Rentals in Chicago>Question Details

Kerri Modise…, Renter in Chicago, IL

I have a judgement against me & a credit score of 562. How much will this hurt me finding a new place?

Asked by Kerri Modisette, Chicago, IL Fri Sep 28, 2012

I had a situation with my previous apartment where I asked to be let out of the lease after 2months due to a bed bug infestation, plumbing issues, the toliet ran over & flooded three rooms of my apartment, the stove was a hazzard and ticked if the oven was turned on, repairs that were to be done by my move in date never were. However, I was not knowledgeable about the correct tenants rights procedures & what I should have done when witholding rent. Even after speaking to the owner verbally she did not try and correct the problems she simply told me that "with a credit score of 600 what was I expecting". I was taken to court for the rent I withheld. I contacted a lawyer but he called the day before court & said he could not make my courtdate. I reached an agreement with the lawyer to get out of the lease but I have a judgement & a credit score of 562. Need advice please...

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Sarah Ziehr’s answer
Your situation is less than ideal but not hopeless.

Have a letter of explanation prepared and ready to go. Focus on the facts and that you did the best you could in the situation. Be prepared to provide an extra security deposit, a cosigner and copies of your income statements proving your ability to pay.

You may also want to look to rent something that is well below your means. Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 29, 2012
Try finding a private landlord to work with your situation
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 29, 2012
Hi Kerri,
Sorry for your situation. Others mentioned that you might wish to consider offering more for a security deposit for a different rental unit. Please, know that there might be state laws in place where a landlord can only collect so much for a security deposit. I know that in my state two months security is the maximum for people under 62 years old. You might wish to consider having a relative with a high credit score act as a "Guarantor" on a new lease. That means that if you are unable to pay the rent then your Guarantor would be responsible for it.

Your situation is a legal one so consulting with an attorney is your best option.

Good luck to you!

Laura Feghali
Prudential Connecticut Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 29, 2012
Thanks so much, apprciate you taking time to answer.
Flag Sat Sep 29, 2012
I agree with Sohail. An attorney is your best bet at this point.

I do not agree with Joseph Schiller's analysis and conclusion. Joseph, don't you think you are being presumptuous to assume that because someone has low credit scores that they do not manage their money well?

There are many circumstances in life that can cause one to experience low credit scores that are beyond the control of the individual. It does not necessarily mean that they do not manage their money well.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 29, 2012
I was laid off in 2010 and I just recently found a job after 2yrs of unemployment so all my bills ended up on my credit at that that I'm working I'm trying to repair it...Thanks for your advice
Flag Sat Sep 29, 2012
I would suggest hiring an attorney as this is a legal matter, have them sort it out.

Sohail A. Salahuddin | Group Founder

Innovative Property Consultants Group | Sales and Leasing

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0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 29, 2012
Thanks, I will contact a few and get some legal advice as well.
Flag Sat Sep 29, 2012
tremendously..your credit rating tells a story that you do not manage your finances well and need to be given little opportunity without security deposits..plan on putting down 20% more than others
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 28, 2012
Yes I know it makes me look un-reliable, I was laid off in 2010 and unemployed for 2yrs so it went downhill after that with the cell phone & other bills I had at the time that were put on my credit. I have a job now & I'm trying to repair it. Thanks for the advice.
Flag Fri Sep 28, 2012
You will just need to explain the case to the new landlord. They will have to decide from there. Also be willing to spend more for a security deposit and maybe give a few months rent upfront could help.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 28, 2012
Thanks so much, appreciate your advice.
Flag Fri Sep 28, 2012
Both are an issue, but it all depends on the landlord. Rental is very competitive these days. The judgement will be an issue, so I would write a letter of explanation to any potential landlord and immediately disclose and give your side of the story. They will run a check and it will come up, so you get credit for honesty.

It will hurt you, but you can offer them more security, etc. to make your case look better. My other advise is get your credit score up. With a better credit scores and less deliquencies, it can only help your case.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 28, 2012
Thanks Suzanne, appreciate the advice.
Flag Fri Sep 28, 2012
Very sad situation, but to get an apartment you might need to explain all of this tot he new landlord AND offer to pay a higher security deposit as compensation.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 28, 2012
Thanks for your advice...
Flag Fri Sep 28, 2012
Have you tried a credit repair service? Try State Banc Credit Services, Inc. 773-843-7220
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 28, 2012
No but I will contact them, thank you so much.
Flag Fri Sep 28, 2012
This WILL hurt you in finding a good place. Be open when searching and if possible "SHOW THEM THE MONEY" show you are serious and stable, if possible provide them with 2 months rent and 1 month security deposit.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 28, 2012
Ok, thanks I figured I would be expected to pay additional security. Appreciate your answer.
Flag Fri Sep 28, 2012

Sounds like you are in a tough place. The rental market is very competitive, you will need to offer additional security deposit or pay for 6 months or a year in advance.

Your best bet might be to contact friends and family to see if anybody is looking for a renter.

Best of luck,
Ivan Sagel
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 28, 2012
Ok, thank you so much!
Flag Fri Sep 28, 2012
Hi Kerri, it may be difficult to get a new lease in place, but it's certainly possible. You should probably have a strong co-signer in place, or be ready to pay several months rent up front and/or extra security deposit to make it work. Be very forthcoming about your situation (a letter of explanation will help). Also, talk with a good renters' agent who specializes in the area you're looking in -- he/she may have good advice about your next steps. I wish you the best of luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 28, 2012
Thanks I didnt know I could submit a letter of explanation. I will do that, appreciate your answer!
Flag Fri Sep 28, 2012
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