Need some legal advice regarding credit

posted 3 years ago in Legal
Post # 3
Member
28 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: April 2013

I really don’t know the answer but would suggest getting a free consultation from a lawyer- they might be able to give you the most accurate advice. They also might charge less than what you “owe” and get it removed from your credit, not sure but maybe worth trying. Good luck 

Post # 4
Member
1745 posts
Bumble bee

@taraelisabeth:  I would write a letter of complaint to the headquarters of the leasing office and file a complaint with BBB. They have to respond in 30 days. Good luck.

Post # 5
Member
2783 posts
Sugar bee

@taraelisabeth:  I think you should just pay it. I moved out of an apartment once and I ended up calling them maybe 3 weeks later for someone an they were like oh, I was just about to send this bill to collections, I asked for what, they said for “damages” I didn’t pay a deposit so I said ok well why didn’t you notify me before you are sending it off to collections and they claimed that I “didn’t leave a forwarding address” although I did. It’s  been so long now that even if you do dispute it, you have no proof so you will lose. I would just pay it, a paid and closed account looks much better than an open and delinquent account, not to mention it will end up being hundreds of dollars by te end of the seven years.

 

this is why I always call after a couple weeks just to make sure everything is ok. I’m sorry this happened to you!

Post # 6
Member
4395 posts
Honey bee

Contact the fair housing authorities in your city. It’s the apt’s responsibility to prove you owe them, not the other way around. If the colloections agency contact you again, tell them you do not admit to these charges. Google how to dispute collections charges, there are ways to keep this off your credit report if you are not at fault. I would take the apt owners to small claims if necessary. 

Post # 8
Member
2627 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

@taraelisabeth:  The credit company wouldnt contact you, but a collections agency would.

Is it with a collections agency at this point? Meaning is another company asking you to pay the bill or does the apartment company still own the debt, IE you owe the apartment company?

Post # 10
Member
1690 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

There was a special about this type of thing on 60 Minutes last week. There is basically NO WAY to have something taken off your credit report in these types of circumstances. It’s awful. Here is a link to the story.

http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=50153672n

Post # 11
Member
187 posts
Blushing bee

@taraelisabeth:  I recently went through something similar.To answer your question, the seven year date is from the day it was first reported as being in collections. It does not matter if you pay it or not, it will still fall off 7 years after the first report. The advice your friend received was likely from a mortgage professional. The real reason for not paying it is that over time negative items have a smaller impact on your credit score. There is no difference in score impact for paid collections vs unpaid, long story short, if she paid her score would likely drop as the date of last activity would be changed to the payment date.The impact would likely be minor but when buying a house even a few points can cost you significant money over the length of the mortgage.

 

 

 

As for what you can do. Just paying the bill wont help you at all, if you are not planning to buy a house anytime soon then it wont hurt you either. Unless you view it as a legitimate debt and feel an obligation to pay I would advise agaist paying right now.

 

If it is significantly pulling down your credit score and you plan to apply for credit or financing before 2016 then read on, if not just wait it out.

 

The first thing you should do is get an address for the collections agency, google says it is 4620 Woodland Corporate Blvd  Tampa, FL 33614. Send them a letter via registered mail requesting that the verify the debt, they need to have proof it is a legit debt and that you are the responsible party. They will have 30 days from the day they receive the letter to validate it. They will need a bill or something from the apartment complex. From here one of two things happen.

 

They can’t verify the debt (likely if you called the apartment managers and they couldn’t explain it) they are supposed to immediately remove it from your credit report. THat may not happen, they may just ignore you, if that is the case wait 30 days, then dispute the debt with the credit reporting agency again, this time send them a copy of the letter and the registered mail receipt. The Fair Debt Collections Practices act prevents unverified debts from being reported, so the CRA will remove the account.

 

If they do verify the debt then you will atleast know what the debt is. Since it is a small amount your best course of action is to write the collections company a letter saying you are willing to pay in full in  exchange for them removing the item from your report. Many collections agencies will jump on this, others will never agree, the way they see it is that it is likely the only way you will pay so they just go for it.

 

If they don’t agree to pay for delete then you are stuck waiting it out, you can pay if you want, but either way you just wait until 2016 and it will fall off.

 

 

 

If you choose not to pay then you will get asked about it when you apply for a loan (like your friend did), however if you just tell them what you posted here they will likely ignore it as it is a small amount and a few years old. Some loan programs require all collections be paid, if you decide to use one of these programs before 2016 just be prepared to pay it off. No big deal

ETA: there are templates for all of the letters online, just google it.

 

 

Post # 13
Member
4395 posts
Honey bee

@taraelisabeth:  follow the advice Makingherwait gave you. The collections agency has to verify your debt by law.

Post # 14
Member
3077 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2015

@taraelisabeth:  I don’t have any advice but I’m rooting for you! I’m also really grateful for this post, as I’ll be moving out of my apartment in about 5 months & I wouldn’t have ever thought to worry about all this. I’ll be not only submitting a forwarding address, but getting it signed by the office manager & getting a copy myself. I already knew that it’s advisable to have them do the walk through with you present and take pictures but I’ll now add this to my list. Sometimes renting is more hassle than good. =( good luck!! I’ll be waiting for an update!

Post # 16
Member
187 posts
Blushing bee

@taraelisabeth:  Everything you have posted is good news. If you talk to the manager today and you are correct that you don’t owe anything then leave with something in writing stating it. You want an itemized bill showing the old charges less the deposit (which should result in a credit to you). If the manager agrees then don’t leave without either the itemized report or a signed letter saying that no money is owed and that the debt is incorrectly reported. If she refuses to give one of those things but can’t demonstrate that the debt is valid then tell her you are going to have to take legal action, there are landloard – tennant laws in every area and whil the vary some it is pretty consistant that the landlord must provide an itemized invoice for all money not refunded from the security deposit. Obviously you don’t want to have to take legal action and may decide down the road that you would rather not but tell her that is the plan.

If you can get an itemized receipt or letter then when you get home type up a letter stating that you have proof that the debt is invalid, including who you spoke to at the apartment complex and include a copy of the letter or receipt. State in the letter that the debt is invalid and must be removed from all 3 credit reports within 30 days or you are prepared to take legal action regarding the collection agencies violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Send the letter registered mail and save a copy and the receipt.Odds are the will just close your account and remove it from your reports because the amount of time it would take to fight it with you would take a lot more than $90

If they fix it then you are all set, if they don’t then send a dispute letter along with the letter sent to the collections agency and the registered mail receipt to the credit reporting agencies, they will remove it themselves. There is no reason to pursue legal action unless you want to.

 

Just remember that if you go to the apartment manager and they can prove the debt is valid then don’t pay yet. Send a letter to the collections agency saying you are willing to pay in full if they remove it from your report. If it goes to the right person they will say yes and just take the money. If they say no you are in the same place you are now.

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