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Death and credit mistakes?

I once lived with my dad for a few months on his lease as a co signer. I soon moved out and SIGNED OFF THAT LEASE. I even went to the apartment office to confirm that anything he did regarding that apartment would be HIS responsibility. My dad and I lost touch (we were never close) then he died. After being denied for credit cards and a house, I checked my credit report for the 1st time in fear of being a victim of identity theft. Turns out he just stopped paying his rent before his lease was up and left before he died. Somehow, that got on MY credit report and has RUINED my credit. I specifically asked about this happening and was told it wouldn't! How do I fix this? I can't find the copy of the paper I signed taking myself off the lease. I don't even have a death certificate (if that would even help). It's a lot of money and I don't wanna pay someone else's debt. How long til my credit is decent again if/when this is fixed?

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 4:16 PM on May. 18, 2010 in Money & Work

Answers (7)
  • If you weren't taken off the lease even though you thought you were (or you have no proof) you are now legally responcible for the debt. Most debt "disappears" off a credit repot after 5-7 years if you don't pay but until then it will continue to hurt your credit score.

    Answer by Mom2Jack04 at 4:38 PM on May. 18, 2010

  • If I pay it, how long til my credit is normal again? Will it ever be?

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:42 PM on May. 18, 2010

  • Try to find your copy of when you signed off the lease. If you still can't find it, contact the apartment office and try to get a copy from them. If you can find it, you'll have to send a copy to all three credit bureaus, disputing the lease. But you will have to prove you were no longer responsible for lease as of such-and-such a date, and you'll have to wait for their ruling. If they rule in your favor, they'll remove the lease from your credit report and your credit score will improve.

    However, if you can't find it or get a copy, you are responsible for the all the late payments. You can try disputing it anyway, but the burden of proof will be on you not the landlord to prove the account isn't yours. If you don't pay it, you could be taken to collections. It'll take several years to get it off your credit report.

    If you pay it, you're acknowledging it's yours. Your score will still take years to improve.

    Answer by HotMama330 at 5:59 PM on May. 18, 2010

  • "If I pay it, how long til my credit is normal again? Will it ever be? " Still 5-7 years if you PAY it.

    You need to get documentation form the leasing office. HotMama advised you properly...if you can prove you were off the lease, then your credit will be fixed right away.

    Answer by gdiamante at 6:35 PM on May. 18, 2010

  • OP here:

    I found the document!!! Yes! The nonpayment has already gone to a collection agency though I was never contacted. I hope this is fixed soon. I'm way too young to have this sort of baggage. I just hope the apartment complex doesn't fight me on this.

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:51 PM on May. 18, 2010

  • Once you sign onto a lease you are ALWAYS liable for it. Your credit will not 'magically' get better after 7-10 years and it won't 'fall off'. You have to settle with the collection company or it will haunt you forever. The leasing company OR the collection company (whoever owns the debt NOW) will have to report to ALL 3 credit bureaus in order for your credit to be repaired AFTER it is paid.

    Answer by RutterMama at 8:27 PM on May. 18, 2010

  • You should find out who settled your father's estate. The estate is liable for this money. How long has it been? Your father should have paid his rent, and the apartment complex deserves to be paid. Did he die with nothing? Did the doctors take it all?

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:30 AM on May. 19, 2010

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