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Is this a valid debt verification response?

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Posted (edited)

Good evening and thank you all in advance.

 

I am trying to help my son with collections from FCO regarding and apartment he shared with two other persons.  I requested a debt verification from FCO and they keep sending me a copy of the lease the notice to vacate (which my son didnt sign because he had moved out 6 months prior). 

 

My question is, are the documents i described above considered a verification of debt?  Meaning that FCO now owns the debt instead of the original property management company?  

 

Should he accept the copy of the lease as proof?  We have written back twice and the response is always the same.  What should a valid debt verification letter look like?

 

He is willing to pay 1/3 of the bill by the way but since FCO hasnt been able to contact the other two tenants they want my son to pay it all.  i know this is off the original topic but any advice/input is appreciated.

 

Thanks all! Happy New Year

Edited by Smitty1971

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All that is required to satisfy debt validation is the name of the creditor and the amount, and perhaps the name of the OC if requested. There may be slight variations due to state laws.

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Indeed the bar is very low.

 

At the federal level, debt validation is legally defined by the Fair Credit Reporting Act.  

 

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/15/1692g 

 

Also, what do the lease and the laws in your jurisdiction say about liability?  I haven't rented an apartment in a long time, but IIRC each personal is generally individually liable for any amount owed on the lease.

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13 hours ago, Smitty1971 said:

Good evening and thank you all in advance.

 

I am trying to help my son with collections from FCO regarding and apartment he shared with two other persons.  I requested a debt verification from FCO and they keep sending me a copy of the lease the notice to vacate (which my son didnt sign because he had moved out 6 months prior). 

 

My question is, are the documents i described above considered a verification of debt?  Meaning that FCO now owns the debt instead of the original property management company?  

 

Should he accept the copy of the lease as proof?  We have written back twice and the response is always the same.  What should a valid debt verification letter look like?

 

He is willing to pay 1/3 of the bill by the way but since FCO hasnt been able to contact the other two tenants they want my son to pay it all.  i know this is off the original topic but any advice/input is appreciated.

 

Thanks all! Happy New Year

You’re assuming FCO purchased the account from the apartment complex.  Not all debt collectors purchase debts.  Some merely collect for the original creditor and the money goes to the original creditor.

 

Was the request sent within 30 days of the initial collection letter?  The initial collection letter would have included the 30-day notice of your son’s right to request validation.  Unless your state law says differently (such as Texas), if your letter was not sent within 30 days of receiving their letter containing the 30-day notice, they didn’t have to validate.  
 

In the event your request was timely, did their documentation include anything showing the amount they are claiming is owed?

 

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What specifically is being disputed?  It is not at all uncommon for there to be costs associated with a move-out, especially when people allow other irresponsible people to be legally responsible.  But leases are not written to target just the irresponsible roomie...EVERYONE on the lease is liable.  That he did not sign the move-out notice is not relevant.  He SHOULD have taken steps to get the lease modified at the time of his departure.  He needs to pay up and move on...it is up to him what steps he takes to extract repayment from the idiots he chose to live with.

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9 hours ago, legaleagle2012 said:

All that is required to satisfy debt validation is the name of the creditor and the amount, and perhaps the name of the OC if requested. There may be slight variations due to state laws.

OK so i shouldnt expect anything proving that FCO now owns the debt then?  Good to know as now we can proceed with trying to only pay 1/3 to clear my sons debt and let FCO continue efforts on the other two.

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8 hours ago, Bluesie58 said:

You’re assuming FCO purchased the account from the apartment complex.  Not all debt collectors purchase debts.  Some merely collect for the original creditor and the money goes to the original creditor.

 

Was the request sent within 30 days of the initial collection letter?  The initial collection letter would have included the 30-day notice of your son’s right to request validation.  Unless your state law says differently (such as Texas), if your letter was not sent within 30 days of receiving their letter containing the 30-day notice, they didn’t have to validate.  
 

In the event your request was timely, did their documentation include anything showing the amount they are claiming is owed?

 

Our initial response was within the 30 days but our subsequent responses/requests have fallen outside the 30 days as i wasnt convinced merely having a copy of the lease was sufficient proof on their behalf.

 

The basics of what happened is my son moved out in february 2019 due to some things going on in the apartment and inability to reconcile differences with roomates.  He continued to pay his portion of the rent until August when the remaining tenants left and lease expired.  There was damage to the apartment and the property management company said they didnt have any method to contact any of the tenants(a different issue altogether. and not correct) so they sent to collections and that is where we are at. My son is willing to pay his 1/3 but since FCO cannot reach the other tenants(we have given them all the contact info we had for them) they are trying to collect it all from my son ($1750).  I realize legally this is probably ok but we are trying to get them to let him pay 1/3 and cease collections/negative reporting against him and continue against the others.  Doesnt seem unreasonable to us but i guess they see it differently.

 

Any thoughts or guidance?

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8 hours ago, centex said:

What specifically is being disputed?  It is not at all uncommon for there to be costs associated with a move-out, especially when people allow other irresponsible people to be legally responsible.  But leases are not written to target just the irresponsible roomie...EVERYONE on the lease is liable.  That he did not sign the move-out notice is not relevant.  He SHOULD have taken steps to get the lease modified at the time of his departure.  He needs to pay up and move on...it is up to him what steps he takes to extract repayment from the idiots he chose to live with.

we arent disputing the debt per se.  after reading this forum it was strongly suggested to ask for DV before continuing and asking questions here.  He tried to get the lease modified and the management company refused.  He is willing to pay his 1/3 but since FCO cant find the other two they want it all from him.  This is the second part of our dilemma we are here to ask about.

 

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1 hour ago, Smitty1971 said:

OK so i shouldnt expect anything proving that FCO now owns the debt then?  Good to know as now we can proceed with trying to only pay 1/3 to clear my sons debt and let FCO continue efforts on the other two.

Your son can be sued for the entire amount.  This is something that you are overlooking.  The lease agreements in such matters very rarely portion debts out in any manner.  The one they get gets tagged...

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Posted (edited)
20 hours ago, centex said:

Your son can be sued for the entire amount.  This is something that you are overlooking.  The lease agreements in such matters very rarely portion debts out in any manner.  The one they get gets tagged...

Agreed. Leases typically make all signers jointly and severally liable.

 

However, some states are more tenant friendly than others. Here in Calif. landlords have a duty to mitigate lease losses and re-lease. Rentals are so tight here that there's no way a landlord could collect more than 3 or 4 months future rent in court. Probably more productive to attack this thing from restrictions the state imposes on landlord/tenant leases.

Edited by cashnocredit

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On 1/9/2020 at 7:30 AM, legaleagle2012 said:

FCO is not a debt buyer, they are a collection agency specializing in housing issues.

hmmm. maybe we should try to talk with the property management company directly?

 

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