Past rent being set to collections

4 Replies

I have a question regarding how landlords have gone about collecting past rent due from a tenant that has abandoned the unit. My tenant stopped paying rent and we began the eviction process. Before we had a court date, my tenant moved out and abandoned the place. As a result I do not have a judgment against her. I’m trying to see if there is a way to send her past rent due to collections, fully understanding the odds of collecting are slim to none. Wondering if there is a collections agency that routinely takes on situations like this, and if so, what that process looks like.

Curious what other landlords have done that have experience with this.

Thanks,

Brent

Continue with the court process and get the judgement for non payment of rent. The judgement itself will appear on the credit report. Most of us just chalk it up to a bad experience and focus on getting the place rented again. While it's almost never worth pursuing past rent, it enables tenants to keep doing this to other landlords.

@Ray Harrell Thanks for your input Ray. That’s exactly my challenge is trying to determine if its worth the work and expense of getting a judgment against her or not. I have no issue moving past it as this is a business decision and not personal. I just don’t think there is any way to send it to collections without the judgement, and I don’t think the judgment will pay for itself, since she will likely never pay. 

@Brent Kiger   I've taken a tenant to court for past due rent & damages, but in my cases the amount was worth it ($6k) and I was confident I could collect since I knew where she worked and was prepared to garnish her wages (which I did until I collected the full amount).  But the process for collecting on a judgment varies by state and whether or not the amount is worth your time is a personal decision.

I will point out that you don't actually need a judgment to sent the tenant to collections and put it on their credit report, so I would at least do that.  You'll be warning other landlords that she's a bad tenant, and - who knows - maybe one day she'll want/need it off her credit report and decide to pay you off.  It happens. 

Anyway, here's a couple companies you can report it through: Rent Recovery Services and AOA Debt Reporting Service.

Good luck.