I decided to stop trying to ignore that bullshit HOA collections fiasco and use my free time to get on with the dispute. I had hopes that maybe the woman from the management company had actually done what she said she would and get it off my credit report. But, of course, she did not. I am now ponying up $9.95 per month to Equifax for alerts and unlimited credit reports. I never thought I'd "waste" money on that type of service but since incompetence is so pervasive with other people dealing with your money, and their accountability is practically non-existent, I feel it is necessary. This way I will know almost immediately when someone has screwed me over.
After I confirmed that the crap collections item was still on my report (bastards), I called my bank to get copies of all my old checks (29 copies from 2004-2007), now that I was armed with (a) check number, (b) check amount, and (c) check cleared date (after ordering 29 monthly statements). The first guy I spoke to was like "Why do you need all these copies? Are you being audited by the IRS?" I thought that was funny. I suppose at least I don't have to deal with that. That would suck so royally I would not be able to turn off the bitch-vomit that would be projected onto this here blog. You would want to strangle me with your laptop charger. Once I get these copies (hopefully while I am still on involuntary vacation) I get to write up my well-versed letter to Equifax along with a terse letter to the management company with the same information. Let me tell you, I can write a letter like nobody's business.
Which reminds me of the time I had to write a letter to a deadbeat landlord I had when I was living in Manhattan Beach. I had moved to this triplex where the first level was a studio, second level (mine) was a 1 bedroom, and the third level was a 2 bedroom with crazy ocean views (I had a wee ocean view). Now, this building was in need of an overhaul - my oven was like from 1965 or something. Still worked, but OLD. First thing that should have set me off was when I had the cable hooked up. The cable guy goes outside to do wiring stuff and comes back to ask if I have a bucket. Huh? Um, yeah. Apparently, there was RAW SEWAGE overflowing onto the wiring. Yeah. Of course, I called the office to let them know. I find out a few weeks later from neighbors that this problem has existing for a long time(!) and has not yet been fixed. Yeah. Actual human feces flowing out the back of the house. Bad sign.
The first few months I'm there, I notice my electric bill is oddly high. Like $40+ a month when I was paying less than $20 in my last apartment. Of course, So Cal Edison doesn't help me - they keep telling me it's normal. My parents keep telling me to check the meter. I finally go check the meter. Wouldn't you know there are only TWO METERS. Two. For three apartments. Yeah. I go to my breaker box, and shut off one breaker - my porch light goes off along with the downstairs apartment porch light. I talk to the guy downstairs and guess what? His utilities are INCLUDED in rent. And by included, this means I get to pay for it. Oh, was I fit to be tied. I found the California Civil Code that specified that you must have a meter per unit, or else utilities must be covered by the landlord, and then wrote a letter with all that information. The management company owner was a lawyer so he knew he didn't have a leg to stand on. That didn't stop him from being an asshole - he agreed to pay the utilities through the end of my lease, but got all huffy about how "I should ask for things nicely" instead of threatening legal action in my letter. Whatever, dude. He knew he was doing something shady the whole time. When it came time to NOT renew my lease (no way I was staying there) we had the walk-through and I refused to sign the condition report because I never had an initial walk-through citing the original defects. I didn't trust this guy as far as I could throw him, and I told his employee that. In the end he only charged me for carpet cleaning and I got back my deposit.
As much as these situations suck, I rather enjoy writing letters proving I am right. There is some strange satisfaction I get from it. Maybe I should have been a lawyer.