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MICHAEL HAGGERTY AND WILLIAM HAGGERTY v. ERIE COUNTY TAX CLAIM BUREAU AND UNITED REFINING CO. PENNSYLVANIA (07/08/87)

decided: July 8, 1987.

MICHAEL HAGGERTY AND WILLIAM HAGGERTY, APPELLANTS
v.
ERIE COUNTY TAX CLAIM BUREAU AND UNITED REFINING CO. OF PENNSYLVANIA, APPELLEES



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Erie County, In the matter of: Tax Claim Bureau Sale of Seated Lands and/or Mobile Homes for unpaid real estate taxes for the years 1983 and prior, County Tax Index No. 17-040-33-200, No. 3327-A-1985.

COUNSEL

James E. Marsh, Jr., Marsh, Spaeder, Baur, Spaeder & Schaaf, for appellants.

Ted G. Miller, with him, Robert C. LeSuer, and William J. Kelly, Elderkin, Martin, Kelly, Messina & Zamboldi, for appellee.

Judges Craig and Palladino, and Senior Judge Kalish, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Craig. Dissenting Opinion by Senior Judge Kalish.

Author: Craig

[ 107 Pa. Commw. Page 267]

Tax sale purchasers Michael Haggerty and William Haggerty appeal from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Erie County directing the Erie County Tax Claim Bureau to take no further action relative to confirmation of a delinquent tax sale pertaining to the property of United Oil Manufacturing Company, pending further order of that court or the Bankruptcy Court of the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division. We affirm.

Landowner, now known as United Refining Company of Pennsylvania, is the record owner of a parcel of real property in Erie. The landowner had paid the real estate taxes for that property on a continuous basis until 1983. On July 6, 1985, the Erie County Tax Claim Bureau notified the landowner by certified mail of a pending tax sale for the unpaid 1983 Erie County taxes. On September 9, 1985, the bureau sold the property to William Haggerty and Michael Haggerty. On September 23, 1985, the bureau notified the landowner that it had sold the property at a tax sale.

On October 21, 1985, the landowner filed a notice of its bankruptcy petition with the Recorder of Deeds of Erie County. The tax sale purchasers had not recorded a deed for the property as of that date. Responding to that notice of the landowner's bankruptcy, the bureau petitioned the court of common pleas to void the tax sale.

Trial Judge Roger M. Fischer correctly determined that the issue for his consideration was:

The question before the Court is whether the filing of the copy of the Bankruptcy Petition with the Recorder of Deeds of Erie County on October 21, 1985, after the tax sale of September 9, 1985, but before the transfer or recording of any deed to the purchasers at the tax sale, subjected

[ 107 Pa. Commw. Page 268]

    the property to the automatic stay provisions of the Bankruptcy Code.

Those automatic stay provisions specifically address situations where the subject property does not lie within the county in which the landowner has filed a bankruptcy petition. Specifically, under 11 ...


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