Apartment Debt

(Durham, NC)

I was evicted from an apartment in 2006 and have been contacted by debt collectors. I am not in a position financially to pay it off now, its over $6,000. How badly will this effect my credit and once I am able to pay it is there any way to get it off my credit?

Comments for Apartment Debt

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Oct 13, 2010
Eviction and debt
by: Gerri

If the item is listed on your credit reports, then it is likely listed as a collection account, which is quite negative. Unfortunately, paying a collection account does not improve your credit scores at all.

The only way to improve your credit scores in a situation like this (if it's on your report already) is to get the collection agency to agree to remove the item if you pay it. However, they are under no obligation to do so, and they really aren't supposed to do that according to their contracts with the credit reporting agencies to whom they report.

My biggest concern here is not your credit, but that you may be sued to collect this debt. If you are sued and the collector is successful in getting a judgment against you it would create a new negative item on your credit reports, and open up new avenues for collection.

However, according to my sources the statue of limitations for most consumer debts in North Carolina is three years so it may be too late for them to sue you successfully. (Of course, if they do sue you and you don't show up in court, they may get a judgment against you even if the debt is too old. So don't ignore notices from the collection agency.)

I would recommend you confirm the statue limitations on this debt with either a consumer law attorney or your state Atty. Gen.'s office. If, in fact, the debt is outside the statue limitations then you probably have quite a bit of negotiating leverage with the collector.

You may be able to get them to agree to accept less than the full amount and perhaps even remove it from your credit reports early. (Keep in mind the debt is already four years old, and will have to come off your credit report in about three years anyway - whether you paid or not.)

We would suggest you get our ebook get our ebook Debt Collection Answers as it goes into more detail about collection accounts in your credit reports. We think you'll find it helpful.

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