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Rudee0624

Landlord/tenant/wage garnishment

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Here is the story from beginning to end, Not sure if I should post this in Debt's or in Landlord/Tenant. I'll post it in both. 

 

I lived  in an apartment complex with two roommates who eventually let other people stay in our home(9300) without being on the lease or paying money. I was dissatified and did not want to live at 9300 anymore. The lease for 9300 would end in May of 2013 which is when i found another person who already lived in the complex in search of roommates. We talked and we aggreed on moving in and numbers amongst ourselves. 

I personally went to speak with a lease agent in the office about my situation. I would be the only person leaving the 9300 to be added to the 9009 lease. I asked about when i would move into the 9009 apartment and she said it doesnt matter when we physically move but the lease on 9300 is up in May and we need to be out. I asked whats the standing of the 9009 lease, she claimed "MD law states that she is not allowed to give any information on a lease that is not connected to the tenant". 

 

Since I no longer wanted to live at 9300, I just moved at the end of May into June '13. again i went into the leasing office to speak with my leasing agent about how much the rent in and signing the lease and giving me a copy for my records. At this time she said she did not have a copy to give me nor did she have anything i could sign. I asked the receptionist for a copy of the lease and she gave me the previous copy with the past tenants names and signatures. 

 

It is now coming to an end in June and I receive a call from the leasing agent that If i or the current roommates living there did not add ourselves to the lease we would have to pay an additional $300 a month. I told her I had tried to sign when i could but she was never ready. Nonetheless, since she was the leasing agent and i was just a dumb student, I went into her office and signed the add on lease paper. 

 

After 1 month of signing the add on lease paper, I receive an eviction letter and a paper stating we owe 1600 dollars in past due rent. Of course, at this point I am mad at myself, my roommates and the leasing agent. I felt as if she had done this on purpose along with the roommate. I felt bad for not sticking to myself and asking about the condition of the lease and just paying the extra money. Emotions aside, I am now facing a an eviction and need to figure out what is going on. after two months, it could not be worked out and I decided to break the lease and move somewhere else. 

 

I felt tricked by both the leasing office and Jiovante(roommate). I felt they had both done it on purpose since they were already being sued for nonpayment. When she wanted to add me on and i asked about the account, she should not have let me sign without telling me the account was delinquent and had been for months. 

 

Now two years later, no one can find Jiovante to be served with papers, and myself and the other roommate stupidly signed the papers when we were served. We went to court and told them we would fight the charges so we could explain exactly what happened. After the back and forth with debt collectors and calling and seeing bills we decided to just settle the account to get rid of the bill.

 

The court date was set for Sept 1. In August, we settled and paid the account with a rep from FMS solutions. He said we were cleared and the debt was settled, no need to appear in court. 

 

The rep paid my money to settle that debt to the 9300 apartment which no one was aware there was even a debt collection. When the rep noticed his error in paying the money to the wrong account,told me he couldn't say anything else and hung up on me. I tried calling back and speaking with different people and no one would talk to myself or my roommate. Someone messed up. 

 

Lastly, since we did not show up in court, we defaulted into the judgement which was in out heads paid for already. So at this point, myself and my other roommates now have a wage garnishment on both our employment checks and Jiovante still has not been served. 

 

I requested for another hearing so I could explain all of this to the judge since we missed our time in September bc of the mix up with FMS solutions. It was granted and we now have a new date in one month. I was referred to a lawyer through my job with a lawyer who hurried me though my consult, and had a horrible attitude. 

 

Just to be clear. Im not disputing that I owe money for 9009. I am disputing the debt for 9300, I think that was an error from the apartment complex, because I never recieved any bills or anything from that bill. I'm disputing the judgement for 9009 b/c the debt should have been settled in August if the collections rep was paying attention. 

 

All in all I just wanted to know, 

 

- should we go well when we go to the hearing, what do i need?

- do we need a lawyer?

- what kind of lawyer should i look for?

- is this a good case, like is there a possiblity we could win w/o a lawyer? or with one?

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I didn't read all of the unnecessary detail.  The bottom line is that you have a judgment (for an unstated amount) against you because you didn't show up in court.  I don't think you said whether this is in regular court or small claims court, but I assume the upcoming hearing is for the court to consider vacating the default judgment.  correct?

 

When you go to the hearing, you should bring all relevant documents (multiple copies would be good), particularly those relating to the settlement you mentioned.  Since it's not completely clear exactly what's going to happen, it's possible you might not need everything, but you're better off showing up fully prepared.

 

Do you need a lawyer?  You're not required to have one, just like you're not required to have a licensed mechanic rebuild your car's engine or a licensed plumber re-pipe your house.  Any lawyer who handles civil litigation, in general, or landlord-tenant matters should be able to handle this.

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