Skip to main content
Shawn B Alexander
Avvo
Pro

Shawn Alexander’s Answers

8,974 total


  • Can I be sent to collections without due date or proper notification?

    My former landlord is saying they are turning me over to collections for money they claim I owe upon move out. The notice of money owed did not have a due date and it's only been a few weeks since they sent it in the first place. Also the only com...

    Shawn’s Answer

    Texting is not notice. However when you move they have 14 days to return your deposit or the statement of retention. You should have gotten that already. If the landlord wants they can turn anything over for collection. However the charges must be valid. You have the right to dispute the validity of the account. The burden of proof will be on the landlord and the agency if they choose to go to court. Don't take legal advice from your landlord.
    Good Luck

    See question 
  • Do I need a real estate lawyer? or small claims lawyer?

    My partner and I originally had a third roommate. She moved out so we found a subletter. The subletter decided to leave before the lease was over. Now that she is leaving she is threatening to sue my partner and I for her deposit. Initially she tr...

    Shawn’s Answer

    I agree with Mr. Moss 100% . You will all better off working this out than going to court. You may also look into dispute resolution services than can help each of you understand your rights and responsibilities under the lease.
    Good Luck

    See question 
  • Collection noticed recd on a rental, I am no longer co-signer on

    I co-signed on a 1yr lease for my daughter 2 x. Each year I had to physically go in and sign & provide proof of income, etc. on the 3rd yr, my daughter did not extend lease, she signed off a month to month. I signed nothing. She became financ...

    Shawn’s Answer

    I agree with the previous answers and you need to put your dispute in writing. Landlord regularly turn over disputed accounts to collection agencies. You need to consult with a consumer protection or bankruptcy lawyer locally for private and specific advice on your particular issues.

    Many lawyers on this site offer a free consultation and you can find one near you by using the Find-a-Lawyer Tab above and make an appointment for legal counseling, and take your paperwork and a written chronological summary.
    1. Keep a detailed log of all calls and letters and a paper file of all information. Because persistent violations of the FDCPA are punishable by statutory fines and attorney’s fees under federal law, but you need hard evidence.
    2. Make a written demand that all further communications from creditors is in writing under 15 USC 1692 (c). The letter should also contain a dispute of the validity of the charges and include a demand for a complete accounting with signatures, and all contents of their file.
    The creditor then has 30 days to reply and they may not take any action until you have been sent the validation. Bear in mind that this may be motivation for the collector to work your account when the file comes to them from the original creditor with new information pressure from the original creditor to collect.
    3. Do not give them any personal information because that is how collectors decide on which accounts to recommend suing. Remember they may not tell the truth and will say just about anything to get a payment from you and that payment reaffirms the debt, gives them information about you and your bank and ability to pay.
    4. If you are going to make payments use money orders only and never personal checks, wire transfers, money grams, or “check by phone.” If the collector finds a bank account, the collector will be more likely recommend a lawsuit to their legal department.
    5. Collections are negotiable; the original creditor has given up and is losing up to 50% on the face value already either by splitting any return or selling at a huge discount. In addition, the costs of a lawsuit although discounted still are a factor in the decision to settle with you.
    If you are going to settle mark the check “settled-in-full” at the very top back of the check and include a letter explaining that you are offering a settlement, keep copies of everything.
    6. Get written confirmation of any payment plan the agency will accept before making a payment.
    7. Specify in writing that all payments shall be applied to principle first.
    If you’re ready to throw in the towel, go see a local bankruptcy attorney and explore your options for federal protection. The protection will even look back 90 days from filing, get back money taken by the collectors, and apply it fairly.

    DO NOT use a paid debt settlement service; most of them are scammers.
    Links to your rights; http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre27.pdf

    Debt validation template
    http://www.credityoda.com/debt-validation-letter.html

    Look for a qualified consumer protection attorney for a low cost or free consultation:
    http://www.naca.net

    If this answer was helpful, please mark as helpful below. Be sure to indicate the best answer. Good Luck

    Washington collection agency complaint form: http://www.dol.wa.gov/forms/600006E.pdf

    Washington statute regulating collection agencies: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=19.16

    Consumer rights in Washington: http://www.dol.wa.gov/business/collectionagency...

    You can search the Avvo web site under the Find a Lawyer tab. Act quickly because for every legal right you have, there is only a limited amount of time to actually file a lawsuit in court or your rights expire (it's called the statute of limitations), so don't waste your time getting to an attorney and finding out what your rights are.

    See question 
  • Am I required to pay my landlord a lump sum for utilities going back 4 years?

    I am vacating a rental house where, per the lease, I am responsible for the various utilities. However, the owner never transferred the bill for water and utilities to my name. Now I have been handed a bill for 45 months of water and sewage amount...

    Shawn’s Answer

    Normally 3 years for this type of an account with a utility. However the contract ( lease) may be enforceable longer. My comment would be, if the landlord knew and didn't charge you then he may have waived the right under the lease. You should also get your receipts for rent and if they show paid in full, you may also have a defense of "accord and satisfaction. In any event if you are sued or the account is turned over to collection get counsel to help.
    Good Luck

    See question 
  • Can the landlord's lawyer be sued in small claims by the tenant for a proper unlawful detainer case?

    Tenant was evicted through an unlawful detainer action and all notices and orders were proper with a judge's signature on all of them, but tenant wants to sue the landlord's attorney for the unlawful detainer.

    Shawn’s Answer

    I fail to see a claim? the tenant lost.
    Good Luck

    See question 
  • How can I find out how much is owed on our Mortgage?

    My partner and I live together in a home that is in her name with the Mtg company, but we are both on the warranty deed. Our relationship is very rocky at times and I'm worried about my future. She is very private about her finances and what is ...

    Shawn’s Answer

    If you are not on the mortgage I would be surprised if they will talk to you. You may be able to get some of the documents online and see if it is in default or not. If not then you can read the amount of the loan and perhaps the terms.
    Good Luck

    See question 
  • Can landlord of mobile park charge new owner of mobile past due lot rent from previous owner?

    Mobile home Park managers would not let me move in until I paid the past due rent from the previous owner. They did not have a lien on the home. If this is not legal what recourse do I have to get that money back?

    Shawn’s Answer

    The seller should have conveyed title free and clear. Your title documents and bill of sale should have stated what if anything was owing. You may sue the seller in small claims to get the rent back.
    Good Luck

    See question 
  • What are some critical "Do's and Don't " of evicting a tenant?

    A tenant was given an eviction notice/notice to vacate 12 days ago and a reminder to vacate on a specific date was also given as well. There is no signs of vacating and the police was already notified of the possible usage of their service in the ...

    Shawn’s Answer

    I agree with the answer above. The statutes and procedures are a trap for the unwary. One missed deadline and you are back to square one at best and paying the other side's fee's at worst. So bit the bullet and hire a local attorney who handles evictions as a regular part of their practice and let them handle the case and add the fees to the judgment. If the A. C. unit is a fixture then the lease or rental agreement should state it is now part of the real property.
    Good Luck

    See question 
  • Could a pending lawsuit over a piece of property toll the color or title or adverse possession requirements of time passage?

    Lawsuit started over land X, now because of how long the suit is taking, the alleged owner may go over the number of years for color of title ownership. Is the credit for years passing frozen when the suit began?

    Shawn’s Answer

    I agree with Mr. Klurfeld and without all the facts I would guess, the tolling froze when the suit was filed and the time does not count.
    Good Luck

    See question 
  • What do i need to do

    We bought and moved a house onto our parents land.. we hired a man to ck out the ac, who ever owned the house before did not tell us there was a cut rafter.. that man fell through and broke his arm, and is now suing us! we did not know there was a...

    Shawn’s Answer

    You should turn the claim over to your homeowner's insurance or your parents insurance. The worker worked for you not the houses previous owner. Any contractor who comes onto your land should have been licensed and bonded and he should be working with his insurance as well.
    Good Luck

    See question