Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Century Finance Won't Try Collection on Contracts

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Century Finance Won't Try Collection on Contracts

Article excerpt

All branch offices of Century Finance Co. have been instructed not to attempt collection on contracts of Internatinal Fitness Centers, it was reported Tuesday by Prescott H. Cowley, administrator of the Oklahoma Department of Consumer Credit.

The department was assured by William Turner, vice president of Century Finance Co. of Kansas City, that no attempts would be made on the collections, Cowley said. Payments received from consumers are being returned, he said.

Since International Fitness Centers was placed in Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in March, the consumer credit department has been answering questions concerning the contracts members signed, Cowley said.

Members of International Fitness originally had signed contracts which were assigned to Century Finance.

"The department of consumer credit had received complaints and inquiries from consumers about their obligations to pay Century Finance Co. on installment contract for service at the closed International Fitness Centers," said Cowley. "Payments received after the closing of the last three fitness centers would be returned to the contract members."

More than 8,000 members were paying on contracts when the last three fitness centers closed. There were a total of nine, all of which have been closed.

Friday, the contracts between members and the fitness centers were approved to be rejected by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Richard Bohanon and declared breached.

"Century Finance is seeking ways to reopen the fitness centers with a third party but didn't say who," said Cowley, "Something should happen in about 30 days. We gave the Tulsa fitness centers 90 days to decide on what they are going to do."

"Century Finance has been working with All American Health Spas in Tulsa to take over accounts in Tulsa on a voluntary basis," said Cowley.

If the fitness centers are no longer available even within a 25 mile radius, then the contracts could not be collected on, Cowley said. …

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