Can a business post a charge onto my credit 7years later without being able to prove how or why I owe it?

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Can a business post a charge onto my credit 7years later without being able to prove how or why I owe it?

I moved out of an apartment complex about 7years ago and was recently applying to move into another apartment complex when they ran my credit. There has never been a charge on there until 5 months. I contacted the previous apartment manager and they informed me that they have no records from that far back and that they have replace their old computer software. The manager then stated that my only option was to pay the $1,500 bill.

Asked on September 21, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

No, they can't do this:

1) To begin with, it's probably too late to charge you even if they could prove the charge: how long you have to collect money is defined by the statute of limitations, or time to sue if necessary. Once the SOL has passed, they can't collect from. While you should double check with a GA attorney, I believe the relevant statutes for owing money to a landlord--either an action for breach of contract (the lease) or for damage to their property, are both less than 7 years, so they may be out of time.

2) No one can collect a debt unless you actually owe it. If they can't show how, why, and how much you owe, they can't simply take money from you.

You should contact an attorney; you may be able to sue for your money back and other damages as well.


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