How can I stop a company from charging me even though I tried to cancel the contract?

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How can I stop a company from charging me even though I tried to cancel the contract?

I joined a weight lost center and signed a contract stating I was on a payment plan. At no time during the initial meeting was I told once I signed I wouldn’t be able to cancel the contract. Due to financial hardship I tried to cancel and the woman at the center refused, saying there was no way for her to stop the charges. I talked to 3 different people 4 times and was basically told that my contract couldn’t be cancelled. I pulled up a copy of my contract and it says that I can cancel my contract at any time. How do I keep them from charging me more and make then wipe the debt away?

Asked on June 19, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Contracts are enforceable as per their plain terms--if the contract says you can cancel at any time, you may cancel at any time. If they are sending you invoices, refuse to pay and send back a letter (sent some way you can prove delivery) stating that as per the contract, you have the right to cancel, exercised that right on [describe the date(s), method(s), etc. by which you previously tried to cancel] and are hereby providing additional written notice of cancelation. Cite directly to the relevant contract language and include a copy of the contract, with the relevant section or language highlighted. If they are taking money directly from your bank account or credit card, tell your bank or card issuer to stop paying them and send them a letter as per the above.

If they persist in trying to take collections action against you, you may then need to file a court action against them, seeking a declaratory judgment (court determination) that you do not owe them money and validly canceled; injunctive relief (a court order) directing them to not seek payment from you, report you as delinquent on a debt, or otherwise take action against you; and possibly also seeking monetary compensation for their abuse of process, attempted consumer fraud, and/or violation of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing.


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