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Joint Membership=Joint Debt or Moral Obligation?

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Hello All (Have been advised to post in this Forum)


Have been reading threads on this site for the last couple of days and have learned a lot so far. Trying to take it all in is a bit mind blowing, and am slowly deciphering the abbreviations. I have to say I am very impressed.


I decided to register since I’ve not found anything that’s similar to my situation, so I was hoping someone could help advise me of the best form of action to take.


In short the story goes....


Last year I signed up to a joint membership with my now ex boyfriend to a gym. £50 per month each as a special deal if we joined together. We both signed Membership Application forms with little disclaimers about agreeing to pay by direct debit monthly for 12months.


The twist however is that they would only give us this deal if the full monthly £100 for the joint membership was paid out of one of our accounts, at the time I was just finishing uni and he was working with steady income so he signed the direct debit mandate for the £100 to be taken from his account monthly.


All was well, I paid my share direct into his account on a monthly basis, until we split up, and I still continued for a couple of months to pay my share into his. Until I received a letter telling me that the direct debit had been cancelled and that the monthly membership was no longer being paid. So I stopped paying the money into my ex's account too.


I think he was hoping that by cancelling the direct debit the membership would just disappear (he did live off with the fairies when it came to money and has a history of ignoring and trying escape debts), instead they started chasing. First looking for him at my address until I gave them his forwarding address.


I didn’t hear anything for months, then out of the blue I get a phone call back in Jan/Feb'07 from my ex telling me they are chasing him and since it was half mine I had to give him the money. I said that was fine, just wanted the paperwork so I could send them a cheque.


Didn't hear anything for months again, then end of last month I get a call from him again, saying they are chasing and can I give him the money urgently. Told him I just needed to see the paperwork and I’d pay my half. The only paperwork he said he could find was from the gym bank in Jan/Feb. I said I needed details of the DCA so I could pay money directly to them. He said that they had not send him any letters and that they only contact him by phone and vice versa. I insisted he got paperwork, and told him he should too.


Almost 3 weeks later now I get a text (after having tried calling him to see what was happening and clear it all up several times). Giving me their name (Credit Solutions Northern) phone number and the reference number for me to ring up and pay. I have been advised not to get in touch with the DCA as they will only start hounding me for the full wack.


Sorry, that wasn't a short story at all.


Basically what I’d like to know is how I should proceed without dropping myself in too deep? I don’t want to be landed with the full amount of the debt if make myself known to the DCA as I’m sure he would not feel the same moral obligation to help me out. I think my best bet is to go directly to the gym customer services and deal with them to clear my half of the account up, but agian have been warned they might turn to me for the full amount to.


My ex doesn't have the money or trust to pay the debt off in full, get the paperwork so i can just pay him my half and be done with it. Also, i dont want to make anything payable directly to him as i know it is unlikely he would put it towards the debt anyway. I am very much out of the loop as to how much the debt now is and how tied into i am. Lastly, even if this debt cannot fall on me i do not want to leave him in the lurch as half of the payment was mine.


Would be very greatful for your time and help.


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Do you have any of the T&C's about the gym membership? If so, do they say whether you are held jointly responsible or in event of non-payment, solely responsible?

All help is merely my opinion only - please seek legal advice if you need to as I am only qualified in SEN law.

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Thanks for taking an interest tiglet!

The only relevant terms I can find on the copy of my Membership Application, that I signed, states the following:

"Annual membership involves a commitment from myself to meet a full years membership in return for a reduced joining fee. If I cancel my Direct Debit during 12 months from signing this contract, the monthly fees for the outstanding times are due immediately. At the end of that year I will have the option of resigning membership by giving at least 30 days notice (in which case the contract will terminate) or entering another annual membership arrangement (if then available) or reverting to normal monthly membership conditions and fees."

Another place on the same for where I also had to sign states:

"I have completed the Direct Debit mandate instructing my bank to make future payments directly from my account. I understand membership is continuous and expires only upon giving 1 months notice in writing to the club and cancellation of my mandate."

There is no reference made to what happens in the case of a joint membership. However, I never received any letters asking for me to pay the debt outstanding, its all been directed at him.

I'm now also quite concerned that this membership might be ongoing unless he specific told them to cancel it, which is something I’m sure he would have overlooked.

I hope you can help.

Cloud :(

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Well, first thing to do would be to contact the gym to check it has actually been cancelled.


You could write to them only giving an email address, not a home address. If they then reveal what the outstanding fees are, you could send them a PO or cheque for half - this will get your ex off your back.


Alternatively, how about when you find out how much it is you ask him for half and you pay it directly?


It may also be worthwhile getting a disassociation from this person put on your credit file so if he has any other financial problems, they stop being linked to your credit file.

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All help is merely my opinion only - please seek legal advice if you need to as I am only qualified in SEN law.

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