A letter from our Collections Manager
Pit Bull Collections Agency was created for a single purpose: to collect owed debt from delinquent tenants. I believe after reading my story, you will understand why I am so passionate about this company, its mission and your right to the back rent you are owed.
As all landlords know, buying that first rental property can be a difficult decision. There are so many factors that are out of your control, and each can lead you toward success or failure—profitability or foreclosure. Tenant delinquency should not be one of these. Take control.
In my years as a landlord, I’ve probably heard every reason for late or delinquent rent. Like most of landlords nationwide, I have always tried to work with my tenants, to help them get past their difficult time. Too often, however, my kindness was taken for weakness, and some tenants attempted to take advantage.
Making matters more difficult, some cities’ laws are decidedly pro-tenant. During these first years as a landlord in Grand Rapids, I got so frustrated with the housing court system that in some cases, I found it less stressful and ultimately less expensive to just say “forget it”—even in situations where I was owed thousands of dollars in back rent. I simply didn't have the time, knowledge or resources to pursue what was rightfully mine.
The tipping point came one day when I ran into one of my former delinquent tenants. Just two years earlier she had fallen on difficult times had not been able to make rent. I worked with her for as long as I could, but her debt grew unmanageable, and there was no end in sight. With very few options, I pled with her to leave because I knew the courts would only give her more time without an obligation to pay.
In speaking with her again, I was happy to hear she had gotten her life in order financially and otherwise. That feeling turned to frustration, however, as she spoke of the new car she was driving and the new home she was about to purchase. There was no mention of the enormous sum of back rent she still owed me or any sense of gratitude toward me for working with her for as long as I had. I felt taken advantage of—as though she had used my generosity and leniency as a way to get ahead.
That night as I reflected on the encounter, I wondered what I could do to avoid situations like the one I had earlier that day. As a landlord, what options did I have in collecting past and present debts from tenants? I had spoken with plenty of collection agencies to see if they could help me, but it was clear that my business was not the kind they wanted—particularly when the debt was over 1-year old.
At that point I realized I had no choice but to go after the debts myself. Fortunately, I had learned the skills of tracking down and collecting from delinquent tenants from a previous employer. The key, though, was not only finding these tenants, but also working within the framework of Michigan law to ultimately receive court judgments in my favor.
Within months of honing this craft, I had not only recovered much of the owed rent from my former tenants, but had also begun helping other property owners in similar situations. It became very clear that I was not alone, and this is a problem that will affect every landlord sooner or later. It was then that this became my primary passion and focus; working on behalf of landlords like myself.
When I talk to other landlords, I find that many ignore debt from delinquent tenants because they are ashamed or embarrassed that a tenant was able to put them in a situation of having to seek help in collection. My message to them is you don't have to feel this way anymore. Let’s work together to recover what you are owed.
Collections Manager of Pit Bull Collections
Pit Bull Collections