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Old Legal Fees Still on my Account

Posted by Diane on September 01, 1998 at 12:04:09:

I have another question on a different topic. I've been in my Rent-
Stabilized apt. since 1985. Over the years, I was struggling
financially & had been taken to Housing Court for non-payment of rent,
several times. Each time, I would always work out a payment arrangement
& pay my arrears, & that would be it. There would always be legal fees
included in the judgement when they 1st took me to court, but whenever
I signed a stip these fees were not included & they no longer pursued
me for them. I know I am not liable for legal fees.

The last time I was taken to court was in 1993. They never took the
legal fees off my account from that court appearance, even though their
attorney verbally stated that I wouldn't have to pay them and these fees
were not included on the stip I signed. Those fees *still* appear on my
rent slip every month - and it's 5 years later! I always send in just the
rent and have asked them to remove the old fees from my acount, but they
tell me they cannot take them off unless I take them to court to do it,
and one guy said that they have a right to keep them on there. I have
asked them to remove the charges either over the phone or by writing a note
on the rent slip. I suppose I should have written a letter. The fees total
approx. $650.

Since 1993, I haven't always been on time with the rent but have kept my
account current. Whenever I've gotten a late notice, the legal fees were
included but I just wouldn't pay them. It is just a figure that keeps on
showing up on every slip. What has happened in the last two months, however,
has worried me. I paid my rent on time, and then received a late notice on
July15th for what was called "arrears." I left a message for the last agent
I had spoken to about this, saying that these charges were NOT rent arrears,
but ancient legal fees that I would not pay, and that I wanted to know if
he was going to pursue me for them. He never called back. I paid August on
time and received the same late slip. This time I just ignored it & nothing
happened. No 3-Day notice or anything.

However, I view the old legal fees on my account as a form of harassment
since it would look extremely bad to any creditor. What do I need to do to
have them removed from my account, and is it possible to have it done
RETROACTIVELY from the date I fulfilled the agreement of the old stip?
And when I ask, "What do I do?" I mean that I need to know exactly where
to go, & exactly what papers to file. This has gone on far too long, so any
reliable info would be greatly appreciated. Thanx!!!

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