Collections Question (I'm the tenant)

6 Replies

I might be feeding the wolves here but here is my situation.

I moved out of an apartment a year ago.  I was sent a bill for $600 (on top of my $300 deposit that was kept).  While I didn't scrub everything from floor to ceiling, I left the apartment reasonably clean and I took issue with many of the property manager's charges.

I sent them a letter highlighting my issues with the charges and a check for $250.

I never heard back.  I come to find out that they recently sent my $350 outstanding balance to collections dinging my credit score pretty bad.

I wanted to work on a mutually-agreeable resolution but that obviously didn't happen.  I wish they would've at least sent me another invoice before sending me to collections.

Is there anything I can do to fix the ding on my credit score?

The first thing you should do is research the tenant/landlord laws in ND and make sure that you were notified within the proper timeframe with whatever the requirement is for deductions for damages. In other words, make sure that you, and he, followed the law for notifications of withholding moneys and disputing the charges. You can also ask the credit reporting bureau to open up a dispute resolution, which will require them to verify the debt. If there is no resolution from that, you could always contact the creditor and try to work out  a settlement. This tme though, get everything in writing.  

I'm curious....is a landlord able to submit something to a collection agency without a formal judgment?

@Nick Horob   most states have strict tenant deposit rules. In MD for example you would be due 3 times the amount of the security deposit if it wasn't handled properly.  My guess is your landlord has broken the law and you may be able to get him in trouble as well as getting a financial benefit.

Also most state laws exclude normal wear and tear from something a landlord can charge for.

Many areas have tenant advocacy groups that may be able to help. Good luck - Ned

Medium crab1 copyNed Carey, Crab Properties LLC | http://baltimorerealestateinvestingblog.com/

Aly, I turn amounts owing into collections without a judgement all the time, it is common practice here.  My tenants disappear in the night, so I can't find them to get a judgement.  I have no hopes of getting money back, just want to warn other landlords.

Nick, do you have photos of the move out condition?  You could consider a small claims court case,t hey aren't very expensive.  We always send letters to the last known address (our property) informing ex-tenants that they will be turned in if they don't contact us within a few weeks.  Some come back undeliverable, assume many get forwarded.

Didn't realize that, thought a collection agency won't even take it unless you have a judgement. What collection agency do you use? Is it national? But there might be a default judgement somewhere in the mix. That's why I would try to validate the debt through the credit bureau.

I'd be pissed if I were u. They should have given u a list of what's needed to be cleaned or repaired before u move out. I'd take them to court if I were u. U don't have any pictures right? 

And no.. we are reasonable bunch here so we have no problem calling it out like it is.