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Can Collection Agency collect more than judgement?

Houston, TX |

I live in Texas, I received a judgement(eviction case) stating that I must pay back apartment complex $620 plus court cost and 5% interest. I received a final bill from apartment complex a few weeks later (after move out) stating I owed $2600. The collection agency has placed the account on my credit report with the balance of $2600. Do I pay the collection agency this amount? or am I only obligated to pay the $620 plus fees. If not obligated to pay the $2600, what is the next step?

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

Creditors are allowed to charge you costs, interests, and fees on outstanding debts. Your next step should probably be to contact the collection agency and see if you can get the amount owed reduced and try to setup a payment plan of some kind.

If you don't think you can pay this amount back and other creditors are threatening to sue you, you might consider speaking with a bankruptcy attorney. Most offices offer free consultations.

Hope this helps and best of luck!

The information provided in this post is not "legal advice." Rather it is general information on common legal issues. If you have questions concerning your specific situation, it is always best to consult an attorney in your area.

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Posted

I think you should visit with a landlord/tenant attorney in your area who represents tenants. Try www.naca.net for a referral. Normally a judgment for money in an eviction case should enclude all amounts due under the lease. This sounds like they may be overcharging you for items that should have been included in the judgment. You need to take a copy of the lawsuit and judgment papers, as well as the "final bill" to an attorney and have him or her assist you with understanding exactly what is owed.

I am licensed only in Texas. Offering information of a general nature in response to a question is not intended to be legal advice in your state.

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Posted

Before making any payments, you should determine what the debts are for, and confer with an experienced attorney for advice on what to do.

It appears you have two debts to the same entity, because there is a judgment, which can be collected from you for in the amount of $620, and that there is an additional sum, that may or may not include that judgment sum, in the $2,600 on your credit report.

The next step is to review your credit report again, to see if the judgment is listed separately, because it may not be.
It is the judgment that can cause you the most immediate and continuing problems, since the creditor can seize non-exempt property, such as your bank account, to collect it, being the $620 or so.

The larger $2,600 sum was not litigated, according to your facts, and you may wish to dispute it, and get an accounting.

There are very strict rules for landlords who charge fees and expenses to their tenants, and it may be worth it for you to receive an accounting from the landlord or the collection company, and then visit with an attorney experienced in landlord/tenant law.

It could be that you could pay off the judgment, then negotiate for the other debt, or negotiate for settling all the amounts, or just visit with a bankruptcy attorney, if your debts are overwhelming.

General legal advice is offered for educational purposes only. A consultation with a qualified attorney is required to determine specific legal advice as to your situation and applicable law. We are a debt relief agency and we help people file for relief under the bankruptcy laws.

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