I, too, just received a call from a very old Bally Fitness debt. I was 17 or so when I signed up, and am now 31. I received a call about they are now going to be taking me to court.
Is there anything I can do? They did not call me and kept sending notices to a house I have not lived in for a very long time, yet they had the number for my husband to call him and inform him that they are looking for me.
I would approach the issue with inquisitiveness. It’s not clear who is trying to collect on this debt from when you were 17-years-old, but before you admit to owing the debt, I would recommend you ask a heck of a lot of questions.
The last thing you want to do is restart the statute of limitations on this old debt. So you absolutely don’t want to acknowledge the debt as valid.
You want to ask questions and make the debt collector prove the debt is valid.
The process of validating a debt is well defined. You should read this to see what the steps are.
Here Are Some Important Facts to Remember
- Bally Total Fitness went out of business. All the locations are either closed or have changed names and ownership.
- Bally had a history of deceptive and/or illegal billing. That makes any debt claimed suspect. – Source
- Just because someone is trying to collect on a Bally Fitness Debt, that does not mean they have the authority to.
- A debt collector can always request that you pay on a debt you are not legally obligated to pay any more.
- You have to be a smart consumer and request that the debt collector prove you owe the debt and show documentation you actually entered into an agreement.
Typically what happens with these old garbage debt claims is the collector will move on if a consumer is causing them more work than they want to spend on an old account.
These old debts for things like fitness centers are on the lower tier of legitimate debts because, for all we know, someone has obtained an old client list, and making claims money is due.
A claim is not a fact.
On the off-chance the debt is valid, still legally owed, and the debt collector can prove they are the debt owner or agent of the valid debt owner, it’s worth investigating. But I really don’t think this will go anywhere once you start pushing back politely.