How do I remove a false debt from my credit report?

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My husband & I rented an apartment for 2 years. When we moved out we rec’d a bill for $ 1400 to replace the carpet and other small repairs such as nail holes in the wall, a lanai blind & paint damage to the ceiling?????. The carpet had only normal wear n’ tear, nothing that needed to be replaced. We disputed the bill & they still sent us to a collection agency. I’ve written letters to the BBB, the parent co. of the rental community & the credit bureaus, all to no avail. When we vacated the apartment they never asked us to do a walk-through & shame on us for not requesting one-this was our 1st apartment. Now it’s come time to move again & we cannot get a mortgage or another lease w/ this on our credit-it looks like we didn’t pay rent. We were not required to leave a security deposit but they did collect a $ 250 redecorating fee which stated in the lease is supposed to be applied to minor repairs. How do I get this to go away? I feel like I’m being extorted for $ $ .

2 Comments
  1. Reply
    LifesAMystery
    July 21, 2011 at 12:08 am

    You can send a letter to the three credit reporting bureaus citing the incorrect item and asking them to research it – they’ll contact the creditor to ask them to verify the amount. If it’s not valid, it’ll be removed from your credit report.

    I did this with a phone bill – I tried to work with the vendor at first, but all they would say is that they didn’t make mistakes. Once I took it to the credit bureaus, it was wrapped up in 30 days.

    If the creditor (which is now the collection agency) can’t prove (with pics, timelines, etc) that you did the damage claimed, I would think that they’ll have to remove the item.

    I wouldn’t bother trying to work with the collection agency; in my experience, they’re only after collecting on a debt and tend not to have any empathy at all.

  2. Reply
    Landlord
    July 21, 2011 at 12:57 am

    This is not false debt, so it will not go away until you pay it.

    If there is no judgement attached to it yet you can try suing in small claims, as a seated judge can remove it for you.

    You will need proof that the carpet was unstained and not ripped.

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