Avoiding Judgement After Landlord Put File In Collection

Discussion in 'Credit Talk' started by shavit87, Mar 22, 2016.

  1. shavit87

    shavit87 Member

    Moved in my Georgia apartment unit and only a day later I discover it had massive roaches, unacceptable. I opted to end my lease early with 60 day notice with one month's rent fee.

    March 4th it was put into collections to a company called Rent Recovery. I call to get the balance and was given a balance, but was told all documents have not been uploaded. I call back and the fee increased. I ask for the breakdown. A portion was for non paid electric fee. However I have proof from my electric company thank goodness to show this is not true. There is an amount thought that is unaccounted for (the apartments don't state why I owe it).

    Now here is the issue. I'm told April 4th the collections account will report to my credit and will file a judgement. I want to pay and be done with this but not paying what I don't owe. What are my options to avoid what's bound to come?
  2. JoshuaHeckathorn

    JoshuaHeckathorn Administrator

    Sorry to hear about the apartment shavit87. That's very frustrating.

    Have you tried contacting the original apartment manager to see if you can work things out directly with them? Sometimes landlords, especially private owners, will be wiling to pull the account back from collections and work things out directly if you're willing to pay what you truly owe. That will save this from getting reported on your credit reports, and hopefully the landlord will be able to produce the proper documentation too regarding what you actually do owe for ending the lease early.
  3. shavit87

    shavit87 Member

    I only wish they'd even talk to me, sadly it's a larger management company and they aren't budging and trying to be of help. I should've known that when they had no real solutions for the roaches. It seems I may have to just take the judgement and dispute huh? Thing is this will be my second eviction. The first was in 2008 and I lost my job, but this time I just really feel I made an effort to avoid all this and all efforts went unwarranted. This is very frustrating Josh, but I really do appreciate your feedback :)
  4. JoshuaHeckathorn

    JoshuaHeckathorn Administrator

    Yea, a larger management company can be really frustrating to work with. Sorry. They usually have hundreds of these situations that they deal with each year, so they prefer to just move them over to collections and hope they collect something eventually.

    If you feel the debt in invalid/inaccurate, I would recommend sending a debt validation letter to the CA pronto. Then wait and see how they respond.
  5. shavit87

    shavit87 Member

    I've been calling and speaking to them but I'll be sure to put it in writing and hopefully it serves as some form of protection when they take action the 4th. I just really can't afford to pay what I don't owe.
  6. JoshuaHeckathorn

    JoshuaHeckathorn Administrator

    I would stick with keeping the communication to writing. You don't want to be too easily accessible to their collectors. Keep your communication to writing, and keep your letters short and to the point.

    If you send a timely debt validation letter, they legally can't pursue collection activities until they provide validation. Do you already have all your documentation pulled together to prove what you believe you actually do owe?
  7. shavit87

    shavit87 Member

    Yes I do, should I send with letter? Also should I do a signature confirmation? Thanks Joshua!
  8. JoshuaHeckathorn

    JoshuaHeckathorn Administrator

    No problem. I would hold onto your documentation for now. Send your debt validation letter CMRRR and wait to see how the CA responds. Let us know how it goes and if there's anything else we can help with along the way.
  9. shavit87

    shavit87 Member

    Will certainly keep you updated, thanks again!
  10. JoshuaHeckathorn

    JoshuaHeckathorn Administrator

    You're welcome, glad to help. Good luck!
  11. shavit87

    shavit87 Member

    Really hope I can get this resolved and in the mean time help someone maybe going through a similiar situation.

    UPDATE 1: I sent a letter similar to the template at the link below to the collection agency with return receipt and certified mail today. Will update as things change :)

  12. JoshuaHeckathorn

    JoshuaHeckathorn Administrator

    Thanks for documenting the process you're going through with the collection agency...I'm sure it will be of great help to someone else down the road. Looking forward to seeing your updates and the progress you make. Fingers crossed...
  13. BCOHEN2010

    BCOHEN2010 Well-Known Member

    This is likely an idle threat, as the collection agency cannot just "file a judgment". They have to file a lawsuit, and either gain a default judgment (if you fail to respond) or prevail on the merits of their case (if you do file a timely answer and raise all appropriate defenses).

    It is not clear that you legally owe anything, because any residential lease carries with it an implied warranty of habitability, i.e. the leased dwelling is in safe, clean condition, and conforms to local building codes. If the apartment building is infested with cockroaches, rodents, or other disease-carrying vermin, and the owner/management company is unable/unwilling to correct the problem, then you have a legally justifiable reason to break the lease. In many cities, it is possible to report the landlord to the code enforcement department, and have the premises inspected in order to preempt an eviction or claim for unpaid rent past the move-out date.

    Personally, I would fight this vigorously, and that begins by disputing the validity of any alleged "debt"--in writing--whenever a collection agency contacts you about it.
  14. JoshuaHeckathorn

    JoshuaHeckathorn Administrator

    I agree with BCohen that it really is likely an idle threat to get you to pay up and not fight the legitimacy of the debt. It's been about a month shavit, so I'm curious if you heard anything from Rent Recovery in response to your last letter? Hope to hear from you soon.
  15. jam237

    jam237 Well-Known Member

    Did you receive anything from the court?

    In order to receive a judgement, they need to file a suit with the court, then you need to be served with the paperwork for the suit that came from the court.

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