Can I sue an apartment complex for letting someone forge my signature?

I got a letter from a collection agency stating I owe them $6,000. It was from an apartment complex that my ex-wife moved to after we split up. I lived out of state at the time she lived there. I tried to call and clear it up with the collection agency but the guy that was handling the case wouldn’t give me any information and said I need to request the documents in writing. I am guessing she forged my signature, since I didn’t live at the complex, or even in the state for that matter.

Asked on October 23, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

1) Unless the apartment complex was colluding with your ex-wife to put you on the lease, it is very unlikely that you could sue them; if they received a signed lease with what appeared to be your signature on it and it was represented by a woman that she was your wife or girlfriend or whatever and that you had signed, then the apartment complex likely did nothing wrong in accepting.

2)  The above said, if you can prove it was not your signature and you never agreed to the lease, you would not be liable. You can prove it by your testimony and the testimony of other witnesses, evidence that you lived elsewhere, samples of your signature to compare to this one (and maybe even a handwriting analysis, etc.).

3) You could sue your ex-wife for any losses for costs you have incurred.

4) You probably due need to request for details, documentation, etc. (called "validating the debt") in writing.

5) What your ex-wife did is a crime; you may be also be able to report her to the police.


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