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