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Michael Jackson's ranch set for auction
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Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch will be put up for sale at a public auction next month unless the pop star pays the more than US$24 million he still owes on the property, according to a Tuesday court filing.

Financial Title Co. filed the notice of trustee's sale with Santa Barbara County Superior Court, setting the auction date for March 19. A spokeswoman for Jackson did not immediately return a call for comment.

Julie Wagner, a manager at the San Francisco-based title company, confirmed that Jackson's property was set for auction.

Court documents obtained by Fox News warn Jackson that he has until the date of the auction to take action to keep his lavish estate.

If the property does go to auction, the initial asking price could be higher than the US$24.5 million Jackson owes because of interest due and other costs, according to the filing. Everything from the estate's merry-go-round and other carnival rides, locomotives, sculptures to the curtains and bath tubs in the estate would be up for sale should the auction take place, according to the filing.

The reclusive star no longer lives at the famous, 2,500-acre spread in Los Olivos, a popular tourist spot northwest of Santa Barbara known for its wineries.

He's been mostly residing abroad since his 2005 acquittal on child molestation charges, although he has spent time in Las Vegas as he tries to stage his musical comeback.

(Associated Press February 7, 2008)

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