Disclosure verification of debt

In XXXX 2015 we left our apartment in XXXX as our lease has ended. Before our last day the property management requested for a new mailing address in case they needed to contact us so I provided our new home/mailing address in XXXX, MD. Months have passed and I received a refund check from the apartment amounting to {$20.00}. In XXXX 2015, my nephew, who was also on the lease, found out that there was a derogatory report from XXXX XXXX amounting to over {$500.00}, I checked my credit report and I had it too, my friend, who was on the lease, had it too. We found out that it was from XXXX XXXX Apartment. I immediately contacted the apartment to inquire about this debt and asked them why would I receive a refund if we owe money to them. They could n’t give me a clear answer and i was told that they would just notify us after they found out what was going on. We waited for 2 weeks and we didnt hear from them. On XXXX XXXX i contacted them again to follow up. They told me that we owe money for cleaning fee, unpaid untility bills etc. But i asked them why they never informed us regarding this debt, their answer was they sent the statement in XXXX but never heard from us. I told them that I never received anything and I wanted to see their mailing receipt but according to them they sent it via regular USPS mail so there was no receipt. I asked them again why they did n’t try to contact me via email or phone before sending it to collection but they didnt say anything. It looks like they didnt exert effort to reach any of us before deciding to turn the debt over to the collection ruining our credit.
We never received any letter from the collection company too! The property manager sent me an email telling me that they will contact the collection to hold the debt and remove it from our credit for 30 days and we have to pay the debt within that period of time or the adverse report will be back on our credit. We are not running away from the unpaid bills ( if any ), our main concern is the derogatory report that they made and prevented us from making loans, apply for credit cards, etc. for 5 months without our knowledge. We believe that this is not a fair practice of credit reporting and we strongly believe that the people who mismanaged this issue deserve disciplinary action.

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