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faiths13
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my husband and I have been working for 3 months to clean up our credit. We were on the verge of getting a home loan when a collection for $3000 popped up and now we have to get it off to get the loan. Well the CA never contacted us about this, so we sent them a DV. They sent back a list of what we owe. The problem is, its from a rental we had to walk out on a month early. They have deducted the amount of our security deposit, but not our last months rent. We called the OC 3 times to get a copy of the statement showing that we paid $1600 in last months rent when we moved in - but they have run us in circles and lied. We do not have this because we never thought we would need it (its been 5 years now). Not only that but they are also trying to charge us $555 for an eviction that never happened, and $150 in late fees, when there late fees are only $50. Is there any hope in this situation? Im certainly not willing to pay all these bloated fees. is there any way to fix this? We are looking at not buying a house because of this.

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Here is a link to a document on California Landlord-Tenant Law. There's a lot of good information here, and maybe you can find something to help you out.

http://www.dca.ca.gov/publications/landlordbook/catenant.pdf

Look especially at the section on moving out and getting your security deposit returned. Within 21 days after moving out, the landlord must return your security deposit or deliver to you an itemized statement of deductions from your security deposit, reasons for the deductions, and a refund for the amounts not deducted.

If the landlord fails to comply with this law, you can sue and get your triple your entire security deposit back.

The California Statute of Limitations on most kinds of debt is 4 years, so the good news is that they can't sue you for it, so you are under no legal obligation to ever pay it. (Well, they can sue, but you win by raising the SOL as a defense.) The bad news is it's also too late for you to sue them for their lack of compliance with the law.

That leaves this item sitting on your credit report. It will drop off after a couple more years, but maybe that's not soon enough. I'm not a credit repair expert; I presume you've already tried disputing this with the Credit Reporting Agencies. I'm just hoping that you can find something in the above document to use in a letter to the CRA's to get them to remove it. Something along the lines of "After terminating our rental agreement and moving out, landlord failed to comply with California law by failing to return security deposit or an accounting of deductions from it with 21 days. No demand for payment of any kind was ever provided by landlord. Nothing was even reported to credit reports for over 5 years, until recently. Reporting to CRA's at this time is nothing more than a harassing tactic to try to obtain payment for an amount which has never been properly demanded, has never been properly documented, and is now beyond the statute of limitations for using the court to enforce their claims. I dispute landlord's claim, and demand listing be removed from credit report."

Good luck.

DH

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Here is a link to a document on California Landlord-Tenant Law. There's a lot of good information here, and maybe you can find something to help you out.

http://www.dca.ca.gov/publications/landlordbook/catenant.pdf

Look especially at the section on moving out and getting your security deposit returned. Within 21 days after moving out, the landlord must return your security deposit or deliver to you an itemized statement of deductions from your security deposit, reasons for the deductions, and a refund for the amounts not deducted.

If the landlord fails to comply with this law, you can sue and get your triple your entire security deposit back.

The California Statute of Limitations on most kinds of debt is 4 years, so the good news is that they can't sue you for it, so you are under no legal obligation to ever pay it. (Well, they can sue, but you win by raising the SOL as a defense.) The bad news is it's also too late for you to sue them for their lack of compliance with the law.

That leaves this item sitting on your credit report. It will drop off after a couple more years, but maybe that's not soon enough. I'm not a credit repair expert; I presume you've already tried disputing this with the Credit Reporting Agencies. I'm just hoping that you can find something in the above document to use in a letter to the CRA's to get them to remove it. Something along the lines of "After terminating our rental agreement and moving out, landlord failed to comply with California law by failing to return security deposit or an accounting of deductions from it with 21 days. No demand for payment of any kind was ever provided by landlord. Nothing was even reported to credit reports for over 5 years, until recently. Reporting to CRA's at this time is nothing more than a harassing tactic to try to obtain payment for an amount which has never been properly demanded, has never been properly documented, and is now beyond the statute of limitations for using the court to enforce their claims. I dispute landlord's claim, and demand listing be removed from credit report."

Good luck.

DH

I really appreciate your response, there is one problem though - it was 5 years ago I left the last months rent deposit, not when we moved out. we moved out dec 31, 2011. so its only been a little over a year. they are now claiming that they dont even ask for renters to put down a last months rent to move in, so therefore they say we never paid it.

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Ah, I misunderstood.

That makes it all the more important to read that document and take note of how they have failed to comply with the law. It may be within your rights to sue for your security deposit back.

So you can't find a receipt or cancelled check for the last month's rent? Can your bank come up with records to help you?

Regards,

DH

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Ah, I misunderstood.

That makes it all the more important to read that document and take note of how they have failed to comply with the law. It may be within your rights to sue for your security deposit back.

So you can't find a receipt or cancelled check for the last month's rent? Can your bank come up with records to help you?

Regards,

DH

last months rent and security deposits have to be paid with a money order. we didnt keep anything from when we moved in because we didnt think we needed it, so no proof. the security is only $500, so im not sure if it would be worth it to sue them.

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First, damages are tripled so you could get $1500. I've seen it happen in a case that was heard right before mine. You can do this in small claims court.

Second, you can use the mere threat of suing as leverage against their claims.

Bottom line is, I don't thing you attack this primarily as a Credit Report issue (although as a matter of procedure you should dispute this with the CRA's). This is primarily a toe-to-toe contest over money allegedly owed. I would write a Cease Communication letter to the the CA, and tell them you'll work with the OC to resolve this. The CA can't help with the issues you have. Then you write the OC a letter (do everything in writing from now on and keep a copy) You state what you paid ($1600 for last month's rent + $500 security deposit) You categorically deny owing them for an evicition or late fees. Furthermore, they never sent you a final statement within 21 days as required by law.

It's possible that this will take a judge to decide the issue, but that's not the end of the world. But that's why you start creating this paperwork foundation.

Good luck.

DH

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First, damages are tripled so you could get $1500. I've seen it happen in a case that was heard right before mine. You can do this in small claims court.

Second, you can use the mere threat of suing as leverage against their claims.

Bottom line is, I don't thing you attack this primarily as a Credit Report issue (although as a matter of procedure you should dispute this with the CRA's). This is primarily a toe-to-toe contest over money allegedly owed. I would write a Cease Communication letter to the the CA, and tell them you'll work with the OC to resolve this. The CA can't help with the issues you have. Then you write the OC a letter (do everything in writing from now on and keep a copy) You state what you paid ($1600 for last month's rent + $500 security deposit) You categorically deny owing them for an evicition or late fees. Furthermore, they never sent you a final statement within 21 days as required by law.

It's possible that this will take a judge to decide the issue, but that's not the end of the world. But that's why you start creating this paperwork foundation.

Good luck.

DH

What do we do if we write the OC a letter about paying the last months rent and they respond that they dont ever charge a last months rent upon a tenants moving in?

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I think what they are trying to tell you is to take an offensive posture with the property owner/manager. You can write in a letter whatever you feel your stance is regarding the issues. It is for a judge to determine who is believable. What might happen is that you have enough of a case that the property owner/manager simply backs off because they feel they cannot get an outright win.

As for the last months rent, do you have a copy of the lease? If you do, check to see if the lease states said payment. That is what a judge will use to determine the issues involving the issues stated in this case.

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I think what they are trying to tell you is to take an offensive posture with the property owner/manager. You can write in a letter whatever you feel your stance is regarding the issues. It is for a judge to determine who is believable. What might happen is that you have enough of a case that the property owner/manager simply backs off because they feel they cannot get an outright win.

As for the last months rent, do you have a copy of the lease? If you do, check to see if the lease states said payment. That is what a judge will use to determine the issues involving the issues stated in this case.

I dont know that the OC would back off easily. They are owned by a huge company. I dont have anything anywhere to prove I paid that last months rent when moving in. Ill show this thread to my husband and see what he thinks. Im just feeling rather hopeless at the moment. We were right there about to get a loan and now im not sure it will happen. To top it off we are living in a dump and anxious to move.

I was just reading over the CA Tenant pdf and it says that if you take the landlord to court they can counter sue you. which sounds like i dont have a very good case. they are saying i owe them $3000 in unpaid rent, etc, etc. I understand taking an offensive stance, but with a huge company that owns rental properties all over the US I dont feel like I have much of a chance.

Edited by faiths13
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Is that collection a judgement?

If so then you probably need to take care of it.

However, if its just a collection and not a judgement - you can find another lender for your new loan. That new rule that FHA put into affect Apr 1 has been now pushed back to July 1. Some lenders are using the new rule early, most aren't. So look for a new lender that won't make you pay the past due amount prior to closing.

BTW, any monies you paid should be in your lease. It will specify all deposits required.

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Is that collection a judgement?

If so then you probably need to take care of it.

However, if its just a collection and not a judgement - you can find another lender for your new loan. That new rule that FHA put into affect Apr 1 has been now pushed back to July 1. Some lenders are using the new rule early, most aren't. So look for a new lender that won't make you pay the past due amount prior to closing.

BTW, any monies you paid should be in your lease. It will specify all deposits required.

its not a judgement. i didnt realize that was being pushed back. very interesting, thanks! i dont have a copy of the lease unfortunately.

im no expert at home loans, but wouldnt we need to get a $3000 debt of anyway? we will definitely try some other lenders, but im just thinking aloud here.

Edited by faiths13
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