View Full Version : Unbelievable (annoying creditor out of nowhere)

18th June 2003, 13:54
So two hours ago I'm just sitting here goofing off, doing some Homework in MATLAB and messing around online, without a care in the world, because I have perfect credit (or at least I did the last time I checked and had my bank check for me also, and I haven't incurred any debt or been late with any payments for anything since then), and then the phone rings.....

Apparently, if you had a local fitness center chain automatically deduct monthly payments from your checking account back in the early 90s, and have long since canceled your membership without any outstanding balance or issues of any kind, you might want to do a double-take on your ancient credit history to be sure they played nice. Out of nowhere I get hit with a collection call for $1,900.00 from Bally's fitness (long since out of business) from 1993 - I NEVER owed them money - hell, they automatically deducted from my bank when I belonged, and I've never been overdrawn, ever. So how the hell can I owe almost 2 grand, and if it's valid (some obscure hidden bend-over-and-smile cancellation penalty written in invisible ink perhaps?) why 10 years before any sign of it surfaces?!?!? I'm still trying to get to the bottom of it - local attorneys are unwilling to find out (unless I want to either sell my car to afford to pay one for a few minutes worth of phone calls, or consult with a bulldog and file bankruptcy just to get an appointment - umm riiight) - nolo.com, ftc.com, etc... havent turned up anything definitive, and out of 9 different credit counseling services so far not one has a clue as to whether or not such an alledged judgement is even valid, so I'm quite the pissed off person right now just trying to get to the bottom of how/why this could even exist, let alone the question of its validity.

Has anyone else ever had to deal with anything similar? any ideas/advice?

18th June 2003, 14:16
That's about efficient liquidation accountants/lawyers. Being too efficient.

Either (a) ignore them and they will go away. Probably the new owners of a previously run-down shell-company having a go themselves or having sold their old creditor list, and "having a go" to see how far they will get.

(b) think hard if you have any accountant/lawyer friends (of friends) and see if you can get them to have a look for free. With reference to (a) above they might well go away if you push back.

(c) Tell them to take you to court for the money (I don't know the US system though - here in the UK it would be the Small Claims Court) - intending to represent yourself. At this point they may give up or offer settlement for much less. Don't give up here - you shouldn't end up paying them a thing. The potential costs of a court case, however minor, is sometimes enough to put people off.

18th June 2003, 14:19
Pity you still haven't got your cancelation in writing and all your old bank statements.

18th June 2003, 14:29
shitty deal... go look at all your old paperwork and see if you can find anything at all in writing showing you cancelled.
Ballys itself is not dead.. (http://www.ballyfitness.com/) must have just been your local one ...

18th June 2003, 17:19
Threaten to call 60 minutes.. :p

18th June 2003, 19:08
Actually Kv probably has the best idea, even though its funny.
I think there is some limitation clause about a debt being void if its so many years old and you've never been notified of its existance.

18th June 2003, 20:30
Ooh just the threat of you calling your local newsmagazine (in NEPA there was a team called "The Problem Solvers") ought to scare them off.

- Gurm

18th June 2003, 21:36
There's still a Bally's in Boulder. Give them a call, or a visit.

19th June 2003, 04:11
Thanks for the advice

I kind of like the "threaten with public exposure" idea, but I'm thinking the simpler and calmer the situation is handled, the better.

I didn't know Ballys still existed - I always thought the chain was bought, not just the local clubs. I'm going to call them in a few hours to find out what's up so I know where to tell miss Congeniality she can stick it when I call the collections agency back.

19th June 2003, 05:07
usualy there is a time limit on claiming debts........

19th June 2003, 09:42
I thought the statute of limitations expired after 8 years. I could be wrong though.

19th June 2003, 10:03
Don't we have any lawyers in this forum.. or is it all techies, and the occational doctor ?? :)

19th June 2003, 10:08
I'm an accountant :o Well, management accountant anyway. But I'm trying to break free.... :)

19th June 2003, 10:22
One of my best friends is a lawyer

I'm hoping not to boher him or anyone about it, but if it does come to that...

I called the woman back earlier and when asked again how I want to handle it I told her that I will be contacting my attorney and please don't call me about this again - if there is anything that needs to be handled, it will be taken care of by my attorney. - she got snotty and said to expect a letter.

Since I just filmed my friends wedding a couple of weeks ago and am going to edit it and burn a slew of DVDs plus VHS plus a wmp and mov for the computer lovin family members - all for free, I'm hoping he wouldn't mind a little pro bono arse kicking for me when he gets back from Cancun on Saturday.

19th June 2003, 10:38
Some things never change.
I had something like this happen to me, with a gym, 20 years ago.

(on the phone)

She: "Sir you just need to proof that you now live more than 50 miles from our gym."

Me: "You just called my home phone in a town 85 miles from your gym."

She: "Sir, I just need proof that you live over 50 miles from here."

Me: "umm..." (thinking: you f*ing moron...)

Well, it went on like that for a while. :confused:

Eventualy I sent them a certified letter with some documentation (I don't remember what) & they dropped it.