Whom do I list as the defendant in a small claims suit when a formerlandlord turned a bill over to a collections agency?

UPDATED: Aug 30, 2011

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Whom do I list as the defendant in a small claims suit when a formerlandlord turned a bill over to a collections agency?

I received a bill in excess of the security deposit for an apartment I had leased which ended 2 years ago. I immediately contested this amount with the landlord, but did not receive a response or another bill. 20 months later I received a notice from a colletions agency for this bill. I contested it again and filed a complaint with WI Consumer Protection. They determined the landlord to be non-compliant with the WI statutes. I want to take them to small claims court but need to know who I list as the defendant. Would it be the original landlord, the collection agency or both?

Asked on August 30, 2011 Wisconsin


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

In your fact situation, the landlord is obviously a party defendant for making an improper claim in excess of your security deposit as determined by the WI Consumer Protection. If the collection agency that the landord turned over his claim about you and the former rental is still pestering you about it and if it show up on your credit report, then you need to name the collections agency who is pursuing this bill as the agent for the landlord also as a defendant in the intended small claims action.

When you show up to court, make sure that you have someone from the WI Consumer Protection to testify on your behalf concerning its determination that the landlord was not complaint with WI statutes with respect to your security deposit.

Good luck.

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