How Do I Deal With Old Apartment Debt I’m Being Sued Over?

Question:

Dear Steve,

I was evicted back in 2017. I received a notice from the property management firm a few months after the eviction and they were trying to charge me for the remaining balance of the lease as well as damages, which there were none.

I even turned in the keys and the apartment was leased within a month after my eviction. They turned it over to a debt collector and at some point, it was removed from my credit report. I just received notice from a bankruptcy attorney that some other debt collector has filed in court.

This was filed listing a very old address for me but I was able to find the filing on the court site. I will monitor the court site for the official date. How do I fight this in court? This is not the original creditor or even debt collections company. I also don’t expect to be served because they used a very old address.

Kimberly

Answer:

Dear Kimberly,

There is a lot to deal with here. The very first thing is the strategy to ignore this because you may have been served at a very old address is not a great way to hide from this.

If you have been sued and don’t respond, you will lose and a judgment, garnishment, and possibly a hit to your credit report will likely happen.

And it seems pretty clear that you’ve already been sued because the bankruptcy attorney found the listing and used it to contact you to sell bankruptcy services. You’ve also confirmed that online as well.

So, I would suggest getting a consumer attorney involved to represent you. One place to look for such an attorney that is licensed to practice law in your state would be online here.

There is a question of how much you may actually owe since the unit was rented out again before the end of your contractual lease period.

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Keep in mind that if a debt is or is not listed on your credit report, that has nothing to do with if you legally owe it. You can still be sued over a valid debt that is not listed on any credit report.

I don’t think you should represent yourself here because there are some specific legal issues that need to be dealt with straight away. The first has to do with the potentially improper service. The second is the disputed amount they claim you owe.

You might be able to get this dismissed from the court docket, get the true balance you owe validated, and then settle the remaining balance for less than you owe.

Talk to a local attorney that is licensed in your state.

Sincerly,


You are not alone. I'm here to help. There is no need to suffer in silence. We can get through this. Tomorrow can be better than today. Don't give up.

Damon Day - Pro Debt Coach

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