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No lease signed, yet refered to collection agency

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Collection from an Apartment Complex

I reserved an apartment with a $300 security deposit. At that time the leasing manager checked my credit and made me fill a rental application (Not a Lease - Just information for checking credit).

Once my credit was approved, he took my check and asked me to come on the move in date and sign the lease.

A few weeks after that I decided not to take that apartment and signed a lease with a new apartment. I also informed them of my decision, but only on the day I was supposed to move in.

They sent me a Damages bill for $1000, which they said was incurred due to the apartment now being occupied and sent it to a collection agency. I contacted the collection agency and asked for verification of the debt and they sent me a Verification of Debt that was prepared by the collection agency, based on the breakup of damages as sent by the apartment complex. I have asked them again to send me some document that I signed assuring to pay damages in case I do not take the apartment.

I did not sign any such document and they have not got back to me so far. The collection agency said they will report to a credit agency if payment is not received....

My questions are:-

1. Am I liable to pay even though I did not sign any lease?
2. How do I protect myself in case the creditors decide to sue?
3. In case this report goes into my credit how do I clean it up?



Senior Member
Q1) "Am I liable to pay even though I did not sign any lease?"
A1) Maybe. You need to look at the rental application that you filled out. Does it say anything about being committed to a lease or having additional obligations if you pass the credit review??? If not, then you are probably without further obligation to them. Also, were there ANY other documents that you signed regarding this rental??? Your post says you paid $300 security deposit. This normally would require some additional documents other then a rental application. READ EVERYTHING and see if there are any obligations on your part. Again, if not, get your deposit back also.

Q2) "How do I protect myself in case the creditors decide to sue?"
A2) The only way to answer this one is for you to READ the papers you signed. If they obligate you, there really is no defense. If they do NOT have any obligations, then that is your defense.

Q3) "In case this report goes into my credit how do I clean it up?"
A3) By asking the CRA to investigate the report and to remove it if it is incorrect or invalid. Other than issues of accuracy, you have no real control over what is in your credit history file. To find out your rights, I suggest you read the FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act) at http://www.ftc.gov/

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