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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 116815
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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My son college student signed off campus apt lease Nov 2013 never pd or moved in. He notif

Customer Question

My son college student signed off campus apt lease Nov 2013 never pd or moved in. He notified them by phone call they told him to email notice. Didn't get a response a month before end of semester he gets a bill for almost $4000.00. They have been uncooperative in sending copy of lease until I sent certified letter, I just got it. They filed for legal action before he ever got notice he owed money. 1st bill received was 4 months after lease was to have begun. No guarantors signed this new lease, he was not working. My question is if he owes this money? What are the ramifications if he doesn't pay besides the credit bureau having it on file?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you you are seeking for educational purposes only.
I am afraid that legally, if he signed a lease, once he signed that lease he became bound to honor the terms of that lease, including paying for that lease whether he moved in or not. Even though they never sent a notice, the tenant signing a lease remains liable under the lease terms. If he did not pay and they sue and obtain a judgment against him then they can file to seize property or levy bank accounts, they cannot garnish his wages in PA, but if he moves to another state that allows wage garnishment they can do so. A judgment follows him in PA for 5 years and then can be renewed for another 5 years, so if they renew the judgment every 5 years they can continue to pursue him if they choose to collect on the judgment.
If they sued him and served him with the suit and he did not answer then they obtained a default judgment and he can move the court to vacate the judgment based on lack of proper service and then he can fight to try to settle this debt for less money. He can also try now to offer them less to settle the debt in full and receive a satisfaction of judgment filed in the court.
Those are his options based on what you have stated above, but he would be liable under the lease terms, since he signed the lease and the law and courts hold people bound to the contracts they sign I am afraid, so he could not just change his mind after and say he was not going to lease or pay the lease.