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biminitwist

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Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #1 

My first initiation as a new landlord resulted in the eviction of my new husband's ex-wife from his, and ultimately my rental house.  It was my intention to report her for non payment of rent for 3+ months to the credit bureaus, but come to find out that most rent debts are not really considered "debt" as in a delinquent loan, and that unless you turn it over to a collection agency, who CAN report it as a bad debt, you don't have much recourse to report this from what I can tell.  Thus the reason for my post.

Of course there are always circumstances that are not considered when looking at FAQ's.  So here's my story and I'm hoping some experienced landlord has some valuable advice, other than "Live and Learn."  Some people just should not be allowed to get away with such vindictiveness without consequences or costing the landlord thousands more to pursue some justice!!

My fiance owned a house that he purchased after his divorce so his ex-wife and son could "rent" it from him, in effect paying the mortgate on his behalf directly to the mortgage company.  (BAD MOVE, as he found out)  When his ex found out he was getting married it ticked her off and she stopped paying the mortgage using her a temporary disability (knee operation) as an excuse.  However, she neglected to tell my fiance for three months until the house went into default and effectively ruined HIS credit. 

She refused to talk to him with any level of maturity (she's bi-polar) so I was made power of attorney over the residence to attempt to communicate officially on a non-emotional basis.  Then she refused to talk to me or acknowledge my communications!  She also said she refused to pay rent because she had made $6000 in improvements to the house over the past 4 years and that my fiance was aware of and even helped install (in truth, some not all), however there was never an agreement to reimburse her and she never supplied any receipts.  As a matter of fact, there was never an official rental or lease agreement between them. (another BAD MOVE)  Due to the urgency of the matter and my ability to pay, I paid $6200 to rescue the house from default and told her we were in effect "even" on the money, as we were just trying to help her and provide a home for her son.  Then we reduced her rent and paid the $400 difference each month to allow her to afford to stay.  But it just wasn't enough and she continued to refuse to pay and behave like a responsible adult.

I then purchased the house in order to reduce our payments.  All this time she continued to live there and every month for four months after the default she initially refused to pay rent and then paid it late.  So each month I went into a tailspin not knowing how the mortgage would be paid.  I sent numerous professional letters to her informing her that she would be evicted if she didn't pay on time or within the 3 day or quit notice.  And each time she FINALLY paid days or even weeks late, so we let it slide. 

My fiance and I were married and that sent her over the edge.  So we did end up sending her an eviction for non payment, but she moved out earlier than the 60 day notice (thank the Lord) and without any notice and left us with the unpaid mortgage. 

To add insult to injury, the day before escrow closed on MY new house, she accidentally caught it on fire by leaving a solar heater on a cardboard box next to the house in 107 degree heat and went to work, causing $30K in damages.  In addition she STILL has some property in the garage as the house is being repaired, causing us to lose another 2 months in rent.

In my opinion we have gone through hell with this woman and her lack of maturiy and accountability. (she screams uncontrollably when trying to talk to her)  She has since garnished my husband's wages for child support out of spite and ruined any possibility of having a relationship with my teenage stepson.

So while this may be viewed by some as an attempt at retribution, in fact, had this been anyone else, she would have been evicted much sooner.  So due to her numerous episodes of taking advantage of us, in my opinion her credit report should reflect her erratic and irresponsible behavior in satisfying her obligations to pay rent.

So does anyone have any suggestions on the best way to get the credit bureaus to reflect her failure to pay rent?  Going to a collection agency doesn't make sense based on these circumstances as the debt no longer exists since I paid it and told her we were even as a "gesture of good will" at the time.

OHlandlord

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Posts: 3,776
Reply with quote  #2 
True, the rental debt is gone since you excused it.  But what about the $30k of damages she caused?  I say file a claim in court to get that back, or at least the deductible you had to pay and any increase in premiums.  (Does your insurance company know it was a rental and that the tenant did the damage?  If they do, they should be pursuing her for that money.  If no insurance, you should be pursuing her for the money.  A judgment for the $30k damages she caused (accidental or not) will very quickly show up on her credit report.
MeanLiens

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Posts: 17
Reply with quote  #3 
In our State, a court judgement against a previous tenant(debtor) for not paying rent will last for 12 years and can be renewed for another 12 years just by refiling the judgment with the county. That same judgement can follow the debtor into any county in every state just by filing a certified copy of the judgement in the new county where the debtor is living. If you don't want to spend your time and money chasing that debtor, Auction that judgement to Judgement Recovery Specialists who will chase that debtor from coast to coast !

Check your State Laws HERE !

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ronsidney

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Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #4 
sorry to hijack thread but i have similar issue.. Had tenant leave with no notice and left the state and trashed the place. I would love to warn any potential landlords of this nasty human before he damages anybody elses property! I know ill never see a penny but would love to have something to follow him if he ever tries to rent again! something to be on his record!
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