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Ask Barrister Your Own Question
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 35379
Experience:  16 yrs practice, Civil, Criminal, Domestic, Realtor, Landlord 26 yrs
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Thanks for the information that u provided me in the past,

Resolved Question:

Thanks for the information that u provided me in the past, that was very helpful. I have another question, a couple months ego i move out from this complex that i have been living for three years, and thanks to your help i evoide to pay a penalty over $1400 dollars, when i left that apartment i hired a professional carpet cleaner to clean up the carpet, and also there were another two people cleaning up the rest of the aprtment, and i left it immaculated, three weeks later i received a letter from the complex charging me $800.00 dollars for two unretorned access cards and carpet damages, and they told me that if i don't pay they will report me to the bureau of credit, and i wiil damage my credit for 7 years, i accept the charge for the two unretorned access cards even when there weren't any gates since two years ago to use them on. My question is what should i do, and what they can do against me, some body told me that 7 years is when u claim bankruptsy, or i can claim normalguarante
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Barrister replied 7 years ago.



Were you working with a specific attorney? If so, if you can respond with his/her name we can get you back to them.







Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I am not working with any lawyer
Expert:  Barrister replied 7 years ago.

Ok, if the complex is attempting to charge you for damages that either were not there or were remedied before you moved, they would have to file suit to collect if you disputed them.


Unless the carpets were brand new when you moved in and had to be completely replaced when you moved out, the landlord can not charge you the full cost of the carpet. Normally carpet is depreciated over a period of five years and even if you did damage it, he could only get the depreciated value of it.


The landlord can file suit in court to try and get a judgment against you. There would be a hearing before a judge where they would have to prove the damages asserted. You could also present any evidence you had, including cleaning bills and testimony from the people you had help clean.


If the judge finds in your favor, the case will be dismissed. If they find for the landlord, he will get a judgment that he can then try to collect on. He can file liens against any real estate you own, seize any bank accounts you may have and garnish any non-exempt wages you may earn.










Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Matt, but since the debt collector company already sent me a collection letter, should i file a suit against them in the court, or what is the next step. Thanks

Expert:  Barrister replied 7 years ago.

No, if the complex has turned it over to a debt collection agency, you need to send them written certified notice under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act that you require them to "validate" the debt.


Under the FDCPA, you are allowed to validate this debt, and the creditor (in this case, the collection agency) must show you proof that you owe the debt to the collection agency (not to the original creditor.)

The specific section of the FDCPA:


FDCPA Section 809. Validation of debts [15 USC 1692g]

(b) If the consumer notifies the debt collector in writing within the thirty-day period described in subsection (a) that the debt, or any portion thereof, is disputed, or that the consumer requests the name and address of the original creditor, the debt collector shall cease collection of the debt, or any disputed portion thereof, until the debt collector obtains verification of the debt or any copy of a judgment, or the name and address of the original creditor, and a copy of such verification or judgment, or name and address of the original creditor, is mailed to the consumer by the debt collector.



Plus, they must show proof positive that you owe them this debt. It's not enough to send you a computer-generated printout of the debt.



So, if a creditor can't verify a debt:

  • They are not allowed to collect the debt,
  • They are not allowed to contact you about the debt, and
  • They are also not allowed to report it under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Doing so is a violation of the FCRA, and the FCRA states that you can sue for $1,000 in damages for any violation of the Act.

An opinion letter from the FTC clearly spells out that a collection agency CANNOT report a debt to the credit bureaus which has not been validated.


It also states that you can sue in federal or state court. So if you have them on a violation, then you have damages of $1,000 for the incident plus damages.


Request this in writing send certified mail and see what they do. If they validate the debt, then dispute it in writing certified mail and tell them that you do not accept their claim and will see them in court. Then wait to see if they actually file suit or drop it.


Right now, there is nothing for you to sue over since they are just saying you owe them if they haven't sued you and tried to get a judgment.








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