So here's the story:
I moved out of my apartment in 2005 with a nice fat 790 score. About a month later the apt complex sends me a trumped-up carpet repair fee notice and I send off a check, even though I have it on good authority that they replaced the carpet with pergo. About six months later I got a kinda bogus-looking collection letter that the debt hadn't been paid. I called the apt complex and they said it could be a mix-up, and I never heard back. Jump to this summer and I'm getting ready to go get pre-approved for a home-loan. I discover my score is around 650. WTH? Turns out I got a derogatory from IQ DATA INT, mentioning my old apt complex. So I go pay my old land-lord a visit (we are on friendly terms). I ask them: "Hey, did you not get my check or something? Why didn't you mention something?" They shrugged it off as being possible that they didn't have my number or address or something. So I tell them: "Look, I'll pay double this amount if you will call off your dogs." So they respond: Sure, but we can't really figure out how to do that.
I THINK the check for this cleared, but I have to go back to 2005 to be sure. Looking at old statements, the details on checks aren't really there so I can't tell for sure. I'd have to find the old check-book somewhere which would only prove I wrote the check. I'm putting in a request with the bank to get photos of all 2005 checks, but who knows?
09 WATERFORD PLACE APTS WA
Account #: ****
High Balance: 161
Date Opened: 09/21/2005
Date Reported: 01/05/2011
SO this is showing up on my account and also my wife's. All three, seemingly updated every few months. We are nearing the SOL on this, but I'd rather not wait as I want to get the house process started soon.
So my questions to the group are: Should I start with the DV, get the green-card, then hit the CA? Is it too old for that to matter? (confused about this 30-days business) Is the risk of waking up the CA that I've never heard from worse than just running it out via SOL? Does Washington SOL prevent re-listing?
Should I try to work with the apartment complex instead and kinda push them through calling off the CA?
If push came to shove, I can pay this, and gladly would just to be done with the whole thing, but I DON'T want a paid collection on my account - especially because I'm not sure the charge was legit to begin with, and because I think I may have already paid it once.
The CA IS licensed in my state, and they are reputed to be real ball-breakers. I'm worried they could try to get a judgment if I DV them, or that they can somehow loophole the SOL out of the way if I interact with them.
I'm also curious if somebody can sell you out to a CA without trying to really collect the debt from me in earnest?