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Contract in my name but signed by someone else?

Discussion in 'Legal Issues' started by lisa thompson, Jan 12, 2014.

  1. #1
    Okay - so here is the deal: we had a family health club membership, and my understanding was that we were going month-to-month. It was in my name, apparently. So, when my ex goes in the first time, he does the paperwork - apparently decided that an annual contract was the best way to go. We split, and I could no longer afford the membership and cancelled the withdrawal. Apparently, there was a remaining balance of $400 on the contract, and they pursued me for it. I asked for a copy, and see it's his signature, but the contract/suit is in my name. Can I be held responsible for this?
    SEMrush
     
    lisa thompson, Jan 12, 2014 IP
    SEMrush
  2. swhp

    swhp Member

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    #2
    well, start to copy the signature in contract and after you get the money run as far as you can dude :D
    nah i'm joking, why not ask the customer service or someone that responsible in that club? i think they will give you best solution :)
     
    swhp, Jan 12, 2014 IP
  3. Nigel Lew

    Nigel Lew Notable Member

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    #3
    Respectfully, this is the last place you want to solicit legal advice from.

    Nigel
     
    Nigel Lew, Jan 12, 2014 IP
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  4. amcg

    amcg Active Member

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    #4
    Have you spoke to them directly and their customer service department or someone higher up?

    My wife had a similar membership and she lost her job so we couldn't afford it.
    She spoke to the staff at the centre and they basically said no they can't stop it and that we would have to keep paying.
    So we found an email address for one of their top managers, emailed him the details and situation and he cancelled it for us within a day or two.

    Edit:
    And technically, if someone else signed for something in your name and it doesn't specify that a 3rd party can sign on your behalf then the contract wouldn't be suffice.
    It's actually against the law to sign in someone else's name and it's partly the gyms fault for not ensuring the correct and real person signed the document.
     
    amcg, Jan 13, 2014 IP
    matt_62 likes this.
  5. matt_62

    matt_62 Notable Member

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    #5
    I would be ringing your divorce attorney, just in case there are *other* little surprises for you around the corner. (car rego / rent / house bills / phone contracts etc).
    You also DO NOT want to listen to forum users, and risk having your credit rating hurt because you skipped on a bill without proper legal consul.

    Mind you, I have had an issue before, where I was being harassed for an imaginary debt, and the copy of the paper I had signed, had the money amount edited (ie, I did NOT agree to that amount). Even though it was a photocopy, It was very clear that the amount had been changed after I had signed. I simply wrote back that yes I had signed it, but that I had not agreed to that amount. I let them know that I was willing to go to court and dispute the charges. That was in 2000, and I have never heard from them since. IMO, you did not even sign it, so if this was me, I would not pay it -> however, speak to your divorce attorney.

    It is actually surprising that the staff accepted it being under your name, but without your signature.
     
    matt_62, Jan 13, 2014 IP
  6. BoostSoftware

    BoostSoftware Active Member

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    #6
    LOL. I think this is meant to be just a discussion among forum friends. Divorce just sucks.
     
    BoostSoftware, Jan 16, 2014 IP
  7. dscurlock

    dscurlock Prominent Member

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    #7
    that is interesting..if it is not your handywork, then it is not your handywork, and I guess you can claim that...
    but we all know that spouses sign for each other all the time, illegal? If both of you had signed, then of course
    both of you would be legally obligated, but you are saying that he signed your name without your consent, and
    you only found this out when the legal back and forth started...? Is that what you are saying? If he had not signed your name, would that have made a difference
    in regards of you going to the gym? sounds obvious he wanted it in your name....

    This sorta reminds me when I use my wifes credit card with her name on it,
    then when I get the receipt from the merchant, I sign my name, and the merchant says nothing....
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2014
    dscurlock, Jan 21, 2014 IP
  8. garch

    garch Active Member

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    #8
    I'm not a lawyer, but I believe if you didn't sign the agreement, you can't be held responsible for the fulfillment of the contract. You should check with an attorney.
     
    garch, Jan 24, 2014 IP
  9. legalbrain

    legalbrain Greenhorn

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    #9
    I am a Lawyer... You are not obliged to pay any dues for any contract not signed by you.. Had it been so I would have bought a jet leaving Obama to settle the dues.
    The bottom line is .. you cannot be held liable for a contract you did not enter into, consent to, unless you had executed a Power of Attorney allowing your EX to transact on your behalf...
     
    legalbrain, Feb 20, 2014 IP
  10. ahsan karim

    ahsan karim Greenhorn

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    #10
    not at all. You are not liable for any payment legally.
     
    ahsan karim, May 4, 2014 IP
  11. browntwn

    browntwn Illustrious Member

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    #11

    You may be a lawyer but your understanding of the law is suspect as evidenced by your blanket assurance that she could never be responsible for a contact entered into my her husband - and one where she says she received the benefits and agreed to the membership - her only contention is that he signed up for a yearly plan and she thought it was month to month - she does not seems to dispute that he was authorized to sign them up for a family membership. Married couples cannot simply avoid contracts by claiming it was the other spouse who signed up. Each situation is different and dependent on the specific facts. Without seeing the contract in question, one could only guess who might be legally responsible.
     
    browntwn, May 4, 2014 IP
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  12. dscurlock

    dscurlock Prominent Member

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    #12
    not sure if I agree with that...just because she got gym benefits does not mean she gave or knew that he
    had used her name in order to obtain the gym membership....and if all this is going against credit, then that
    means the gym allowed him to sign up under a womens name, and SS info. Just because she is using the gym
    does not mean she knew that he had used her name to signup to the gym; I dont think we have any proof
    one way or the other, we are relying on one side of the story, and do not even know if she she really knew or not....
    regardless, if a gym allows you to signup under another parties info, then I know now who was at fault....
    there seems to be more proof against the gym for even allowing this then there is against her for not knowing
    whose name he used in order to signup for the gym membership to begin with....

    If I were judge, then this would be my ruling....

    1: Husband, you are guilty of signing someone elses name, and the
    gym allowed you to do this., the court has no proof at this time
    that the wife knew that the husband did sign her name..

    2: I also rule since wife did want gym membership, so therefore, even
    though she claims to know nothing about membership being in her name; the court does appear to have enough evidence that the wife did want some type of gym membership, and regardless of who signed for the gym membership.

    my fake court ruling:
    The gym bill shall be owned by both parties.

    case closed....

    But I do see brown's point. Apparently she did want some type of
    gym membership, and when things go south, she wants to get
    technical "I did not sign for the membership" and that is when
    you have to accept joint ownership, because if nothing else, she
    knew about it or not, but it is clear she did want gym membership.

    This would have never been he said, she said if the gym simply
    would have all parties sign, regardless if they are married or not.

     
    Last edited: May 4, 2014
    dscurlock, May 4, 2014 IP
  13. browntwn

    browntwn Illustrious Member

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    #13
    My guess is that you pretty much nailed it. The legal term where both or either party is responsible, is that they are jointly and severally liable. Which means that the gym could try to collect from either alone or both or any combination. In other words, they are both fully liable. Again, as with most things, the devil is in the details, but based on what little info we have here, my assumption would be that they are both responsible.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joint_and_several_liability

    [One question I would have, is how long they were members of the gym before she sought to cancel. Because she claims she thought it was month to month, but if they were members for several months did she pay a bill each month? If they were only members for a month this is not an issue, but if 6 months went by and there are no bills, then her story that she did not authorize a yearly membership becomes more less believable.]

    The upshot is that this is only about $400, and so it is not worth any lawyers being involved. It is not even clear that they were married, so that is also a big question. If she thinks she is not responsible then she should send a written letter / email stating that she never agreed to a yearly membership and that they should seek recourse against her "ex", and that she will only pay for services she agreed to and used. Of course, as we all know, they might disagree and what action they take and how it could affect her credit is a consideration she has to make. There is no simply right or wrong answer based on the limited facts we have before us.
     
    browntwn, May 4, 2014 IP
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  14. dscurlock

    dscurlock Prominent Member

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    #14
    One thing that could work in her favor is, did she actually even go to gym even once?
    If not, then she surely could claim that she did not know that her husband signed
    her name without her permission, but if she did go to the gym, then both should be liable.
     
    dscurlock, May 4, 2014 IP
  15. ahsan karim

    ahsan karim Greenhorn

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    #15
    In a contact only that persons is held responsible who signed the contract and one one can be held responsible for others even he or she may be life partners and its an admitted legal fact
     
    ahsan karim, May 5, 2014 IP
  16. cpoalmighty

    cpoalmighty Member

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    #16
    The long and short of it is if you did not sign, you are not liable. I would turn around and sue the gym since they would have allowed your Ex Husband to sign on your behalf which is illegal.
     
    cpoalmighty, Jun 3, 2014 IP