Question: I recently received a letter in the mail from a collections company saying I owe an old apartment of mine money. It has now been 2 yrs and 4 months since I lived there. I completed the move out walk through with a manager and everything was fine. Also, I didn't need to get a security deposit back, because they consider my employer preferred (Didn't have to pay one). So now they want money for some type of damages. So what I want to know is how long does the apartment have to file this claim? Also, since everything was ok at move how do I go about tell the collections company?
Answer: An apartment lease generally is a written contract, so there is a six year statute of limitations to bring a claim. See A.R.S. § 12-548 on the statute of limitations for contracts. By “claim,” the statute refers to a lawsuit. The clock starts running when the alleged debt accrued. Once a claim HAS been forwarded to a third-party collection agency, there is a new set of rules the agency must follow: The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Among other things, the Act says that a debtor can dispute the debt (in writing) with the agency and request verification of the debt. To find out how the law applies to a specific situation, contact an attorney directly.
April 15, 2009