Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Do I have a defamation suit? - Lawsuits / Disputes -

Do I have a defamation suit?
Laurel (MD)

Last year my rental property wrongly sued me for unpaid rent--a direct result of their incompetence and lack of professionalism. I found out about this oversight, and before the allegations could be intercepted, the claim was sent directly to county court. The case was, of course, dropped, and I even received a written apology from the rental property (on corporate letterhead), stating this issue was no fault of mine.

Now I am seeking new housing, and I recently found that this incident shows up in background checks. I was of the belief this issue had been cleared. I almost lost out on safe, affordable housing! I also believe that I may have been rejected from potential employment opportunities, because of this blemish, as I made no mention of the incident on applications.

Please advise


If you are rejected based on a credit check, you have the right to receive your credit report. If the case is on your credit report, it should show that it was dismissed. If there is an error regarding the matter, you can dispute it with the credit reporting agency. There are procedures you must follow. They have a limited time to investigate the matter. Thereafter, you may have a case against the credit reporting agency. If the rental agency placed information in your credit report that was false, you may also have a claim against them after the credit agency passes the period for investigating the matter. However, you don't have a defamation suit for them filing a lawsuit against you. You MAY have a claim against them for abuse of process. However there is a limited time for you to bring suit against them for it.

You stated you almost lost out on housing. Did the leasing department tell you that the case was the problem? In any event, get your credit report and go to the court to determine if the court records properly indicate that the matter was dismissed in your favor.

I have handled both abuse of process claims and credit reporting violations. If you want to discuss this further, please contact me.

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