Q: I was sent to collections over a gym membership claim that happened 3 years ago - what should I do? Pay or Dispute it?
Aldous and Associates have a debt collection on me for $118 regarding a gym membership from about 3 years ago. It recently hit on my credit. Some context: This gym and I had gone back and forth for months, via call and text, about cancelling my membership (I was away at college, not needing my membership anymore). They came up with every excuse to keep me in their system, prolong my membership, or to put me on few month charge hiatus. Eventually, my card expired and I quit answering their calls. So they sent me to collections over what they claim I owed them. That gym went out of business roughly a year ago. I am unsure of what to do with A&A. Should I file a claim or pay it? I called A&A but I felt it did not help. I am angry because it tanked my credit score, and after my call with A&A, I have no confidence that it will be removed with or without payment. My goal is to get it off my credit but I am unsure of what to do, who to ask, where to go, or if it is even possible. Thank you
A: Your concern is justified (I do not mean about this particular collector, but collectors in general). You need to get any agreements in writing before you give them information or pay anything. You need to determine if it is worth your time to contest this. They often just do not care, and will just keep it on their books and your credit report. It may be worth a free consultation with attorneys who do collection defense, and can see if there are violations of the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act, or other laws.
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