Is it legal to garnish my wages from a small claims case that involves a gym membership that the gym refused to cancel?

Asked over 1 year ago - Palmetto, FL

I moved away from the area 2 yrs ago, for employment purposes. i went to the gym and asked about canceling my membership since I'd be too far away to use the facilities (160 miles). The person told me that "they don't cancel memberships." Since they refused to cancel, I deauthorized the credit card payment that was being made. I heard nothing for over a year, then suddenly i am being sued in small claims court. I was unable to attend the hearing due to the distance. The lawyer for the other side got a default judgement against me. Now he's pushed through a wage garnishment order for "25% of my disposable income." The original price of the gym membership was only about $800. Now it's $2500?? This lawyer also works for the HOA where I previously owned a home. Conflict of interest, maybe?

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Heather Morcroft

    Contributor Level 20

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The judgment undoubtedly includes attorney's fees and interest. If he obtained a judgment against you, garnishment is one way to collect. You may have some exemptions to the garnishment. You would need to review that with an attorney. The fact that he works for the HOA where you used to live is not a conflict of interest. It is generally not a good idea to handle being sued by ignoring the issue until a judgment obtained against you is being collected. At that point it is a little late to do anything. The fact is that most of these gym contracts cannot be cancelled just because you move. Had you checked with an attorney then you could have seen if that particular contract had any possible loopholes and utilized them, or arranged a settlement or payment plan for a great deal less money. Now you are stuck paying a lot more as a result of just ignoring legal process against you. You should always take a lawsuit seriously.

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  2. Carl H Starrett II

    Contributor Level 16

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . They won, you lost. You are stuck with the judgment unless you can get it set aside. There is no conflict of interest.

    First, the firm is a debt relief agency according to the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. We help people file for bankruptcy.... more

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