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I am looking to try and get out of a campground membership…

I am looking to...

I am looking to try and get out of a campground membership that I bought into nearly 20 years ago and have never used.

Lawyer's Assistant: What state are you in? It matters because laws vary by location.

I am in Tennessee.

Lawyer's Assistant: What steps have you taken so far?

I tried selling it years ago through a company but the contract with them was for only 6 months and they were unable to sell it. I tried contacting the office at the campground to see if they would just drop the membership but they would not and I tried selling it on Craig's list and nothing. For the first 8 or 9 years I kept up with the maintenance fees but 10 years ago this year my husband had a massive stroke and so that has been the last thing on my mind. I know it has gone against my credit but I have had other bills and things deal with that are a higher priority.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

Not that I can think of at this moment.

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Answered in 1 minute by:
3/15/2018
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 13,292
Experience: Licensed to practice before state and federal court
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Hello! I am a licensed attorney, admitted to practice in state and federal court. I have a nearly 100% satisfaction rating (click here for more info) so all that means is that you can count on me to help today. Because I want to provide you with the most accurate answer possible, do you mind if I take a moment to review your question?

Please keep in mind that our conversation does not include an attorney-client relationship and this is for general information purposes only.

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I'm sorry to hear about your situation.

Getting out of a contract can be very difficult unless you have a legal basis to do so. With that said, there are some things that you would want to consider that the law recognizes as defenses to the enforcement of a contract. One of the defenses is capacity, meaning that a person who is mentally ill, under the age of 18, under the influence of drugs/alcohol can have the contract voided. Additionally, if a party enters into an agreement under duress, it can be voided. Also, if the contract is so one-sided that it would be considered unconscionable, that is another reason. Finally, there is the issue of mistake. A court can declare that there is a mistake made by both parties as to the assumption on which the contract was based. For example, if both parties made an assumption that a certain event would occur, but the event does not occur, then the contract is voidable. Unless the agreement falls into one of these categories, then the agreement is enforceable.

I'm very sorry.

What other questions did you have for me today that I can help you out with:-)?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Well I have no way of selling the membership because I can now not even find the contract to even check all of the "fine print". That is another problem that I am having with getting out of the contract or selling it. I have also never received bills from any collection agencies to be able to make any kind of arrangements on late maintenance fees. I no longer have the same phone number that I had when I bought the membership but my address has stayed the same and I do get the yearly bill for the maintenance fees. I would be willing to pay all that I owe on back fees a little at a time if the campground owners would just let me out of the contract.

I see what you mean. So, if there is a practical way out of it, then you should explore that. In your case, if they haven't sent any bills or anything and if they have basically lost contact, then that should be a way to avoid paying it, but keep in mind that if they do find you, and they see you haven't paid, then they could demand money from you or even sue.

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One little known, but very effective tool that lawyers use when there isn’t a law that they can rely on to support their position is called principled negotiation. All this means is that you are looking to get something done on the basis of principles, even if you can’t find a law to support you. It takes the anxiety out of dealing with the other side because you’re focused on the facts, not each other.

Here are some simple steps you can follow:

  1. Figure out what the other side’s interests are (saving money, saving time, etc.?);

  2. Think about what your interests are (saving money, saving time, etc.?);

  3. Come up with 2 to 3 reasonable and objective ways to solve the problem;

  4. Present it to the other side;

  5. If the other side rejects, ask them, “Is there a reason why you do not feel it is necessary to negotiate?”

Of course, these are just building blocks to get the other party to help solve the dispute. Believe me when I say that good lawyers use this technique all the time to keep things out of court. You’ll find that it is very effective even with the most stubborn of individuals.

This means that you should explain to them that you're willing to pay the back fees plus a settlement amount to get out of this darn thing. I have a feeling they'll listen up if that is the case.

How else can I help you today?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
That information helps me out a lot, thank you very much for your time.

The pleasure is all mine! Unless you have additional questions, there’s just a few other things I’d like you to know before we wrap up this conversation:

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  3. For your benefit, you can also click here in the future to request me individually.

  4. Don’t forget, if you haven’t already, you can always sign up for a membership with Just Answer and start asking more questions for cheap.

  5. Don’t forget to tell your friends about justanswer.com!

Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 13,292
Experience: Licensed to practice before state and federal court
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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

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