As a new year rolls around many of us make resolutions. One of the top resolutions that people make is the commitment to finally get in shape. With that we join a gym, sign on the dotted line which obligates us to pay a low monthly fee. But then our schedule changes and we may even relocate thus needing to cancel our gym membership. Then we go on with the rest of our lives.
However many times it’s not so simple. People get caught in the trap of owing a lot of money based on those gym membership fees and don’t even realize it until they are contacted by a debt collector, collection agency, or have a judgment on the credit report.
This happens because a lot of time gym memberships are similar to an apartment lease. That means many gyms will obligate you to a gym membership for a period of time such as one or two years. During that time you are not allowed to cancel except for relocating or medical reasons. Thus when you try to cancel the membership you may still be hit with the bill.
Sometimes even when you relocate or have medical leave valid reason it’s still not enough to avoid the bills. If the cancellation is not done in writing you will still be sent to a collection agency who will assign a debt collector to try to collect on the balance of the bill. There are many gyms, especially the smaller ones, that have taken the practice of sending every canceled account to a collection agency regardless of whether or not the cancellation was properly done. Sometimes unknowing consumers get barraged with collection calls from debt collectors who demand a lot more money than the balance that was left on the contract.
Other times unwittingly the client doesn’t know that they’re being sought until a judgment is taken against them which shows up on their credit report. Sometimes the consumer’s wages are garnished or their bank accounts frozen. Then after much digging they realize that the $200 that they had left on the a gym membership has now ballooned to thousands of dollars worth of interest, penalties, legal fees, and miscellaneous disbursements.
It’s always advisable if you must cancel your gym membership to do it in writing. However if you are receiving collection calls as a result of a canceled gym membership do not hesitate to immediately contact the Law Office of Abel Pierre. One of our attorneys will be happy to speak with you and develop the most effective strategy to permanently resolve your situation.