Better Call Jackson

Couple fights apartment's delinquent credit charge

Phil and Angela Garrett decided they wanted to trade the biting Ohio winters for sunny conditions in Florida for retirement.

The couple contacted Better Call Jackson after a hit on their credit score impacted their ability to buy a new home in Florida. The negative score came from a collection agency, Fabco. 

"We have been planning it and for this to come up, we have it could potentially be a deal breaker", said Phil Garrett.

The Garretts lived in Parkhill Apartments until October of 2013.

A previous property manager cleared the couple to move out. The property owners, Plaza Properties placed $1,400. in collections. That's how Fabco became involved.

The Garretts seem to run into a brick wall as they tried to show they didn't own the money, providing copies of the move out inspection summary.

Better Call Jackson used the Garrett's records when we contacted the current property manager, Tracie Winegardner.

Within a day, Ms. Winegardner responded, saying she had reviewed the records and said the Garretts did not owe the amount and she was taking steps to have the charge removed from their credit score.

Better Call Jackson received copies of letters Ms. Winegardner sent to Fabco, making the collection agency aware, the Garrett's account is settled and has a zero balance.

In hindsight, the Garretts say, they wish they had the agreement with the previous property manager in writing. This also signals a good time for all consumers to check their credit scores.

You have the opportunity to have one free credit check per year. One suggestion is to check one reporting agency around March, wait a few months, then check with a second reporting agency and then check the third agency a few months later.

This also gives you the chance to compare your score with each agency and identify an incorrect charge.

It's much better to do that now, rather than getting hit with a surprise when applying for home or auto loan.


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