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Rental Collection - What do I do now?

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I moved out of an apartment on April 28th.  Several weeks later, I got a statement in the mail detailing charges against my security deposit.  Some of the charges, such as cleaning or painting, were erroneously charged to me instead of one of the other tenants.  I worked it out with the manager after he had a chance to discuss it with the maintenance staff and the charges were to be removed from my account. I was informed by the manager that I would be able to sign into their online portal to make the payment.  A couple of days passed and then I tried for a couple of days to sign in without any luck.  I called and was informed that my account was turned into collections as soon as it hit the 30 day late point.

 

The manager never informed me that my access to the online payment portal would be deactivated at the 30 day mark and he didn't tell me the account would automatically go to Southwest Credit for collections at that point as well.  What do I do?  I ended the lease early and have a small fee I owe for doing that, which is fine.  I legitimately owe about $300 after application of my small security deposit.  Do I call the collection agency and just pay it?  If I pay it with the collection agency within 30 days, will it still show up on my credit report?

 

Not sure how to handle this one.  Any recommendations would be much appreciated.

 

 

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Not all collections agencies report to CRAs.  In fact, few of the ones I have worked with have done so.

 

If you agree with the bill, and are going to pay it in full, then when you contact the collection agency, make sure you get an agreement, in writing, that they will not report the debt.

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The terms of a lease where there are multiple tenants generally permit them to go after each named person, irrespective of who may actually have 'caused' damage.  If you mean 'other tenants' as being a completely different unit, then that changes the landscape somewhat.  However, there was nothing improper about them flipping the paper after a month...

 

Don't be afraid of your telephone and work on your negotiation skills. 

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On 6/5/2020 at 2:59 PM, centex said:

The terms of a lease where there are multiple tenants generally permit them to go after each named person, irrespective of who may actually have 'caused' damage.  If you mean 'other tenants' as being a completely different unit, then that changes the landscape somewhat.  However, there was nothing improper about them flipping the paper after a month...

 

Don't be afraid of your telephone and work on your negotiation skills. 

Other tenants in this case were tenants in another rental unit.  Maintenance erroneously mixed up our 2 units when they did the final walk-through.  When it got resolved, the end result was me legitimately owing about $300 for liquidated damages due to me moving out a month early and for post move-out cleaning and painting fees that were required as part of the lease.

 

Since posting, I have called the collection agency (Southwest Credit). I explained that I dispute the debt and that I've spoken to an attorney.  I told the agent the attorney said I have a good case to dispute the debt and that it would cost me about $300 for his time to draft the appropriate dispute and do what he needs to do.  I told her I don't care if I pay the $300 to them or to the attorney, but I don't want it a disputed debt on my credit report.  I gave her the choice of sending me a letter confirming the debt wouldn't appear on my credit report if I made payment to them and then having me pay them the balance owed or for me to pay the attorney to challenge the debt.  The agent told me they don't provide letters, but she confirmed the debt would not appear on my credit report if I made payment within the 30 day dispute time frame.  At the beginning of the call, I got their permission to record the call, so a couple of times, she reiterated, "since we're on a recorded line, I will assure you this debt will never appear on your credit report if you make the payment to us within your 30-day dispute time period."

 

I'm coming to the end of the of that 30 day period.  Do I just trust her and make the payment or do I continue to insist on getting something in writing?  Based upon my conversation notes with the apartment manager and subsequent happenings, my attorney thinks I have a very good chance of getting the debt eliminated.  I want to take the easy route, which is making the payment, but have no problem going to war if necessary to keep the debt off my credit report.

 

To pay or not to pay, that is the question...?

 

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13 hours ago, burghdude said:

she confirmed the debt would not appear on my credit report if I made payment within the 30 day dispute time frame.  At the beginning of the call, I got their permission to record the call, so a couple of times, she reiterated, "since we're on a recorded line, I will assure you this debt will never appear on your credit report if you make the payment to us within your 30-day dispute time period."

 

 

13 hours ago, burghdude said:

To pay or not to pay, that is the question...?

 

What is your lingering concern?

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My concern was being lied to about the debt appearing on my report.  I've read many post on here advising that I not take a collection agent's word for it when they make a commitment.  Many on here advise to always get it in writing.

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1 hour ago, burghdude said:

My concern was being lied to about the debt appearing on my report.  I've read many post on here advising that I not take a collection agent's word for it when they make a commitment.  Many on here advise to always get it in writing.

There are times where you aren't going to get anything in writing.  You said you have it on audio. 

 

The longer you jack around, the more likely this hits your report...PERIOD!

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