military personnel overseas

I had an apartment room rented with 2 other people I had to go overseas for a year and I informed the landlord as well but that person didn't help me one bit with what I needed to get out of the lease with the others while I was overseas they told me I had to be in person to do it instead of giving any other options. The collection agency called me telling me I owe them in utilities and damages when I wasn't even there. What do I do?

Comments for military personnel overseas

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Jun 02, 2010
Military deployment and lease
by: Gerri

It sounds to me like you and your landlord was not aware of the Servicemember's Civil Relief Act, a federal law. Under that law, Section 305, you are allowed to terminate a lease as follows:

(a) TERMINATION BY LESSEE- The lessee on a lease described in subsection (b) may, at the lessee's option, terminate the lease at any time after--

(1) the lessee's entry into military service; or

(2) the date of the lessee's military orders described in paragraph (1)(B) or (2)(B) of subsection (b), as the case may be.

(b) COVERED LEASES- This section applies to the following leases:

(1) LEASES OF PREMISES- A lease of premises occupied, or intended to be occupied, by a servicemember or a servicemember's dependents for a residential, professional, business, agricultural, or similar purpose if--

(A) the lease is executed by or on behalf of a person who thereafter and during the term of the lease enters military service; or

(B) the servicemember, while in military service, executes the lease and thereafter receives military orders for a permanent change of station or to deploy with a military unit for a period of not less than 90 days.

It sounds like you are now being contacted by a debt collector for the balance of the lease. If you believe that this law applies to you, you can send the collector a certified letter asking them not to contact you, and explaining why. I would also suggest you send a copy to the landlord with a copy of the law so he or she understands why this debt is not collectible.

Read more about sending a debt collector a cease and desist letter here.

If you have any questions, I would suggest you get help from the appropriate office in your branch of service. I hope this helps you put this behind you!

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