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Old 02-26-2014, 06:29 PM
 
2 posts, read 3,675 times
Reputation: 11

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Hi,
We are new LL, and just completed our first eviction process in CT. Can you advise on how to collect back rent and other fees?

We are traumatized, embarrassed, but smarter. We don't expect to get anything back. We have a few goals:

1. How to get the debt on the tenant's credit report? Can someone suggest a "good" debt collector? We want the former tenant to be harassed. We want future LL to not be fooled by her sob story and see both the eviction and debt.
2. Small claims court? We filed, but it's a max $5k. We calculated if she paid 100% of everything owed, legal fees, rent, late fees, damages, etc, she owes more than $5k. We filed before she moved out based on our lawyer's recommendation - we still knew where to serve her. She moved out on Monday. Do we file another claim for damages post vacancy?
3. What do we report to collectors? $5k for the small claims court, or the total actual amount? We didnt want to pay another lawyer to go to real court. We live out of state and wanted to cut our loses.
4. When we get a small claims court judgement in our favor next month, we plan to file a stay. Do you have any further advice on what to do with a small claims court judgement? Former tenant lost her job and allegedly went back to school to become a RN. If she does become a RN, we want the option to find her and dock her pay. If she gets a job at a hospital, we feel it is unlikely for her to quit & run. We understand it will take years to become a RN. Yes, we plan to move on with our lives. No I never forget when someone crossed me like this, and yes, I am smart enough to track this idiot down, via social media. We do not plan to freeze her bank accounts yet, but will do so in the future.
5. I called DCF. What else should I do? After tenant vacated, neighbor told us she was dealing drugs, among other illegal things. We asked why didnt they call us, the cops or report it to DCF? They didnt think anything would be fixed. There were 3 minors 6month old, 5 year old and 15 year old. Is there anything else I can do? Putting revenge aside, I do think those kids deserve a better life than this.
6. She left trash. Should I threaten her that I'll call DCF and report her for maintaining an inhabitable living area for minors if she doesn't get her crap out? Eviction order stated she must leave the place in broom swept condition. We haven't accessed the place yet bec we must wait 10 days before entering when the place is abandoned. Someone was legally able to enter and take a few photos for us. We don't know if other things are damaged,like pipes, heating system, etc.

Any advice is appreciated. Yes, we were dumb to rent to her. We learned. Please hold your remarks on how dumb we were to rent to this person. We werent able to tell she would turn out this way when we evaluated her application. We plan to scrutinize in the future.

I'm hoping for a happy ending like Bentlee's previous post on finding the deadbeat 5 years later.

Thank you,
M
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Old 02-26-2014, 06:50 PM
 
Location: Riverside Ca
21,700 posts, read 24,217,491 times
Reputation: 34066
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mulanm2003 View Post
Hi,
We are new LL, and just completed our first eviction process in CT. Can you advise on how to collect back rent and other fees?

We are traumatized, embarrassed, but smarter. We don't expect to get anything back. We have a few goals:

1. How to get the debt on the tenant's credit report? Can someone suggest a "good" debt collector? We want the former tenant to be harassed. We want future LL to not be fooled by her sob story and see both the eviction and debt.
YOU WOULD HAVE TO GET A JUDGEMENT FROM THE COURT AGAINST HER. MOST LIKELY YOU WILL NEVER SEE ANY MONEY BUT YOU SIMPLY KEEP EXTENDING IT. EVENTUALLY SHE WILL TRY TO CLEAN UP CREDIT BUY HOUSE ETC AND THIS WILL SHOW UP

2. Small claims court? We filed, but it's a max $5k. We calculated if she paid 100% of everything owed, legal fees, rent, late fees, damages, etc, she owes more than $5k. We filed before she moved out based on our lawyer's recommendation - we still knew where to serve her. She moved out on Monday. Do we file another claim for damages post vacancy?
YOU GET A SERVICE TO TRACK HER DOWN TO SERVE HER. I WOULD TAKE TO COURT AND GET ANYTHING YOU CAN EVEN IF ITS ONLY 5K

3. What do we report to collectors? $5k for the small claims court, or the total actual amount? We didnt want to pay another lawyer to go to real court. We live out of state and wanted to cut our loses.

THE JUDGMENT WILL SCREW UP HER RECORD. ONCE YOU GET A JUDGMENT YOU CAN HIRE A PRO TO GO AFTER HER. THEY WILL EITHER BUY THE JUDGMENT OR TAKE A PERCENTAGE OF THE TOTAL.

4. When we get a small claims court judgement in our favor next month, we plan to file a stay. Do you have any further advice on what to do with a small claims court judgement? Former tenant lost her job and allegedly went back to school to become a RN. If she does become a RN, we want the option to find her and dock her pay. If she gets a job at a hospital, we feel it is unlikely for her to quit & run. We understand it will take years to become a RN. Yes, we plan to move on with our lives. No I never forget when someone crossed me like this, and yes, I am smart enough to track this idiot down, via social media. We do not plan to freeze her bank accounts yet, but will do so in the future.
JUST KEEP UP ON THE JUDGEMENT AND MAKE SURE YOU DONT LAPSE IT. IF HER NEW EMPLOYER RUNS A BG CHECK IT MAY STOP HER HIRING PROCESS.


5. I called DCF. What else should I do? After tenant vacated, neighbor told us she was dealing drugs, among other illegal things. We asked why didnt they call us, the cops or report it to DCF? They didnt think anything would be fixed. There were 3 minors 6month old, 5 year old and 15 year old. Is there anything else I can do? Putting revenge aside, I do think those kids deserve a better life than this.

YOU CAN REPORT THE DRUG DEALING/USE TO PD AND IF YOU REALLY WANT TO YOU CAN CALL CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES.

6. She left trash. Should I threaten her that I'll call DCF and report her for maintaining an inhabitable living area for minors if she doesn't get her crap out? Eviction order stated she must leave the place in broom swept condition. We haven't accessed the place yet bec we must wait 10 days before entering when the place is abandoned. Someone was legally able to enter and take a few photos for us. We don't know if other things are damaged,like pipes, heating system, etc.

WRITE AND TAKE PICS OF EVERYTHING. IF YOU SEE ANY DRUGS OR EVIDENCE OF DRUG USE CALL LOCAL PD
I DOUBT ANYTHING WILL HAPPEN

Any advice is appreciated. Yes, we were dumb to rent to her. We learned. Please hold your remarks on how dumb we were to rent to this person. We werent able to tell she would turn out this way when we evaluated her application. We plan to scrutinize in the future.

I'm hoping for a happy ending like Bentlee's previous post on finding the deadbeat 5 years later.

Thank you,
M
I wasn't yelling just responding in caps. I would get a pro to hound her. You'll move on with your life. Hey I know how you feel. Try having a similar thing happens but its a friend. But I bet like me you will never make that mistake again. Don't worry we all learn one way or another
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Old 02-26-2014, 07:41 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
18,666 posts, read 25,894,118 times
Reputation: 37467
I find your post too overwhelming, so I'm not going to address everything.

Unless the amount due is way over $5,000, I think your best bet is to just sue for $5,000 in small claims court and waive the difference. Make that clear in court. The reason I think this is prudent, is because your other option is to pay an attorney to sue her in civil court. I bet this will cost more.

You need the judgment from small claims court, before you can garnish her wages, bank accounts, etc.

Why not garnish her bank account? That's where she'd get the money to pay you. Why wait for her to write you a check? That money is yours.

Once you have a judgment, the best way to get the debt on her credit report, is to hire a collection agency, in my understanding. In order for you to report her debt straight to a credit agency, I believe you have to have an account with them, and as I recall this is either too cumbersome or too expensive for a small landlord. But, you can always call up the credit bureaus and ask.

Judgments don't always get reported on credit reports. It's random, as the bureaus sweep the public records. This is not guaranteed to show up on her report. But, again, call them up, and ask if you can report it yourself.

In CA, anyway, a judgment can be renewed, I think every 10 years - check on this with your small claims court clerk, or their website. So, if you have to wait until she gets a nursing job in 10 years, you can still garnish her wages at that time.

The only thing that can get her out of this is bankruptcy. And bankruptcy will wipe out her debt to you. So, if you have the opportunity to garnish her bank accounts, you better do it.

As far as landlords in the future. The best thing would be to get something on her credit report, and again, your best way to do that is through a collection. So, perhaps, hire the collection agency and let them garnish her bank account? This will cost you more money, but if you really want to give landlords a heads-up, I think this is probably the best way to go. Unless you discover that you can report the debt to the credit bureaus yourself, without having to pay for a collection agency.

As far as best collection agency? I don't know. Never used one.

Oh, and the unlawful detainer you file against her to get her legally evicted, should show up on her eviction report for landlords who run one. The problem here is that I suppose she could change her name and it may not show up? At any rate, I thought from your post that you may not be legally evicting her through the court? If that's the case, no eviction will show up on her eviction report. So, again, your best bet to alert landlords in the future is the collection.
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Old 02-26-2014, 07:52 PM
 
Location: Clermont Fl
1,715 posts, read 4,318,066 times
Reputation: 1238
What ever you do not "Should I threaten her that I'll call DCF" stay out of it. Do what your lawyer says but in my experience move on do not waste to much money or time.
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Old 02-26-2014, 07:55 PM
 
Location: Riverside Ca
21,700 posts, read 24,217,491 times
Reputation: 34066
Yeah. Don't call and threaten anyone.
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Old 02-27-2014, 03:02 AM
 
9,617 posts, read 21,274,379 times
Reputation: 13231
Take her court and sue her for what she owes you and nothing more. You want her harassed? Harass her yourself..why feed the bucket of scum called "debt collectors". They will buy your debt for pennies on the dollar from you and will collect and keep the full amount owed. Is that what you want? No? Then get your judgment, garnish her wages/bank account/assets and move on.


The rumors of drugs and dealing are just that...rumors. You didn't see it...no one bothered calling the police or you about it..so you have no idea if it really happened. Without a paper trial and proper documentation, you only have the 'word' of a neighbor. There was no need to call DCF on someone when you have no idea what's going on and have no proof whatsoever. That's a low blow..even for a decent landlord.

You're so worried about her kids having a 'better life' that you want to financially ruin her, make sure she can't find a decent place to live, can't get a decent job, and want her kids taken away from her.......yup, that shows you care.

Yes, she owes you back rent, she owes you for cleaning up the unit, she might owe for damages...sue for what she owes you and that's it...being a landlord is a business...not an emotional filled ride thru Disney World...hire a property manager so you don't make this mistake again.
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Old 02-27-2014, 03:04 AM
 
83,077 posts, read 80,566,120 times
Reputation: 59082
typically a tenant with no assets will just declare bankruptsey leaving any attempt to collect back rent a futile attempt after you get a judgement..
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Old 02-27-2014, 08:37 AM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
4,760 posts, read 6,821,863 times
Reputation: 5295
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smooth23 View Post
OP you sound like a horrible person, and no matter how bad the tenant I hope nobody has the displeasure of renting from you again.

I think that's a little harsh. The OP sounds like someone who is getting the short end of the landlording stick for the first time and doesn't know that it shouldn't be taken personally. This is quite common and I've been in those shoes as well.

Smooth, you sound like you've had a landlord go after you in the past and still hold a grudge. That may not be the case, but for you to chime in with an otherwise unhelpful post leads me to believe that. Sorry.
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Old 02-27-2014, 08:44 AM
 
Location: Boise, ID
8,047 posts, read 25,324,775 times
Reputation: 9372
We have one property that we regret to this day that we didn't call CPS. (Don't know what DCF is, but from context, I assume it is Child Protection of some kind).

We had a landlord call us and ask us to start managing a house for him. His former tenants had moved out and trashed the place and he needed help getting it fixed and then choosing better tenants. We had to pay a cleaning crew hazard pay to go in and clean it, it was so bad (bodily fluids smeared on the walls bad, not just dirty). We didn't call CPS, because they weren't our tenants, and we didn't even have their names and the owner didn't want to do it himself.

Those kids were living in filth and I still regret not pushing the owner further on the issue.

So there are situations where calling CPS is the right thing to do. But simply being a bad housekeeper and not paying your rent are not those situations. Everything else you have is only rumor.

As for the rest. You've evicted and you are going to small claims. For now, that is all you can do. If she gets a nursing job, you can garnish. If she had any money in the bank, you could garnish that, but it is unlikely that she does. That's about it. The eviction will show on a background check and the small claims judgment will show on a credit report.

It is extremely unlikely you will ever receive the full $5000, so just stick with that and be happy if you ever do receive it. Be aware that if the tenant files for bankruptcy, it will wipe out your judgment, and then you get nothing. Upon being hit with a $5000 judgment, that is what most people do.
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Old 02-27-2014, 08:53 AM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
18,666 posts, read 25,894,118 times
Reputation: 37467
Quote:
Originally Posted by spankys bbq View Post
I think that's a little harsh. The OP sounds like someone who is getting the short end of the landlording stick for the first time and doesn't know that it shouldn't be taken personally. This is quite common and I've been in those shoes as well.

Smooth, you sound like you've had a landlord go after you in the past and still hold a grudge. That may not be the case, but for you to chime in with an otherwise unhelpful post leads me to believe that. Sorry.
Well, if the OP was all about facts and laws, that might be the case. However, the OP was more about exacting revenge and harrassment, than facts and laws. So, I think this was actually perfectly in tune with the vibe of the OP.

And I admit, that I agree.

There are plenty of first time landlords out there who would keep a level head, take care of business, and move on. The OP says that he holds a grudge and that he wants to harass the deadbeat tenant, including calling child protective services to take her children away, apparently over her breaching her lease.

Nice people don't think this way. Therefore, we have a not nice guy, who is a landlord. It's no fun renting from a not nice landlord. If the guy isn't a nice guy, you can bet, even if you pay him on time, there will be issues.
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