3 On Your Side

Phoenix woman says garnishments hard to stop

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Mischelle Bateman said about $240 has been automatically deducted from every paycheck. (Source: 3TV) Mischelle Bateman said about $240 has been automatically deducted from every paycheck. (Source: 3TV)

Mischelle Bateman says she's glad to have a roof over her head, but she's the first to admit that living conditions are a little cramped.  

"Well, I'm living with my parents," she explained. "I was not expecting to be here this long.  It's been almost a year now.  I was definitely not expecting this." 

Bateman's issue started back in 2011 when she says an increase in monthly rent forced her to move out of a Phoenix apartment complex.

"I believed I was going to be paying $660 and like I said, I was actually paying $750," she said. "I was not making that much at the time either."

As a result, Bateman vacated the apartment and moved out during her lease. The apartment complex pursued Bateman by handing the matter over to a collection agency called National Credit Systems.

Bateman says the issue elevated again when her paychecks were garnished.

She said about $240 has been automatically deducted from every paycheck, and the garnishment has been going on for awhile.

Bateman told 3 On Your Side she can't get a straight answer on how long the garnishment will last or even how much she owes.

All she knows is that money has been coming out of her paycheck for quite some time now, and there's no end in sight.

"It's just me bringing in money, but I have to pay for my car payment, and I'm trying to get another apartment on my own," she said.

3 On Your Side got involved and asked National Credit Systems to audit Bateman's account.

The collection agency did and discovered that Bateman was garnished $890.87 too much.

They agreed to refund Bateman the $890, but she still had another judgment against her in the amount of $1,198.56.

So, here's the resolution.

National Credit Systems says the $1,198,56 stands. However, if Bateman returns the $890.87 check they sent her, the collection agency will deduct that from the judgment and the remaining $307.69 will be waived.

Bateman said she is considering the offer and is looking forward to a fresh start.

National Credit Systems was good to work with and 3 On Your Side appreciates that.

In the meantime, it's important to remember that Bateman's problem began when she left the apartment complex during her lease.

Keep in mind, a lease is a contract, and if you leave in the middle of it, apartments have the right to pursue you for unpaid rent and other damages.

What's more, the majority of apartments do, in fact, turn such matters over to collections.

Always remember to review your lease agreement carefully so you know exactly what your responsibilities are.

Copyright 2015 3TV (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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