Can a same debt. be reported twice

Discussion in 'Credit Talk' started by poragadu, Sep 1, 2003.

  1. poragadu

    poragadu Member


    have couple of questions about the debt I owe. I had a contract with Golds Gym for 1 year and broke it few months before it was expired. This was forwarded to CA and it shows up in my credit report. All this was happened 3 years back.

    1. I got a call from somebody saying if I don't pay the amount (around $400), they will report it to credit bureaus. (There was lot of drama when he called. This is just a simplified version of all the phone calls and letter. I plan to write another mail with all the details.) This is already on my CR. Can it be reported again?

    The person actually told me that he is sending a letter to one of my credit card companies (MBNA) (also threatened with lots of other stuff). Can he do it? (I already called MBNA and explained situation)

    2. I had a valid reason to break the agreement with Golds Gym. I had a surgery on my knee and also moved out of that state (VA). I went to golds gym before moving out and showed them my hospital papers and a knee with hard cast. I didn't realize that was not enough. I should have sent them by certified mail. That was my mistake.
    Since it's already been forwarded to CA, does it matter if I can prove that I couldn't continue till the end of 1 year?
    I called Golds Gym, they said they don't care as it's already been forwarded to CA. Who should I prove this?

    The guy who called me says he doesn't care if I had a reason or not. I just need to pay that's it.

    Thanks in advance for any help.

  2. DanS

    DanS Well-Known Member

    I'm no expert on these matters, but based on my experience and what I've learned here, here's what I would do.

    First, do you have a copy of your original contract w/Gold's Gym? If so, read it carefully. I'm sure there must be a clause for canceling and both medical and relocation are *common* reasons for breaking a gym membership. If these are not written into the contract, they are still reasons you can challenge the validity of your debt, i.e., termination with good cause.

    If you don't have a copy, start with validation - look around here doing a search on validation. You want the only communication from this CA to be in writing and once you request validation, any other communication ("this is an attempt to collect a debt") will put money in your pocket.

    You want the original contract, signed by you. If they can't produce that in 30 days, follow w/an estoppel (again, look around) and you're done.

    If they do produce the contract, now you dispute the debt - loudly and clearly, using CRRR, of course.

    Check the statute of limitations in your state. If it's four years, you have that going for you too - this can go back & forth for a while before you appear in court.

    Others can comment on this strategy, but when collectors have contacted me when the original creditor ignored my evidence, I have URGED them to take me to court so I can present my evidence to an objective third party. If you have documentation of moving, surgery, etc., I would like to see ANY third party find you in breach of a contract that is overly restrictive. (assuming there is no clause for medical or relocation termination/suspension, which I also found unlikely)
    In my own case, NOTHING happened afterwards. The trick is to kill it early in the process. At this point, you will have to get them to remove the entry on your CR, so it will take more effort and may involve your suing them.

    Be aggressive, deal in writing and only offer what is needed - let them hang themselves, as CAs often do.
  3. poragadu

    poragadu Member


    Thanks for the reply.

    I lost the copy of Golds Gym original contract. I know there is a clause where I can cancel it if I become physically disabled or moved out. Gold's Gym demanded that I get a letter from my doctor saying I can't continue working out due to surgery. Just submitting hospital papers showing that surgery is performed is not enough. I thought it was a riducoulous demand on Gym's part. I thought it's obvious from the fact that I had ligament reconstructive surgery.

    What is the acceptable proof that I moved to a different state? letter from my employer saying I started working on this date? I don't think I have rental agreement's. It was 3 years back. :(

    I was able to get the initial letter from CA. I am planning to follow up with a letter asking for validation. This site has been very helpful in gathering that information.

    What is CRRR? Pardon my ignorence...Credit Report resolving ...?

    Does any one else know if the same debt can be reported more than once to the credit bureaus.


  4. chrisb

    chrisb Well-Known Member

    Re: Can a same debt. be reported tw

    Golds Gym contract does have a clause where if you move you can terminate the contract without oweing anything. I had a membership there, and them moved about 35 miles away from where I lived, and since there was no Golds Gym near me, I brought myself in with my changed drivers license as proof. Hmm . . . you probably have a drivers license issued by the state you moved to which would have an issue date on it. A copy of that would probably be proof enough that you moved.

    But I would just go with the dispute and demand a copy of the original contract from the CA.

    And the CA can NOT contact any of your other creditors to tell them you're refusing to pay. Get one of those $40 devices from Radioshack that will allow you to record phone conversations, just in case the CA calls back, that way you can get them on any more violations that they attempt. But you're better off limiting it to only by mail.

    The lowest skumbag CA's like to use scare tactics when calling debitors, and if they feel that they've shaken you, then they go for the kill.

    Do you have an answering machine and Caller ID? If you see on the caller ID that it is the CA, let it go to the machine, and then KEEP a copy of everything they say on your machine. They can't say too much legally to a recording device, but will always slip up and bam you have more violations. Keep a record of everything, and every violation, and then even if they have provided proof that it is yours, you can send them an ITS for their FCRA and FDCPA violations.

    Just a thought.



    ITS: Intent to Sue
    CRRR: Certified Return Reciept Requested
    FCRA: Fair Credit Reporting Act
    FDCPA: Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
  5. DanS

    DanS Well-Known Member

    Re: Re: Can a same debt. be reporte

    Let me try to answer the question you keep asking - yes, but that's not what's important here.

    What I think is important is that you shift your attitude 180 degrees. Read this thread:

    Read the top threads that are "pinned" here. Look around at the sample letters.

    Shift your position from being defensive - "can they do this?" - to offensive "the FTC makes it clear you can't do X, Y and Z and you'll pay me $1000 for each violation AND you'll delete entries on my credit report"

    Acceptable proof is anything related to your residency - bills, lease, etc. As for your surgery, what some bozo at Gold's Gym wanted is not important today. All you need is something that documents the nature of the surgery and the timing. Then you can get a letter from any physician explaining how harmful exercise could be during the recovery period for that surgery. You only need to worry about getting that note if the CA validates with the contract, which might not happen.

    Everything works in your favor, if you have the right mindset.
  6. poragadu

    poragadu Member

    Re: Re: Re: Can a same debt. be reporte


    Why isn't this important? I thought a trade-line stays in CR for 7 years. So if CA (or CA#) starts reporting the same thing again and agian and provided I don't pay, this will stay in my CR for 7 + SOL (7 + 5 in my case) years. If I do partial payments, this will stay even more.

    This helps if one is at repairing credit. I think I am not yet there. My situation is CA2 called me and said they will report to CRA if not paid immediately. So their entry is not yet in CR.

    If debt is real, how useful it is to go through litigious mindset? I understand the necessity to go through proper procedures like validation letter or rather still learning (am a totally newbie). :)

    very true. Helps in general.

  7. chrisb

    chrisb Well-Known Member

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Can a same debt. be

    Tradelines don't stay 7 years plus SOL, it's 7 years plus 180 days from the last payment that led to the delinquancy. This means if Aug 1996 was your last payment, +180 days (Feb 1997) + 7 years = fall off your report by no later than Feb 2004

    This is when you need to hit CA2. If you requrest validation, and know that they haven't placed anything on your credit report, they LEGALLY can NOT place this on your credit report before providing you with proper validation. Force the CA to provide you with a copy of your signed contract / agreement. Then IF they do provide this to you, provide them with proof that since you moved on XXX date, that the contract became invalid due to the clause; therefore you don't owe anything.

    If after you've demanded validation, but before they provide you with it, they post on your credit report it becomes a violation. You can sue them in small claims court for $1,000. And especially since you likely have proof that you legally were no longer under the contract due to both the injury clause and the moving clause, no judge in the country would agree that you owe the debt, therefore they violated and didn't get the proof. Once they've violated the laws, you can draft up an ITS (intent to sue) letter stating their violatioins and agree to not file for perminant deletion of any notation and $500. They may make some kind of counter-offer which would delete the tradeline, and have the debt show paid so it no longer will go to other CA's and that would probably be good.

    The thing is, you BY LAW can demand that they proove to you their claim that you owe money. Most CA's don't have proof, and since they don't have proof, they usually will remove their entry and give up and not do anything more to you. They go after the easy targets, those they think they can easily scare into paying. Read the "Understanding the Collection Process" posts by Flyingifr

    Lastly, don't agree to pay ANYTHING until they have proven that it is your debt. If they want to sue you, they need proof that it is yours.

  8. lbrown59

    lbrown59 Well-Known Member

    same debt. be

    have couple of questions about the debt I owe.
    1*I had a contract with Golds Gym for 1 year and broke it few months before it was expired. This was forwarded to CA and it shows up in my credit report. All this was happened 3 years back.
    2*I plan to write another mail with all the details.)
    2b*This is already on my CR. Can it be reported again?
    3*The person actually told me that he is sending a letter to one of my credit card companies (MBNA) (also threatened with lots of other stuff). Can he do it?
    4*(I already called MBNA and explained situation)
    5*Since it's already been forwarded to CA, does it matter if I can prove that I couldn't continue till the end of 1 year?
    6*I called Golds Gym, they said they don't care as it's already been forwarded to CA.
    7*Who should I prove this?
    1*These guys are crooks. Every deal I've heard of with them turns out just like this.
    2*I hope you haven't shot yourself in the foot like this already by doing this!
    2b*Can't report again.
    3*What does MBNA have to do with this?
    4*Now why did you go and do that?
    5*You are trying to get the wrong party to prove the wrong thing! Why?
    6*You can't deal with them- you have to deal with the CA since they own the account. Send the CA the Validation letter now.
    7*You don't have to prove it to anybody.

    THE END ** *** ** LB 59
  9. poragadu

    poragadu Member

    Re: same debt. be

    Originally posted by lbrown59
    This is first time I am dealing with a CA. I wasn't aware of my rights or even the terms like FDCPA or even FTC website. My first day experience with them was very bad and scary. I didn't realize that it's normal after coming to this forum. :) I talked an attorney immediately after couple of scary and harassing calls from the CA guy. First thing he suggested is don't get intimidated by them. They are always like that.

    Now I realize lots of things CA did are illegal. Just that I can't prove them in the court (if at all it goes there) since it happened over the phone. Some of those are:
    - he constantly lied to me about the case status. Initially said it's already in the court and about to be defaulted. later asked me to get ready to fly to Virginia from california. When I asked for some paper confirming that it's in the court, he said he can even seize my car (25k+ car for 400$ debt as he says) if I don't pay over the phone immediately.
    - he called me a liar (along with lots of other stuff) which is not ok as per one of the opinion letters from FTC. :)
    - Read out all the credit cards I have and said he will report to them directly and they will close the a/c if he does that. Now I realize it's impossible. :)
    - he says gold's Gym a/c is automatically renewed if not sent a certified letter asking for it to be cancelled. Since I haven't sent any, I have to pay for all 3+ years now (This will be more than 400+).
    - ....

    i almost paid him over the phone. Kind of thought he is exaggerating everything including the amount I owe. I wasn't sure if he is legitimate or someone who just has my credit history.

    Please see above. MBNA is one of the credit cards I have with hight limits ($26.5k). (What's up with MBNA anyway..they keep increasing my credit card limit .. :)
    CA said he will report it to credit card company directly not CRA. I wanted to check with MBNA and see if they can do it. I guess it's nothing to fear about.

  10. lbrown59

    lbrown59 Well-Known Member

    Re: Re: Re: Can a same debt. be reporte

    My plan is to wait for the response and try to settle it with a clause to remove the entry from CR.
    Even if they can't validate? Why?
    THE END ** *** ** LB 59
    New Member Must Reads.---------------------------

    Sample letters

    WhyChats statute of limitations

    statute of limitations

  11. jlynn

    jlynn Well-Known Member

    Re: Re: same debt. be

    Once you receive the green card back from the CA, dispute with any and all CRA's reporting as "not mine".

    Some facts about my case.

    I digged out my agrrement with gold's gym. I am not in as green patch as I thought i was. There are 2 clauses to break the agreement.

    The company is in Texas? Are you in Texas?


    You are putting the cart before the horse. Wait until they send you your contract, a statement of all payments, etc.

    Slow down, see No. 3. If, and thats a big IF, they send you validation, then we will help you meet your goal when settling.

    They are all rude...the next guy is probably ruder. Send out another letter now telling them to stop contacting you by phone, that you only communicate thru written correspondence.

    As you said, they have already broken the law a few times, and probably will continue to do so. You need to get a litigous mindset. You need to get offensive rather than defensive. I think somebody else suggested reading the intro posts at the top of the board. Read thru those, and posts here, and you will understand better what I, and others mean :)

    Good luck!
  12. poragadu

    poragadu Member

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Can a same debt. be


    They sent me back validation. i sent those details in another thread, but I don't see them now. Probably removed.

    They sent me back one page. 3/4 of it is a copy of the contract I signed. 1/4 is like a statement showing that I owe them $260 + $5 CA fee and added another 100+ for COC (like CA fee?).

    Does that constitute full validation? Don't they need to send me any paperwork showing how they got it from OC?

    I called them after I received this. talked to a different person this time. He asked me to pay $265 and he will fax me a copy of the settlement letter and also delete the TL from my report. After a while he called and said I need to send him money by western union, then only he can arrange to send me all the letters. I said no. That's where it stands now.

    I pulled my CR yesterday. I don't see any TL from them. It has been 2 weeks and I haven't heard anything from them.

    Would you suggest I send them a settlement offer letter?

  13. poragadu

    poragadu Member

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