Wear Them Out

Julie and her husband bought their first home and broke their apartment lease to do it. They have a copy of the receipt, but the apartment company says they haven't paid.

QUESTION: Julie in San Antonio and her husband bought their first home in September, and they broke their apartment lease to do it. It took until the end of October to settle their account with them. They have a copy of the receipt, but the apartment company says they haven’t paid. Dave advises Julie how to handle this.

ANSWER: Just let them know that there’s not a collectable account because the account was settled before it was sent to them, and you’ve got a receipt that’s saying zero. Send them a letter certified mail that says that with a copy of the receipt attached. Let them know if they continue to try to collect on this account that you’re going to sue them. Staple the paperwork to it 14 times this time. As a matter of fact, make a copy of the receipt on the back of the letter so that it’s one piece of paper and it’s impossible for them not to receive both.

What they are is scum. They’re liars. You don’t trust them. That’s why you’re doing everything certified mail to prove it. But do let them know in the letter that you’re going to take legal action on them if they don’t stop trying to collect a debt that is no longer owed. That’s in violation of the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Go ahead and tell them that. I want them to clear the account. I don’t want them to just quit bothering you. I don’t want this thing to pop up again three years from now. It’s not that they’re bothering you that’s the problem. The problem is that they’re still showing a balance is owed. They need to clear that.

Have you got their phone number? Call them three times a day until they clear it. Do what they would do. Bug the crap out of them. Just call them every day, three times a day. Just abuse them. You’re going to have to make a hobby out of this. If you don’t, it’s going to pop up at the least opportune time. You’ve got to cleanse it just for your future sanity. You don’t owe any money. You’re not going to lose in a lawsuit. You’re in good shape, but you’ve just got to get morons who aren’t competent and aren’t honest to clear their database. That’s a tough one. Wear them out. Why not? They’re going to wear you out if you don’t.