Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County in case of In Re: Upset Sale, Tax Claim Bureau of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, Held September 13, 1971, No. 71-13531, Upset Sale No. 43-13.
Alfred O. Breinig, Jr., for appellant.
Alan E. Boroff, with him, of counsel, Wisler, Pearlstine, Talone, Craig & Garrity, for appellees.
Judges Mencer, Rogers and Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Rogers.
[ 15 Pa. Commw. Page 644]
This is the appeal of Grace Building Co., Inc. (Grace) from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County, dismissing its objections to the return of the county Tax Claim Bureau (Bureau) of tax sales held September 13, 1971. Grace purchased at that sale an unimproved tract of land containing five and six tenths acres located in Lower Providence Township, for the sum of $3600. The property was exposed to sale as the property of Patrick J. and Gertrude C. McVeigh for delinquent 1969 property taxes amounting to about $100. All of the notices required by the Real Estate Tax Sale Law, Act of July 7, 1947, P.L. 1368, as amended, 72 P.S. § 5860.101 et seq. were sent by the Bureau to the McVeighs. Somehow subsequent to the sale, but before filing its return pursuant to Section 607, as amended, of the Real Estate Tax Sale Law, 72
[ 15 Pa. Commw. Page 645]
P.S. § 5860.607, the Bureau learned that the property had been sold and conveyed to the appellees, Paul A. Lanigan and Louis Mandracchia, by deed dated November 25, 1970, recorded in the office of the Recorder of Deeds of Montgomery County on November 27, 1970.*fn1 The Bureau recommended disapproval of the tax sale on the ground that the notices of the scheduled sale required by Section 602 of the Act, as amended, 72 P.S. § 5860.602, had not been given to the current owner, meaning, obviously, the appellees. Grace's objections to the Bureau's recommendation were dismissed by the court and the sale to the appellant voided. The instant appeal followed. We affirm.
Section 602 of the Real Estate Tax Sale Law, as amended, 72 P.S. § 5860.602 (Supp. 1974-1975), provides in part: ". . . notice of the sale shall also be given by the bureau, at least ten (10) days before the date of the sale, by United States certified mail, personal addressee only, return receipt requested, postage prepaid, to each owner as defined by this act . . . ."
Section 102 of the Act, 72 P.S. § 5860.102, defines owner as: ". . . the person in whose name the property is last registered, if registered according to law, and in all other cases means any person in open, peaceable and notorious possession of the property, as apparent owner or owners thereof, or the reputed owner or owners thereof, in the neighborhood of such property; . . . ."
We first note that there is a difference between the recording and the registration of deeds. The word "registered" used in Section 102 of the Real Estate Tax Sale Law is not the equivalent of the word "recorded"; it refers to the process of establishing and maintaining a record by which the current ownership of real estate
[ 15 Pa. Commw. Page 646]
can be ascertained without the burdensome and timeconsuming task of searching titles or the dangerous reliance upon assessment or other records not designed or intended for this purpose. See ...