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DISCLAIMER: This article is based on a complaint. The defendant has not responded to the complaint to present its side of the case. The claims mentioned are accusations and should be considered as such until and unless proven otherwise.
A debt collector has been sued for allegedly violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Fair Credit Reporting Act for attempting to collect on an account that was placed with the agency for an apartment lease — which the plaintiffs claim was never signed after they changed their mind because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The plaintiffs claimed to have signed an application for the lease, but never signed the lease itself.
A copy of the complaint, filed in the District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, can be accessed using case number 22-cv-01033 or by clicking here.
The application was filed in February 2020 when one of the plaintiffs was looking for housing for his first year of university in Colorado. The plaintiff signed a lease application agreement, and because he was in high school at the time, a guarantor was required. So his mother signed the application as well.
After the pandemic hit, the son decided not to enroll in university. He was notified via email in July 2020 that he had been matched with a roommate and was asked to sign the lease. The son claimed he notified the landlord that he would not be attending college and therefore did not need the lease anymore.
Two months later, the plaintiffs received a “Summary of move out charges” in the amount of $15,330. The debt was transferred to the defendant for collection. The plaintiffs claimed to have disputed the debt, but the defendant allegedly reported the debt to the three major credit bureaus as delinquent and did not report the disputed status. The mother’s credit score has declined by 100 points since the item appeared on her credit report, according to the complaint, and while the son has decided to re-enroll to attend college, he has allegedly delayed a decision about housing because of the negative item on his mother’s credit report.
The complaint accuses the defendant of violating Sections 1692e(2), 1692e(8), and 1692f(1) of the FDCPA and Section 1681s-2(b) of the FCRA.