explanation, it is unclear what happened to the certified notice for which she signed. Lastly, Owner presented expert testimony of an optometrist who opined that the posting could not be read from Ludwig Road. Ultimately, the trial court denied the Petition.

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Owner timely appealed the trial court's order to this Court. In its a opinion, the trial court reasoned the Bureau met its burden of proving it complied with the notice requirements of the Tax Sale Law. After noting the challenges for posting a property that lacks a structure, the trial court credited the testimony regarding Deputy Sheriff as to the posting.

It noted there was no conclusive evidence that the notice did not remain intact. Based in part on Realtor's testimony, the trial court found "the location of the posted notice was reasonable and reflected a good faith effort to provide notice of the sale. The posted notice also met the requirements for font size.

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The trial court also found the Bureau met its burden of providing notice by publication and by mail, having used the Big Road address to which Owner was registered and that was on file. See R. On appeal, Owner argues the Bureau did not meet the statutory requirements for posting the Property. Specifically, Owner asserts the posting was deficient because it could not be read from the road.

It maintains that the posted notice must not only be visible, but readable, in order to provide notice to the public. Its optometrist's expert testimony that the posting could not be identified as a notice from the road shows the notice was deficient. In addition, Owner contends the posting was not conspicuous or placed in a manner to attract attention.


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  • In tax sale cases, this "Court's review is limited to considering whether the trial court abused its discretion, rendered a decision lacking in supporting evidence, or clearly erred as a matter of law. Generally, tax sales are presumed valid. Miller v. Clinton Cty. Tax Claim Bureau , A. However, once properly challenged, the taxing authority bears the burden of proving strict compliance with the notice provisions of the Tax Sale Law. Matter of Krzysiak , A. Bucks Cty. Pursuant to Section e 3 of the Tax Sale Law, prior to a scheduled sale, a tax bureau shall provide notice by publication, posting and mail to each property owner.

    If any of the three notices are defective, the tax sale is void. Section e 3 of the Tax Sale Law provides notice by publication: "shall set forth[:] 1 the purposes of such sale[;] 2 the time of such sale[;] 3 the place of such sale[;] 4 the terms of the sale including the approximate upset price[;] [and] 5 the descriptions of the properties to be sold as stated in the claims entered and the name of the owner.

    As to posting, the statute further requires that " similar notice of the sale In this appeal, Owner challenges only the notice by posting. A finding that a property was properly posted may be overturned only if the finding is unsupported by the evidence. Wiles v. Washington Cty. Further, as fact-finder, "the trial court has exclusive authority to weigh the evidence, make credibility determinations and draw reasonable inferences from the evidence presented. Montgomery Cty.

    Tax Claim Bureau , 74 A. The statute is silent as to the method of posting. In order to satisfy the posting requirements of Section e 3 of the Tax Sale Law, this Court holds a tax bureau must establish that its posted notice of property subject to an impending tax sale was: 1 conspicuous and 2 "securely attached" to the location at which it was placed.

    Wiles ; see Matter of Krzysiak tax sale notice placed on sign adjacent to public road and affixed with high quality tape was properly posted.

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    First, we consider whether the notice by posting was conspicuous. Owner asserts it was not conspicuous because the notice was posted more than 20 feet from the road and could not be read from the street. This Court discerns no merit in Owner's contention. McKean Cty. Posting will meet this criterion when it is reasonably calculated to inform the taxpayer and the public that the posted property is to be exposed at a tax sale.

    O'Brien v. Lackawanna Cty. The critical question before this Court is not whether there was a better manner to post notice, but rather whether the manner of posting actually utilized was "reasonable and likely to inform the taxpayer as well as the public at large of an intended real property sale. In evaluating whether a posting was reasonable, this Court employs a commonsense approach that depends on various factors. However, a notice folded into thirds and wrapped around a small tree branch at the side of a house did not satisfy the reasonable notice standard.

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    As to location, the posting must be placed where the public can reasonably view it. See, e. Posting on a glass door facing the street was sufficient.


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    • Lapp v. Chester Cty. However, posting a notice on a door which faced the side yard, as opposed to the road, did not satisfy the Tax Sale Law. Ban v.