How do I have something removed from my credit?

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How do I have something removed from my credit?

I have a $5000 debt on my credit from a former apartment complex i lived in. I moved out early but made sure that I found someone to sign a sublease. I was told that it was all squared away and that I could move out. About 3 years later I noticed a $5000 debt posted to my credit. When I contacted them they said that my subleaser and been turned down and never moved in. They went 3 years without telling me this! I even had my mom as a co-signer since I was only in my first year of college. They never even contacted her to let her know anything. How do I get this removed from my credit?

Asked on June 18, 2009 under Bankruptcy Law, California

Answers:

N. K., Member, Iowa and Illinois Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor


First, you need to notify the credit bureaus that you dispute the $5000 debt. They have to investigate it and make a determination. If the creditor can't prove or verify the debt, it must be removed from your credit records.

You also should contact the former landlord/complex and ask them for an accounting of the $5000 debt. Even if the subleaser never moved in, they were still obligated to rent your apartment in a timely manner. Ask them for verification of when they rented your former apartment after you moved out. 

You are only responsible for the months up to the end of your lease when the apartment was not rented.

Next, you need to find out if the former landlord/complex obtained a default judgment against you for the $5000. It seems that they may have if it is showing up on your credit. If they did get a default judgment against you, and you disagree with the $5000 amount, you can go back into court and contest the judgment.

A default judgment is granted when the other party fails to answer a complaint that is supposed to be served on them.  If you are only hearing about this now, then you can claim that you were never properly served.


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