How do I remove a broken lease from my Credit Report?
This DIY Guide Will Show You How!
Disclaimer: How do I remove a broken lease from my credit report. This article is provided for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact an attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Use of and access to this article or any of the links contained within the article do not create an attorney-client relationship between Attorney Aaron G. Adams and the user or browser. The opinions expressed in this article are the opinions of the Attorney Aaron G. Adams.
Is a broken lease holding you back?
Has a broken lease stopped you from moving into a good neighborhood or dream apartment?
Are you having trouble obtaining credit because of a broken lease?
Are you Ready to Throw in the Towel?
Wait! Removing a broken lease from your credit report is EASIER than you think….
And in today’s post, I’ll outline exactly what needs to be done to remove a broken lease from your credit report…
Now take a deep breath and lets begin the step-by-step process of removing your broken lease.
What type of Broken Lease Do you have?
This article assumes that the debt within the past 4 years and within the statute of limitations for collections. Therefore, if you broken lease is older than 4 years this article may not be for you and you should seek other remedies.
Step 1 Gather Your Documents
1. Lease (Optional at this Step) – Your lease will help you to determine whether or not the amount that the creditor alleges you owe is correct.
STOP: If you do not have a copy of your lease document at this stage it is OK, you can request it at a later stage from the property management company. At this point we do not want the property management company to know that we are going to attempt to settle the broken lease.
2. Collection Notices – If your broken lease has been turned over to a collection agency locate a copy of the last letter from the agency. You will need that letter for the address of the collection agency.
NOTE: If you are only receiving phone calls from a collection agency ask the representative for their contact information and full mailing address.
Do they have proof?
Step 2 Verify the debt
1. Prepare a Verification of Debt Letter – All consumer creditors are covered by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and are required to give you a copy of the information pertaining to the debt that they say you owe. Below is a link to a debt verification letter I use to send to creditor
2. Send the Verification of Debt Letter Certified Mail Return Receipt Requested to the Creditor – It is important that you send the Verification of Debt Letter by Certified Mail Return Receipt Requested as they have a time limit of 30 days from receipt to send you the information regarding the debt. To be clear, the 30 day time limit begins upon their receipt of your letter.
Tip: You can also fax the Verification of Debt Letter to the Creditor as long as your fax machine prints a receipt
Step 3. Wait for you Debt Validation Correspondence
You will receive debt validation correspondence from your creditor within 30 days. Next, cross reference with your lease terms that the amount that they say you owe is in fact correct.
Let’s Settle the Debt
Step 4. Prepare your Offer – Payment Plan or Lump Sum
Decide which offer method you would like to pursue: Lump Sum or Payment Plan.
- Lump Sum – Generally, offering a Lump Sum is usually best when settling a debt. To illustrate most creditors will take 20% to 35% of the amount owed depending on the age of the debt. Typically, the older the debt the less they will take.
2. Payment Plan – If you do not have a lump sum you can request a payment plan. For the most part, creditors will have several payment plan options to choose from. Usually the shorter the payment the more the discount. For example, a creditor may offer 3 payment plans: 6 months at a 70% discount, 12 months at a 35% discount and 2 years at no discount.
IMPORTANT: It is important to realize that if you settle the debt for less than the full amount you must do the following before sending any money: 1) First, request a settlement agreement in writing 2) Next, verify that they will not be sending you a 1099-C for debt forgiveness and 3) Lastly, they will send you a Satisfaction of Account once they receive the settlement
Step 5. Settlement
Once you have received a written copy of your Settlement Agreement you can finally begin making your agreed upon payments. After you have paid your settlement according to terms and received correspondence stating as such you can begin removing the broken lease from your credit report.
Delete it from Your Credit Report
Step 6 Removing the Item from Your Credit Report
1. Obtain your credit report from Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax – I recommend obtaining all 3 credit reports from AnnualCreditReport.com. AnnualCreditReport.com is FREE!
2. Dispute the item – Next, send the credit dispute letter with supporting documentation to all 3 credit bureaus.
IMPORTANT: Always send your dispute letters Certified Mail Return Receipt Requested.
Click here for a Sample Dispute Letter
Step 7 To conclude verify the items have been removed from your Credit Reports
Aaron G. Adams is an Editor and Credit Attorney at AdamsCredit.com