You may be in a stronger position than you think. If ownership changed hands, they may not have a contract they can enforce against you. I would either tell them to provide you with a copy of the contract, or send them a letter describing how the contract would have been canceled by the boss if they had records that allowed them to find you in the system. Hopefully they will realize they don't have any right to collect any longer.
Request a copy of your contract. If you pay anything to anyone, get it in writing. If you feel as though you are being harassed, submit a report with all the details to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. See link below. Good luck!
The answers posted are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact an attorney in your jurisdiction to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem.
My colleagues are correct. To enforce a debt, the collection agency has to prove that it properly acquired the debt from the previous gym. The collection agency should also have a copy of your contract -- without a contract, it can't prove that you owe the debt. Notwithstanding the proof issue, collection agencies must adhere to Federal and State laws regarding debt collections. There are things you can do, i.e. write a letter contesting the debt, and requesting that you not be contacted anymore. For more information, you can click on the link below:
DISCLAIMER: Brandy A. Peeples is licensed to practice law in the State of Maryland. This answer is being provided for informational purposes only and the laws of your jurisdiction may differ. This answer based on general legal principles and is not intended for the purpose of providing specific legal advice or opinions. Under no circumstances does this answer constitute the establishment of an attorney-client relationship. For legal advice relating to your specific situation, I strongly urge you to consult with an attorney in your area. NO COMMUNICATIONS WITH ME ARE TO BE CONSTRUED AS ARISING FROM AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP AND NO ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP WILL BE ESTABLISHED WITH ME UNLESS I HAVE EXPRESSLY AGREED TO UNDERTAKE YOUR REPRESENTATION, WHICH INCLUDES THE EXECUTION OF A WRITTEN AGREEMENT OF RETAINER.