Fantasia To Lose Her Home - Celebrity Bug


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Fantasia To Lose Her Home

Fantasia Barrino - who faces the loss of her $1.3 million home here in a debtor's auction set for noon Monday - is apparently ignoring the looming legal threat, officials told The Post yesterday.

The inspirational "American Idol" winner owes a Florida credit company $65,000 - money she borrowed in 2006 to pay back taxes she owed the IRS.

The singer made a $10,000 payment in August 2007. But she never paid the rest, so the company won the right in court last month to auction off her house for the balance.

Mecklenburg County sheriff's deputies, who are responsible for enforcing civil court orders, have tried at least a dozen times to reach Barrino at the home and by phone, said Sgt. J.W. England, a supervisor of civil judgments.

A deputy spoke a couple of times to Barrino's mother, but never reached the star, who appears to be ignoring attempts to save her house, officials said.

"We try very hard and give the defendant every opportunity to pay," England said yesterday.

Over the course of about a year, Barrino has never responded to court documents, and no lawyer ever appeared in court to represent her, said Larry Goldman, a Charlotte attorney representing the credit company, Broward Energy Management.

"I certainly don't want anyone to lose their house," Goldman said. "But as far as I'm concerned, we have a judgment."

Barrino, 24, has made no payments and filed no documents since The Post reported a court-ordered lien on the property in Charlotte's upscale Piper Glen neighborhood last month.

Goldman said he never heard from Barrino's representatives until after the judge's order. He said he has since spoken twice with reps who haven't offered to resolve the debt but said they'd get back in touch before next Monday.

"My client has continuously asked me why they won't just pay it," Goldman said. "I just don't have an answer."

Barrino's attorney, Gary Greenberg declined to comment yesterday.

"It's my practice not to talk about client matters," he said.

Barrino's agent, Erin Culley, referred questions to the singer's publicist but was unable to provide contact information for that person.

I'm truly rooting in her favor to get this situation worked out, that said, I distinctly remember her being paid millions to tackle the role Celie, in Oprah's Broadway show of 'The Color Purple', so that really makes you wonder if internal issues, such as management, are the problem, or has she just been a little too heavy on the spending?

Believe or not, that's often the case with these celebrities, everyone just can't handle the money, especially given she wasn't moving extreme amounts of records (her debut moved roughly 2 million copies, while her sophomore only reached gold status), she first denied these rumors, which have been swirling for a while, but the evidence is starting to work against her and making the rumors sound all the more concrete.

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