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Itemized statments


J D
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I have been battling with a leasing company that says I owe them a ridiculous amount of money for breaking my lease. They have this debt listed on my credit report. I've asked them, since August, to provide me with a copy of my signed lease agreement. They keep sending me a copy of an itemized statement indicating that's all they need to provide me with. This is the letter I received from them:

We would be unable to provide copy of your lease agreement as all 2003 property files are in storage; we would refer you to your own copy.

The itemized Billing Statement provided to you August 22,2005 according to our records, is proof of charges. Copy of the Account Ledger is enclosed showing October rent the last rent to have been received, November prorated rent throught the 13 is past due, as well as September-November utilities. As the lease had not expired and was broken prematurely, you were charged lease break fees.

This is the corporate office for the above property and not a second or third party collection agency. As such, we are nout bound by, but do voluntarily comply with the FDCPA.

We are confident of all charges under applicable federal and state statutes, and welcome your call to discuss payment arrangements.

Is this possible? Is the Itemized Statment enough proof that I owe this debt? What should I do?

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No...I don't have a copy of the lease. I want a copy so I can review it and see how they're calculating the charges. I've been demanding a copy of it since August. I've disputed this listing with the bureaus just to see if they validate it. And, of course, they did. I'm running out of things to do and don't know what the next step is for me to take.

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That's what I was thinking. What if they have this debt listed on my EX report 4 times? What should I do in that case? Yeah, somehow they've reported the same debt 4 times on my EX report, but only once on my TU and EQ.

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You are referring to Wollman opinion. It's not caselaw but rather an opinion set down by the FTC with relation to a CA's validation of debt. Whether it applies to a landlord I think is iffy. Notice the landlord made note to say that even though they are not required to, they follow the FDCPA. How generous of them.

So what's your goal? Not wanting to pay? Can't afford to pay? Want to square things up but dispute the actual amount? Place was a rat-hole and unsafe to live in?

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JD, It might be enough to convince a judge and all validation really is, is evidence sufficient to convince a judge the demands are sound. In this situation, the property management firm will need to produce the lease agreement in order to win. The itemized statement will need to be supported by what you agreed to. Don't be surprised if they threaten to tack on a charge to provide you with a copy, so be sure to dig up your copy.

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There are a couple of things that come to mind:

1 Is the company using a name other than the one for the apartments? If so, are they using a name that would lead you to believe that a third party is collecting? If so, they ARE subject to the FDCPA.

2 Since they are basing at least part of the claim on a contractually specified charge (early termination fee), they must be able to produce a copy of that contract.

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The company is using a name other than the name of the apartment complex. From what I understand, they have quite a few complexes in my area.

So, I should basically take them to court and make them produce a copy of the lease to make sure all charges they're applying are legit, right?

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