Post # 1
I need help/advice…
My ex-roommate was an absolute nightmare when it came to paying bills and rent. When we moved out, she owed a $1,200 balance of rent that she hadn’t paid so they withheld our security deposit. I had paid all of my rent, so I was fuming. She actually paid me the amount of my security deposit, so I figured all was well.
Over the past few months, I have gotten a few notices from the rental company stating that the amount is still owed. Each time, I contact her and ask her what’s going on with paying back the money. She always says she’s going to pay “as soon as she gets her next paycheck” but that never seems to happen.
Well, today I got a notice in the mail that looks like it’s from a collections agency. It says “the above referenced creditor has placed a claim against you with this office. Mail the balance in full to our office in the enclosed envelope.”
Okay, fully freaking out now. We are about to try to get preapproved for a mortgage and I assume this is going to hurt my credit bigtime. I messaged her and asked what was going on and got no answer.
We do NOT have the money to just pay this off and make it go away, or I’d just do that to avoid hurting my credit. Would it be totally messed up if I contacted this girl’s sister who I am friends with on facebook? The family is actually well off and helps her out with money a lot. However, I believe she asks them for money for things and then turns around and uses the money for other purposes. I know if I brought it to the family’s/sister’s attention they would be mortified and would pay the debt, but it would also result in World War 3 in their family. (Note: I do not care as this ex-roommate has proven to be a horrible friend and total user.) I feel like it’s the wrong thing to do, but I’m desperate at this point to get this taken care of and she won’t even respond to me.
Post # 3
Can you contact the collections agency and direct them towards her? Was her name on the lease?
I don’t think you should involve her family. She’s an adult, her debts are not her families’ problem.
Post # 4
@jennygrl070: I would let the collections agency know that they should be contacting her solely, though technically if the lease was in both your names, I would assume you’re equally responsible for the rent. Sucks, I know.
Post # 5
It was both our names on the lease. Our rental agency said that we are “jointly responsible” for any balances due, so they will not take my name off. She already tried getting them to take my name off before it went to collections when we were just dealing with the rental company.
Post # 6
I think your best bet is go to the agency and ask for a payment plan if you don’t have the money rather than let it get out of hand with extra fees for nonpayment since they can come after both of you. If you have proof that she owes that amount, take her to magistrate/small claims after it is paid off.
Post # 7
I’m kind of confused as to how you could have the money to start looking at buying a house but NOT have the money to take care of this ASAP (and then deal w/ her directly — small claims court?) … yes, this will absolutely affect your credit if it hasn’t already. And, yes, you are legally responsible for the money whether it’s fair or not. In the eyes of the legal system, it’s on your record as much as hers. Whatever you gotta do – take care of it ASAP.
Post # 8
Unfortunately, you’re responsible since you signed together. F- it, I’d just contact her family and let them deal with the fall out. This isn’t your problem. Better if you have a paper trail to back you up too in case she flips and says she never owed it.
Post # 9
@jennygrl070: I had a similar situation this past year.
I did not have to pay my roommate’s debt, however. Thankfully, at lease signing we had our parents sign saying that they would pick up the bill if we didn’t pay. (This lease was for a college apartment).
I can’t even IMAGINE if I had to pay for HER stupid decision to not pay her rent. I’m so angry for you!!!
I think you should try to take care of the situation asap by talking with your roommate, offering to pay her debt, and then having her pay you back later. But have this documented (through email conversations, texts) If she also decides to flake on you, you may be able to take her to court… just a guess. Good luck! 🙂
Post # 10
She finally got back to me. She is going to contact the company tomorrow and said she will pay half and try putting the other half on a credit card. She said she is calling in the morning so I’m going to call in the afternoon to follow up to make sure that she really did.
@inky_1: It’s really not your business how we are buying a house. It’s complicated and not relevant to this issue. The point is, I currently don’t have $1,200 in cash to pay for her past rent payments.
Post # 11
I think you need to find a way to pay the $1,200 to get this off your credit report, and then take her to small claims court.
I know you said this isn’t possible, but how can you afford a house if you don’t have 1,200 in the bank?
It’s not what you want to be spending moneey on, but it’s the least damaging to you.
Post # 12
I’d go to the family and tell them. She has inconvenienced you with so you might as well as inconvenience her/her family.
Maybe she does have the 1,200 in the bank but she needs that money for the downpayment/all the other cost that come with purchasing a house.
Post # 13
I just bought a house and definitely did not have $1,200 in the bank. What does that matter? It’s not the OP’s debt to repay, even if she had $20K in the bank.
Post # 14
But there may not be a house to buy if her credit is damaged by having something in active collections.
I agree it isn’t her debt which is why she should sue the deadbeat in small claims.
Post # 15
@andielovesj: Totally agree. I’d document the hell out of all of the attempts you’ve made to contact her, get past copies of your half-rent checks that were paid to the apartment and then take her ass to court.
I’d tell her- you have 3 business days to get this paid in full, otherwise I’m suing you.
Post # 16
I wasn’t really asking; it’s your personal business, and I’m sorry that I offended you. It was just the first thing that popped into my head — this takes precidence over buying a house. This has long-term ramifications that can affect every aspect of your financial future.
And whether it is OP’s debt to pay in “reality” or not, it IS her debt to pay legally. There’s no getting around that.
OP, I’m glad you were able to track down ex-roommate. I hope she takes care of it pronto.