Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Lehigh County in case of Sidney and Rita Kleinberger v. Tax Claim Bureau of Lehigh County and Lawrence and Francesca Marra, No. 78-C-3489.
Kevin J. Kelleher, with him John J. Bartos, for appellants.
Susan E. Mensch, Assistant County Solicitor, for appellee, Tax Claim Bureau of Lehigh County.
Thomas C. Anewalt, with him William E. Doyle, for appellees, Lawrence and Francesca Marra.
Judges Mencer, Rogers and Craig, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Craig. This decision was reached prior to the expiration of the term of office of Judge Palladino.
Sidney and Rita Kleinberger, husband and wife, appeal an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Lehigh County confirming the upset tax sale of real property they owned as tenants by the entireties. The Real Estate Tax Sale Law*fn1 governed the sale.
The Kleinbergers took title to the property, located at 2340 Washington Street, Allentown, Lehigh County, in 1957. From 1972 through 1975, $2,505.42 in delinquent taxes accrued on the property. On August 16, 1976, the Lehigh County Tax Claim Bureau (bureau) entered into an agreement with Sidney Kleinberger wherein Mr. Kleinberger agreed to pay the delinquent
taxes in four equal payments. Rita Kleinberger was not a party to this agreement, and Mr. Kleinberger claims that he never discussed it with her.
An installment payment, due on May 16, 1977, was not made. As a result, sometime in 1977, the bureau sent Mr. Kleinberger, by certified mail, a notice of nonpayment, followed by notice of upset. Mr. Kleinberger received these notices, but the May, 1977 installment was never paid.
In January, 1978, the bureau, by regular mail, sent a letter addressed only to Sidney Kleinberger, informing him that he was in default and that the property would be listed for tax sale. In February, 1978, the bureau sent a reminder notice addressed to "Sidney Kleinberger, et ux."
On June 7, 1978, the bureau sent, by certified mail, two separate and individual notices of tax sale, one addressed to "Sidney Kleinberger, et ux," the other addressed to Rita Kleinberger. These notices stated that the property would be sold at tax sale on October 3, 1978, unless the delinquent taxes were paid. The notice addressed to "Sidney Kleinberger, et ux" was signed only Mr. Kleinberger and returned. The ...