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Debt collection - car lease fees

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  • Debt collection - car lease fees


    A debt collection agency has contacted me regarding some fees that I did not pay when I returned my leased car (I did not agree with some of them, and customer service would not budge). I was only notified once by the car company, and the bill had no due date and appeared to be an estimate, not an actual bill, so I did not do anything.

    Now that a debt collections agency has called and written to me regarding this, what should I do? I'd prefer to not pay the full amount, nor do I think it's fair to automatically hurt my credit score when I disagree with some of the fees (specifically, the wear & tear charges being much higher than their 3rd party inspection report stated).

    Is there a chance it won't be reported to the credit bureaus? I've checked my credit reports, and I don't see any negative information. In fact, for my car lease account, it shows as "closed" with $0 balance, Status as Pays as Agreed, and nothing under Past Due. Do I have nothing to worry about from a credit score perspective?


  • #2
    I don't know. I've not ever leased a vehicle. I'm not familiar with the contract you signed, or its fine print.

    I'm curious how people think they can lease a car worth more than $20,000 for less than $200 per month, and not expect to have some back-end costs.

    People lease vehicles for the luxury of driving a brand new car with no maintenance costs.

    You had probably ought to pay these fees, and buy rather than lease next time.


    • #3
      It's probably going to be a whole lot easier to just pay the fees rather than fighting it.
      Chalk it up as a lesson learned ..... buy next time.


      • #4
        Just because you don't "agree" with the fees doesn't mean you don't owe them. Unless you are prepared to take legal action against the dealer to contest them, I'd say your options are pretty limited, especially now that it has gone to collections.

        Call the dealer. See if they are still willing to have you settle up with them directly and cancel the collection agency. Otherwise, you need to settle with the collection agency. Make sure you get an agreement with them in writing and that you don't give them access to your account. Pay by money order or cashier check. No electronic transfer.

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        • #5
          I agree with everything that has been said, including disneysteve's recommended course of action.

          Another thing I would add is that you read the fine print next time. Also, do not lease automobiles! Nine times out of ten, they got you on the hook with some clause regarding these fees and extra back-end expenses.

          Just because you do not agree with them does not mean that you get out of paying them; it also does not mean that they will not harm your credit. If it has not harmed your credit yet, it may. Even if it doesn't, the collect still may be able to take legal action against you and place a judgement which will KILL your credit!

          Get on top of this as soon as possible or it will not go away. You will probably need to pay this and look at it as a lesson learned. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but that is the reality of this.
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