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  1. #1

    Default How to Locate Evicted Tenant if They Didn't Provide New Address

    My question involves an eviction in the state of: Michigan

    My tenant is going to end up being evicted, I know that she will not end up complying with the requirement to provide me with a current new address.

    How on earth will I locate her when I want to file a Small Claims suit?

  2. #2
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    Mar 2008
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    Default Re: How to Locate Evicted Tenant if They Didn't Provide New Address

    I've been a landlord for 30 years, and earlier, I was in "consumer collections", right after college, and we've dealt with hard to go after debtors.

    First, I've dealt with tenants who had to leave under severe financial circumstances, and often they DO NOT immediately move into another rental unit. So far, I have not had any who slept in cars, but they more often temporarily move in with relatives, friends or parents, and I only know where they are because they CHOOSE to stay in touch with me.

    So NO, they usually don't have a legal address for quite a while after they leave, six months to a year for most.

    Second, as you indicated in your other posts, if you plan to "sue", good luck. Yes, in consumer credit, we had plenty of judgments, and few gets collected. That is assuming they are nice enough to give you an address to sue them.

    Third, debtors of this type usually skip court, so you now have a default judgment. Now, what do you do with this??

    Fourth, after the judgment, you'll have to get an information subpeona from court, haul them in, assuming you an find them at this point, to let you know where they have bank accounts, where they work etc. Assuming you are able to even get the information, usually you can try to garnishee the salary. Even here, you run into a few problems.

    In my state, only "one garnishee" is allowed at one time, and only for 10% of the debtors salary. Usually we find there are half a dozen garnishees ahead of us, and we can only start collecting ours five or seven years later, and then only a few dollars a week. And people who hang around and allowed themselves to be garnisheed hold good jobs, that they stay at.

    However for most, more often, as soon as the garnishee hits, they quit the job, and get another one, off the books or part on and part off the books. Assuming you can find them again, you'll have to get the name of their new employers again, and get another "income execution" served on the new employer.

    On top of this, under federal law, garnishees are not allowed for workers making less than 30 times federal minimum, so if they show income of less than $210/week or thereabouts, you cannot garnishee. So after doing all that work of finding your debtor, locating their employer, serving the garnishee, you find yourself high and dry.

    How do I know this??

    I had a business, I had a lady working for me with over $200,000 in judgments against her, and I received an "income execution" served on me. We were sending in $50/every two weeks. Then I took over doing the payroll myself, found she was making $180/week after she shifted to part time.

    So I wrote to the marhsalls collecting the debt, and these people take a commission for collecting the garnishee, telling them that I would longer be sending in the $50 payments, since after she shifted to part time, she is no longer eligible to be garnisheed as she is only making $180/week, below the $210/week minimum. Oh, I also have people that just quit where told they'll be garnisheed.

    If you ask me, I think as a landlord, be thankful that you evicted the tenant with minimal loss, and chasing after them would be a waste of time. I use reverse psychology, and kill them with kindness.

    I actually evicted one guy but chose NOT to legally go after him for the back rent. He filed bankruptcy, and called to find out how much to put down how much he owed me on the "bankruptcy proof of claim". He's been telling me "he'll pay me" when he gets back on his feet.

    So knowing what I know about the bankrutpcy laws, I told him to leave me off the "proof of claim" and just pay me whenever. Wouldn't you know three years later, he started paying me $50/week for several years, paying off most of the $6,000 he owed me.

    From what he told me, people who sued him got absolutely nothing.

  3. #3

    Default Re: How to Locate Evicted Tenant if They Didn't Provide New Address

    I have crawled further into my hole after reading this post - a sad shocking reality I guess. Thank you for the time you took to respond, your information has been helpful.
    I have tried the "kill them with kindness" approach, and it's my kindness that has me way backed up in debt, she's still in my house and hasn't paid rent in two months. I put off going to court for evection trusting she should be moved out and paid when she said she would and alas all promises have been broken twice. Now she's not returning my phone calls and I just got notice that she took the utilities out of her name and she's still living there. I am so frustrated and overwhelmed at this point. I feel like locking myself in my bedroom and never coming out. Isn't there anything such as character anymore?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: How to Locate Evicted Tenant if They Didn't Provide New Address

    You'll feel a lot better if you just get the eviction action underway and cut your losses.
    I'm not a lawyer, but I play a researcher on the internet!
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: How to Locate Evicted Tenant if They Didn't Provide New Address

    Quote Quoting artandtracy02
    View Post
    I have crawled further into my hole after reading this post - a sad shocking reality I guess. Thank you for the time you took to respond, your information has been helpful.
    I have tried the "kill them with kindness" approach, and it's my kindness that has me way backed up in debt, she's still in my house and hasn't paid rent in two months. I put off going to court for evection trusting she should be moved out and paid when she said she would and alas all promises have been broken twice. Now she's not returning my phone calls and I just got notice that she took the utilities out of her name and she's still living there. I am so frustrated and overwhelmed at this point. I feel like locking myself in my bedroom and never coming out. Isn't there anything such as character anymore?
    Never delay eviction proceedings, so get on it right away.

    I stay friendly with my tenants, but as soon as they are five days behind, I start the ball rolling on eviction proceedings. as it takes three weeks here for a court date, so if they can pay the rent by then, I can cancel it.

    Normally, if they are in bad financial shape, I tell them that I'm doing the legal stuff for the record, keep the conversation on a friendly basis, and usually they're are out in two months, right before the marshalls come to toss the stuff. Once, I even helped a guy up when he was $200 short for his movers, so I had my wife go down to the bank, got the $200, and got his stuff moved to storage. With this, I had the place rented ten days later.

    I find people willing to work with me if they see I try to work with them.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Cinnaminson, New Jersey, United States
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    Default Re: How to Locate Evicted Tenant if They Didn't Provide New Address

    Unfortunately, people don't often respond to being killed with kindness. They are out to protect themselves and taking advantage in any way they can.
    As stated previously, always proceed with the proper steps to eviction even if you think they may pay in full the day after you post their notice. At the very least, it also shows you that you are serious about them having to pay.

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