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Missing Temple Terrace woman may lose house to foreclosure

Sandra Hamby Prince, 59, disappeared 2 1/2 years ago.

Sandra Hamby Prince, 59, disappeared 2 1/2 years ago.

TAMPA — Six months before Sandra Prince mysteriously disappeared, she quit paying off a $50,000 loan secured by her house, according to a creditor's court complaint.

Now, her Moffat Place home is headed for foreclosure.

Prince, who was approaching 60 when she vanished around New Year's Day 2006, showed no sign of financial problems, Temple Terrace police Detective Michael Pridemore said Monday.

Quite the opposite: Court documents value her estate holdings at $2.8-million, and she was accumulating more property in the months before she disappeared.

Today, lawyers are scheduled to meet before Hillsborough Circuit Judge Sam Pendino to discuss releasing her vacant home — a place one friend called "her baby" — back into the hands of creditors.

If Pendino issues a final foreclosure order on 11507 Moffat Place, as expected, he could find Prince owes $26,401 to West Coast Realty Services Inc. LLC, going back to June 24, 2005. That includes $16,225 in outstanding debt, $4,153 in interest, and another $6,023 in late charges, court fees and attorney's expenses.

"That's very unlike her," Prince's ex-husband, Luke Horvath, said Monday. "She was very meticulous about her finances."

Prince drew a salary of about $112,000 a year from the Agency for Community Treatment Services, which she co-founded.

She disappeared under what police believe to be violent circumstances. They found her blood in her home and in the trunk of her car, though they have not found her body and have made no arrests.

Prince purchased her four-bedroom, three-bathroom home in 2000 for $227,000, county property records show. Friends say it was her retreat and she spent time and money fixing it up, tending the garden, hiring a feng shui consultant and a contractor for minor renovation.

Longtime friend Susan Horton was surprised about the move toward foreclosure, too.

"How did that happen?" she said. "I have very limited understanding of how the whole thing works, but I thought that was what the conservator did."

In May of 2006, Doug Stalley of Lithia became Prince's court-appointed conservator, the person responsible for managing her estate and paying bills in her absence. Records show Stalley has paid other bills in her absence.

But Derek B. Alvarez, an attorney who represents Stalley on matters relating to his role as Prince's conservator, speculated that Stalley is disputing Prince's debt to WCRSI.

WCRSI stated in a court filing that Prince's original $50,000 promissory note has been lost. An employee of the company signed an affidavit saying she doesn't know how that happened.

County property records list the home's "just market value" at $279,969. But Ron Weaver, a Tampa real estate attorney, said declining home values predict smaller sales: The estate may be better off with the house being deeded back to the bank, despite the associated attorneys fees and court costs, he said.

"You can't really second-guess a trustee or a guardian in this market because they may not know where the bottom is," Weaver said.

Rebecca Catalanello can be reached at rcatalanello@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3383. News researcher Carolyn Edds contributed to this report.

Missing Temple Terrace woman may lose house to foreclosure 07/14/08 [Last modified: Sunday, July 20, 2008 8:19am]
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