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Crooked apartment complex staff ruining my sister's credit

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Junior Member
My sister resided for two years at an apartment complex in Pinellas County, Florida. She was a good tenant, paid on time, but after two years she wanted out as the complex was going to hell in a handbasket. Her lease required her to give 60 days written notice prior to the expiration of the lease, which she did -- I typed it up for her and was with her when she handed it over to the woman working in their office. We were both told by this woman that nothing further was necessary, all my sister would have to do from here is pay her last two months of rent and leave the unit clean when she vacated, which my sister did without any problem.

Fast forward four months, and my sister gets a letter in the mail from a collection agency claiming that she owes the apartment complex over $2,500 in unpaid rent and other fees. To our mutual shock, we learned through the agency that the notification letter she submitted was "lost", and once my sister vacated they rolled her lease to month-to-month. No attempts were made by the complex to notify her of this, and when she didn't pay (she didn't live there anymore!), they sent her account to collections, whereupon the agency tacked on an enormous fee of their own.

The collections agency was aggressive and intimidated my sister, threatening her with legal action if she didn't pay the debt. As for the complex and their staff, by the time we found out about any of this, the staffer who "lost" the notification letter was herself arrested for fraud! (See: http://patch.com/florida/largo/police-largo-woman-bilked-50k-from-bosses) The owner of the complex sold the property, but of course none of that mattered to the collections agency. Frightened out of her wits, my sister began paying on the debt despite its dubious, extortive nature. She continued making payments of $150 per month for nearly a year, then changed banks. Despite notifying the collections agency of her new account information, they still attempted to withdraw the subsequent monthly payment from her old account, then chose to scuttle the entire arrangement and demand full payment of the remaining balance, refusing all further negotiation attempts.

The debt has since been sold to a different collections agency. She contacted them and told them the circumstances behind the "debt", of course to no avail -- they refuse to accept any payment plan, settlement or anything short of the full sum all at once. The worst part is that my sister now cannot move into any apartment, as her credit report shows a debt of over $1,000 to an apartment complex. Reading what I've typed so far, I'm flabbergasted that what has transpired so far is even legal. Our family does not have the resources to hire any attorney, and we are all at our wits end. I even tried writing a letter on her behalf to the former owner of the apartment complex, and received no reply. Is there anything at all she can do to put an end to this continued extortion?


Senior Member
...my sister began paying on the debt .... She continued making payments of $150 per month for nearly a year, then changed banks. ...
It is her debt. She needs to pay it or suffer the consequences.

She had an opportunity to challenge it. She chose to assume responsibility for it.


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