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Help needed: my old apartment sent my name to collection agency

ndunross 52 41 March 1, 2011 at 11:36 AM in Finance (4)
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In 2005, I moved from Dallas. I thoroughly cleaned the apartment but my apartment manager refused to return my deposit. We got into an argument and I then left. I had given them my new address but never received any communication from them. I had paid all the rent that was due, My lease had expired when I moved and I had given them ample notice.

Last year, my application for a new apartment was denied. After getting the my rental history, I found that the apartment had given my name to collection agency for 268$. I tried to call the apartment but found that the company no longer existed, It had been sold. I wrote all this to the rental history agency and got a letter saying they would investigate.

Yesterday I checked my credit report and found that the collection had gotten into my credit report. Now I am mad and I don't know what to do. As per the report, this will stay in my credit report till 06/2012. This wasn't there last year, and I am sure it got there after I wrote to the rental history agency. Should I just call the collection agency and offer to pay? It's just 268 bucks or Would they charge me other fees and interest? I have paid all the rent that was due, although I don't have any receipts from back than. I have never received any bills or letters from either the collection agency or the apartment. Or should I just wait a year and a half and hope it is removed from my credit report? The credit report dates the incident to 6/2006.

Any help, any ideas would be helpful. I am thinking about writing to the TransUnion and arguing against this, but not sure what to say.

Also not sure where this should go, so i put it under financial tools and services. If this is the incorrect forum for this, I apologize.

9 Comments

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#2
A letter to the TransUnion (and the other two as well) is in order. Provide them with a detailed account with any supporting evidence that you might have of why this collection notice is incorrect/improper and dispute it.

Personally, I wouldn't bother with the collection agency at all - it will only lead to more headaches, screaming, and still leave your credit in the dumps. Even paying the full amount "owed" will not take the collection off of your history, it will show up as paid in full, but you'll still have the label (and credit score to match) of someone who doesn't pay their bills.
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#3
Why didn't he give you back your deposit?
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#4
You would think that just paying would get them off your back, but it's almost an admission of guilt, which is WORSE than not paying.

photocopy your middle finger and fax it to them
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#5
Quote from Count_Chocula View Post :
Why didn't he give you back your deposit?
Something about how the apartment wasn't clean enough. That is when I decided to never clean apartments after I leave and just say bye to the deposit when I give it. I swear I spent a whole day cleaning that apartment, and which was the reason I got mad when the lady started nitpicking. I just did not realize they would give my name to collections. I paid all the rent that was due and instead of getting the deposit back, they screw me even more. I swear if the company was still open I would sue them.
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#6
Dispute it with the credit reporting agency. If the company no longer exists then there should be no way of them to verify the debt and it should be removed.
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"We sleep safely in our beds because rough men stand ready in the
night to visit violence on those who would harm us." George Orwell
#7
Definitely dispute with CRAs....it should disappear within 30 days.

Do not pay the collection agency. All this will do is update the listing on the account to "paid collection" and reset the clock to make it stay on your report for 7 more years.

Worst case scenario.....it stays for now, but falls off in less than a year and a half. Its out of statue of limitations now, so there is nothing they can really do to collect.
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#8
1) Relax.
2) I agree with others: dispute it with the credit reporting agency. You should have no problem resolving it.

To start, I wouldn't provide everything, just tell them it is incorrect and you want it removed from the record immediately. This will start the initial dispute to see whether, with the other party out of business and collection agency (possibly) lacking proper record, they will simply drop it from the record. Research online for sample letter(s) for the proper wording, because by law they have a time limit to remove it from your record if they can't prove you owe the money.

Quote from Gobo View Post :
A letter to the TransUnion (and the other two as well) is in order. Provide them with a detailed account with any supporting evidence that you might have of why this collection notice is incorrect/improper and dispute it.
Quote from jduck View Post :
Dispute it with the credit reporting agency. If the company no longer exists then there should be no way of them to verify the debt and it should be removed.
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#9
himarty has nailed it on the money. However I would start it off with a letter tothe collection agency to request validation of the debt. Inform them you are unaware of any unpaid dues to the company and you want proof of the debt and if they can't provide proof then to remove the listings from your report. Send this certified mail return receipt.

If you don't get a response saying they are going to remove the trade lines from your reports then immediately dispute with the credit bureau's like himarty suggested.

It might take some time to clean this up, but DO NOT PAY THEM. IT WILL NOT HELP YOU.
Too many people think that paying off old collections will help your score and make you more 'credit worthy', when they can't be more far from the truth. Your scores do not change. A paid collection is the SAME as an unpaid collections when it comes to FICO. The /only/ time it will make a difference whether or not it's paid is when you are trying to get a mortgage. Most lenders will not give you a mortgage when you have an unpaid collections on your report.

Another thing to keep in mind is that, depending on your state, you might be still within the statue of limitations. If you are and you 'wake the giant' with these disputes to the credit bureau's then watch your mailbox for a complaint from your local district court. The collection agency could easily sue you and if you are unprepared for it, you could potentially lose.
Search around the net because there is tons of info on this specific matter and you really should do some research on it because it will help you in the long run. You could even end up with money in your pocket if you have your ducks in line.



Quote from himarty View Post :
1) Relax.
2) I agree with others: dispute it with the credit reporting agency. You should have no problem resolving it.

To start, I wouldn't provide everything, just tell them it is incorrect and you want it removed from the record immediately. This will start the initial dispute to see whether, with the other party out of business and collection agency (possibly) lacking proper record, they will simply drop it from the record. Research online for sample letter(s) for the proper wording, because by law they have a time limit to remove it from your record if they can't prove you owe the money.
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