A landlord asked the following question this week:
I know we could report late or non payments to credit bureaus through MrLandlord. What's the benefit of reporting (besides scaring the tenants to pay? Many years ago, I evicted a tenant and won both possession and monetary (back rent) judgement. I didn't hope that I would get paid back rent. Three years later, to my surprise, that tenant called me and wanted to pay. Why? She was trying to get a home loan to buy a house and her lender required that she satisfy all debts. What I didn't know was that somehow one of the credit bureaus picked up this monetary judgement court record and put it in her credit report. So I got paid full back rent plus interest (dictated by the law).
Now I have a tenant who skipped rent and moved out. I also have some tenants who purposely stopped paying rent (even though they still have jobs) because of the eviction moratorium. Should I report their late or non payments and hope I get lucky enough to get paid one day? Can someone share their experience on this or on the benefits of reporting to the credit bureau? Thanks."
Couple of notes -
- You do not need to have an official judgment in order to use the service featured on this site to report debts to the credit bureaus.
- And yes, for the low cost of doing so, it is recommended that you report debts of former residents because you may one day get lucky again which may mean several hundred or even thousands of dollars of "found" money. Over the years, including this year, I have had several instances where residents were now buying or renting something and needed to clear off old debts. Therefore they contacted me to pay off old debts.
- The service here is for "past" debts once the resident moves out of the property. So you would NOT use the service to report residents currently living in your property who are late in their payments or not paying. Again, the service is for reporting the debts of former residents after they are out of your rental.
- Seems like I remember reading recently about some state(s) passing laws that will not allow you to report debts of residents that were not able to pay during the state moratorium. I'll have to research, but my point here is to make sure you are not going against any new law that prohibits reporting of debts caused because of the pandemic or during a moratorium. Though all debts prior to this time can still be reported. You can use the service here to report debts going back 3 or 4 years.
By a Chicago Landlord
For more info on the tenant debt reporting service, go to ReportTenantsDebt.com.