I was looking at my credit report the other day, and saw I had a debt owed to some collections agency for 200 dollars. I checked the detailed information, and saw that it was a debt purchased from my old apartment complex. This is negatively impacting my credit, as it is showing as an open, outstanding account. The date the collections agency received the debt is listed as June 2007. The date I moved out of my old apartment? May 31st, 2007. So the complex, without ever contacting me (and they had my cell number and it has never changed once in 12 years), sent what I "owed" them to collections IMMEDIATELY after I moved?
My question is this: Can they do that? Don't they have to try and contact me to settle this "debt" with them before they just send me to collections? And doesn't the collections agency have to contact me!? I had my address changed at the post office and with every bank account and other account I held when I moved. My cell number and home number did not change. I am completely contactable, and yet have not, to this day, received anything by mail or phone stating I owe money. And yet there it is, on my credit report, lowering my score. What can I do about this? Do I just need to dispute it online through Experian? Is there a better way to handle this?