Unfair collection after leaving month to month lease
Several years ago we were asked to pay or leave our apartment by the new owners when we couldn’t pay rent. We should have gotten that in writing but, we left a note that we decided to leave. We were on a month to month with the previous owners and never signed a lease with the new owner. We received a collection notice that we owed for nine months plus cleaning fees and collection charges. I called the collectors and said it was illegal to charge that much and our security deposit hadn’t been applied either. They agreed and wanted a lump sum amount but cut contact.
Now a credit report shows a collection amount of 5388.75 and the collectors respond that it is legal for them to report this amount even if not correct unless it went to court because we signed a lease until 2000. We never signed a lease with this new owner and when I asked for a copy of the lease I received only a tenant payment ledger with a three-year gap that jumped from the deposit in 96 straight to the takeover date in 1999. They don’t have a lease and that they didn’t use our security deposit toward any of this. Now they say they will sue for the entire amount of $5388.75 if we don’t give them $800 by November 30th. What can we do in this situation?