I recently was declined for a promotion at work due to a collection that is showing up on my credit report. I disputed with the transunion, experian, and equifax. I just received letters stating that they have determined that the debt is mine, along with a letter from a collection company called Resolve Partners LLC. The letter they sent me was for a house lease from April of 2010. This was the first lease I had ever signed. Prior to this I lived with family while finishing school. The lease was with me and another person. I was not going to be moving in until July as I was getting sent out of state for a 3 month assignment. When I went to move in, I discovered that the other person had two other individuals living there with her. Since they were not on the lease, I did not want them staying there, I did not want to be responsible for them and more than that, it was not what I had signed up for. I tried to talk to her about them leaving, but she refused. I immediately sent a letter to the property management company, informed them what was happening, told them I had not moved in yet, that I would not be moving in, that I wanted to be removed from the lease and that the other tenant agreed to have me removed from the lease. I never heard back from them or the other tenant and assumed everything was taken care of. Fast forward to the end of 2010, I received a call from the property management for maintenance at the home, I explained to them that I did not live there and I was not on the lease, he apologized and I never heard from them again.
I continued living with family until June of 2011, when I moved in with my girlfriend. Her father was sick, she was taking care of him and living in his guest house, we had recently found out that we were expecting a daughter and she wanted me to move in with her. I already was staying there much of the time anyways. Her father started to recover and we decided to move out on our own in July of 2012. We rented an apartment together from July of 2012 until September of 2013. We had a 1 year lease, following that we decided to go month-to-month while we were searching for a house to buy. The price of our apartment jumped from $1100 a month to almost $1900 a month by moving to a month-to-month agreement, so we decided to move back in with family in September of 2013 until we found and closed the house that we now live in.
Late 2015, I found myself unemployed, I was let go from the company that I had spent the last 5 years with. Fortunately, I had saved up quite a bit, so I decided to take a 3 month break of the 50-60 hour weeks I had been doing to spend time with our family, visit family in other states, with the intent of starting my job search after the holidays. January 2016, I started my search, and found it difficult to land something. I kept getting letters back after they did background/credit checks. Finally a company told me that they found a large collection on my credit report, wanted it resolved before they would offer a position... The collection was for almost $5000! I had no way to try to pay or resolve it, looked up the company and sent a letter asking what it was and never received anything back. Needless to say, I did not get that position and I didn't know what to do. That took the back seat, while I frantically searched for work. We used up the majority of our savings but managed to keep up with all of our bills. Summer of 2016, thankfully, I started working again and have started to rebuild our savings a little and pay off credit card debt that was accumulated during the time I was not working.
I applied for a position that would be a promotion for me and got turned down, during background/credit check, it was the collection that I had forgot about while trying to land something so we could keep up with our mortgage. This time, I disputed with the credit reporting agencies and that is where I am at now. I don't know what to do, I did not send the letter informing them that I wanted off the lease certified, so I have no proof that they received it. Included in the packet they sent me in response to my dispute, was an itemized list of all charges, damages and outstanding balances.
$1104 in rent, $161 in late charges, $50 5 day notice, $200 leasing fee, $27 loss management fee, $2468 turn over repairs, $185 yard service, $95 electric while vacant, $99 water sewer trash while vacant, $75 for locks, $50 for garage remotes, $100 for a missing window screen, $872 for carpet replacement. Total they claimed was $5488.59. There was a $750 security deposit. Balance they claim I owe them is $4738.59.
They listed the move in date of 4/1/2010 and a move out date of 8/1/2014 with a lease expiration of 3/31/2015. They state that they received notice 7/28/2014. On this page it lists myself and the other individual from 2010. I feel like I am getting completely screwed by this, just because I was naive and didn't know better than to send the letter certified. Not only did I spend almost $3500 between deposits, upfront fees and rent in the home while I was out of state, now I am being hit with this collection and being rejected for a promotion. I truly believe that had this collection not been on my credit I would have avoided being unemployed so long, and avoided having to use up my savings.
What should I do? What options do I have?