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I lived in Harriman, UT over 3 years ago for 4 months for work. I had an apartment while there.

Now, out of the blue, I am receiving letters of collection from Kirk A. Cullimore law offices that I owe a ridiculous amount to this previous landlord in UT. I was shocked, and I emailed them disputing the validity of the debt.

They sent me "proof" that I owed half the original amount they quoted -most of it due to not giving a 30 day notice, which I know I did. The charges they are referring to are not listed in the ledger from the apartment complex, but hand written on the bottom. Referring to clauses found in the contract. They didn't provide an actual bill of the charges they're claiming I owe the apartment. However, I unfortunately told them at first that I no longer had my records, trying to be honest. And I don't. When I left Utah, I didn't owe anything. I never received a bill from the apartment complex or even a phone call.

After research, I found that this particular lawyer not only has an "F" rating from the BBB, but that people have said they've suffered what I would call abuses from this entity, even after losing a case filed another. This is stressful and a little intimidating. I am unsure of how to handle this. I can't pay this bill, I don't even OWE IT. I live out of state now. I have 3 kids and a wife. I'm willing to get an attorney if I must. I just don't know where to start.

My fear is that what they have appears, on the surface at first glance, to be logical and legitimate. If I continue to dispute this, and they file a suit, I don't know enough to know how it will turn out. Especially with no records of my own. Does anyone have anything or anyone they can refer me to?

First, if they want to sue you, they would have to do so in your new state not in UT.

Second, do you have ANY paperwork? Do you have a copy of the 30 day notice you sent?  Do you have the final billing or move out statements show what you did owe, if anything?

Third, after you disputed the alleged debt, are you saying that then then responded with a completely different amount owed?

Since civil suits are decided on the preponderance of the evidence that is submitted to the court, you are starting off in a really bad place.

Time to start digging through your files to find the lease contract and any papers that were passed when you moved out.

Also, start looking into Utah tenant/landlord law to see what, if any, legal or procedural protections that they may afford you.  And even though they have to file suit in the court and session where you live, Utah law will govern the collections efforts.

Without anything on your side of the evidence ledger -- just because you said so is not enough -- they will win on summary judgment of they file

His F rating by BBB doesn't matter. Since they have evidence and you don't, the dumbest most incompetent lawyer will win. Forget his rating.

What CU said. Dig up all paperwork, find the 30 days letter on your computer.Most require notice to be given in writing. Look through your computer files. Look at tenant law.  In the future save everything. I have just dug up old leases that are 10 years old that are probably safe to finally shred based on SOL.


--- Quote from: fisthardcheese on April 15, 2017   06:25:54 AM ---First, if they want to sue you, they would have to do so in your new state not in UT.

--- End quote ---

Unfortunately, I don't think this is necessarily true.

Notwithstanding Section 16-10a-1501, any person or personal representative of the person, whether or not a citizen or resident of this state, who, in person or through an agent, does any of the following enumerated acts is subject to the jurisdiction of the courts of this state as to any claim arising out of or related to:

(1) the transaction of any business within this state;
(4) the ownership, use, or possession of any real estate situated in this state;

Utah Code 78B-3-205.

So, you do need to approach this seriously because I think having to defend a suit in Utah is a legitimate possibility.  It is not true that you don't have evidence.  You may not have any documentation, but you have your testimony, and you also have the fact that the landlord did nothing for years.  These things are both competent evidence. 

What gives rise to the debt?  Are they claiming the lease automatically renewed because you did not give notice to terminate it, and they are now trying to charge you additional rent?  How many months?  Was your original lease month to month?


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