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.
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8 thoughts on “Bally Fitness is Trying to Collect on a Debt From 14 Years Ago”
Same thing happened to me today for an alleged debt from 2008 from Bally’s. Called my Mom and spooked her (I’m 37 and don’t have any financial ties with or live near them so she was very concerned). Said they were trying to serve me papers. I called and got the run around and they tried to get me to settle and said they would put a lien on my car (obviously had that make/model in their research) and talked about wage garnishments……except they can’t show any documentations for my original contract or anything except my “account number”. Can I just send a cease and desist?
Have you confirmed the debt collector is real and not a scammer? So far, it sounds like many of the typical scare tactics scammers use.
Do you mind sharing the name, address, and website of the collector and I can take a look?
Norton & Associates Group
23046 Avenida De La Carlota Suite 600
Laguna Hills, CA 92653
Something is not adding up. First off, this is a gym debt, it’s way past the Statute of Limitations in California. Not sure where you live. The address and phone number don’t come back to anything verifiable.
Here is what I would suggest. Either file a complaint with your State Attorney General’s office about the collection attempt or contact a consumer attorney in your state and ask them to get involved and verify this. https://www.consumeradvocates.org/attorney-directory/?_attorney_directory_area_of_practice=debt-collection-debt-collection
Norton & Associates used to be a debt defense firm, why would they be trying to collect debt now. This situation has a strong wiff of bullshit.
I too am getting “sued” well apparently there is a lein pending on my property for a debt that was originally from bally total fitness. I got a phone call andy father got a phone call about this my father has no connection with my house. The debt collector said what was $626.10 from 2006 now has accrued interest to become over $3000.00 they were willing to settle for $1,412.00 and when I asked him what the now total was he would not tell me. I said I needed to see this on paper he quoted my social and said I have that and you don’t believe me. I said I still needed to read this on paper. He sad he could email me and if I was willing to accept the settlement he would cancel the court servicer that was on the way to my house. I said I want to get this taken care of but I need to know what my options are this debt is 16 years old how could it accrue interest and I said i think I need to talk to a lawyer about this issue. They responded you have the right to pay the settlement. Whe I told him he could email the documents he said he would need an answer right at that moment. Then I told him I needed to talk to my husband about this before I did anything. He got upset and kept talking in circles about settling. Then I told him I will contact him back when I have talked to my husband and said end of story now I have to end this call and said goodbye and hung up. Then I got a call from a Texas number and it was the same guy and he said I’m not going to honor your settlement just sign the summons and go to court and then he hung up on me. I a. Have no problem paying the 626.10 that I owe if that’s true. In 2007 the bally total fitness in my town closed down and I’m pretty sure I canceled but that was 15 years ago. And b. This all seems suspicious. But I don’t want this rude persons company putting a lien on my property.
This sounds particularly scammy and not very credible. Too many red flags. The caller’s statements don’t add up. You can’t have a lien pending before being sued. The debt is so old the Statute of limitations in your state potentially gives you a great defense if you were to be actually sued.
If you want to call their bluff, ask them for their contact information, name, address, telephone number, account number, etc. Then advise them you are filing a complaint with the Attorney General in your state if they can’t provide you with a copy of the original contract and the 2006 statement showing you actually owe the debt. You can Google the online link for your state, then do it if they fail to provide you with this information.
Thank you that gives me hope in this weird situation.
Come back and post an update on how this unfolds.