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USGTC Camp in MA canceled?

raenndrops

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How does one go about filing a small claims case?
Either a municipal court or a county courthouse. It depends on where you are. You fill out a paper, attach copies of any proof, pay a small fee (which you can ask for court costs back in the claim).
 

biq

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Either a municipal court or a county courthouse. It depends on where you are. You fill out a paper, attach copies of any proof, pay a small fee (which you can ask for court costs back in the claim).
does it have to be in the county/town of S. Hadley where camp was supposed to be held? Or can i do at my local courthouse?
 

raenndrops

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does it have to be in the county/town of S. Hadley where camp was supposed to be held? Or can i do at my local courthouse?
You can contact the local courthouse and ask. Some people are saying it has to be in Mass or Florida, but other states MAY allow you to do it too. And I know that a friend was sued in small claims court. She worked in 1 county, lived in another, and was sued in a 3rd.
 

bostongymdad530

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Unfortunate! A Chapter 7 bankruptcy is typically referred to as "no assets". If approved by the court, there is unlikely a recovery for anyone. They could not have spent all the money on rental of venue or gym equipment, etc. Something else is askew here.
There is some recourse - if the court determines that the debt is non-dischargeable (e.g., the result of fraud) it doesn't go away. Everyone that registered and paid will get creditor notices... please pay attention to dates/deadlines for your various filings and make sure to contact the bankruptcy trustee to let him know about the situation.

Also, if USGTC is the party filing bankruptcy (and not the individuals), then the individuals are susceptible to a civil action since I think this is straight fraud.
 

bostongymdad530

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does it have to be in the county/town of S. Hadley where camp was supposed to be held? Or can i do at my local courthouse?
No, if you're a Mass. resident, you can bring an action in the county in which you live.
 

Muddlethru

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There is some recourse - if the court determines that the debt is non-dischargeable (e.g., the result of fraud) it doesn't go away. Everyone that registered and paid will get creditor notices... please pay attention to dates/deadlines for your various filings and make sure to contact the bankruptcy trustee to let him know about the situation.

Also, if USGTC is the party filing bankruptcy (and not the individuals), then the individuals are susceptible to a civil action since I think this is straight fraud.
As I stated in my first post and of course goes without saying, everything depends on the ruling of the court. If it is non-dischargeable, it is non-dischargeable. But a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy filing is pretty much stating to the court, "we have no assets" and asking the court to discharge all debts. The filing can be denied and the debtor may be forced to file a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy which may request to discharge some debts and set up a payment plan to pay all or part of the rest.

As far as filing a civil action for "straight fraud" on the individuals, it will depend on how the corporation was formed and if the filing with the Secretary of State allows creditors to go after "officers" of the corporation. An LLC filing limits the liability of officers. Additionally, you would have to prove and convince the court of a fraud cause of action. You can sue all you want, recovery will always be an issue. If the individuals have no money or claim to have no money, or proves to the court they have no money, there will be no recovery so a civil lawsuit is just a waste of time and money. The defendants will have judgment perhaps against them for the next 7 - 10 years which will affect their credit. But that may be their only penalty. If you can file a small claims lawsuit, get it to judgment before the filing of their bankruptcy, that judgment will stay for 10 years and perhaps when the bankruptcy is lifted, the judgment may still be enforceable. I don't know.
 

bostongymdad530

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As I stated in my first post and of course goes without saying, everything depends on the ruling of the court. If it is non-dischargeable, it is non-dischargeable. But a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy filing is pretty much stating to the court, "we have no assets" and asking the court to discharge all debts. The filing can be denied and the debtor may be forced to file a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy which may request to discharge some debts and set up a payment plan to pay all or part of the rest.

As far as filing a civil action for "straight fraud" on the individuals, it will depend on how the corporation was formed and if the filing with the Secretary of State allows creditors to go after "officers" of the corporation. An LLC filing limits the liability of officers. Additionally, you would have to prove and convince the court of a fraud cause of action. You can sue all you want, recovery will always be an issue. If the individuals have no money or claim to have no money, or proves to the court they have no money, there will be no recovery so a civil lawsuit is just a waste of time and money. The defendants will have judgment perhaps against them for the next 7 - 10 years which will affect their credit. But that may be their only penalty. If you can file a small claims lawsuit, get it to judgment before the filing of their bankruptcy, that judgment will stay for 10 years and perhaps when the bankruptcy is lifted, the judgment may still be enforceable. I don't know.
I get it. I've been involved in several lawsuits on behalf of clients where the opposing party files bankruptcy. And I also know that even if I do establish fraud against the individuals (fyi, LLC structure limits individual liability for debts of LLC, not intentional misrepresentations made by individuals associated with the LLC) it'll be nearly impossible to collect. But I'd like to do my part and make their life that much more difficult since they've put a lot of parents in difficult predicaments.
 
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bostongymdad530

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As an aside, it's a corporation, not an LLC. To assist those searching, I believe it's official corporate name is U.S. Gymnastics Training Centers, Inc.
 

Muddlethru

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You can contact the local courthouse and ask. Some people are saying it has to be in Mass or Florida, but other states MAY allow you to do it too. And I know that a friend was sued in small claims court. She worked in 1 county, lived in another, and was sued in a 3rd.
This is incorrect. You cannot sue anywhere that is most convenient to you. Unfortunately, lawsuits are filed in a court most convenient to the defendant. Proper venue for a court case is determined by a number of factors and depends on the nature of your claim. It can be in the county in which the defendant lives, accident occurred, contract was entered. I'm guessing the cause of action for this lawsuit would be breach of contract. Fraud is harder to prove in small claims. If you claim fraud and you do not have enough evidence or unable to convince the judge, the judge may dismiss your case. The court will only address your claim and not make suggestion on a better cause of action to get your claim paid. USGTC breached the contract by failing to provide the service you paid for. You can show your cancelled check and their brochure or any receipt they provided. I can walk anyone willing to go this route but my honest opinion, and although the process is simple enough, it still is not worth your time just because recovery outright is already questionable.
 
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bostongymdad530

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What I find interesting is that there are a lot of postings by us parents that have lost money because of this situation, but I see nothing from coaches that lost a short summer job. This seems to be an important fact when evaluating whether the Jacobsons at all planned to open the camp. Those of you in touch with the reporters should ask if they have any such information.
 

biq

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What I find interesting is that there are a lot of postings by us parents that have lost money because of this situation, but I see nothing from coaches that lost a short summer job. This seems to be an important fact when evaluating whether the Jacobsons at all planned to open the camp. Those of you in touch with the reporters should ask if they have any such information.
I signed my daughter up late to the game, and my bank check was cashed on 7/2. After not receiving any kind of welcome information packet, and unanswered calls to USGTC, I finally called the college on 7/10, (Events department). I explained my situation and concern to a Mt. Holyoke random worker, and she said that the camp was here and setting up all the equipment. She said she would go see if she could find someone to call me back to address my questions. Moments later, she did call back and said due to circumstances beyond their control, the camp is cancelled...and the rest is history. So...I think they had all intentions of holding camp regardless of the paperwork they didn't turn in, or turn in too late.
 
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biq

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I signed my daughter up late to the game, and my bank check was cashed on 7/2. After not receiving any kind of welcome information packet, and unanswered calls to USGTC, I finally called the college on 7/10, (Events department). I explained my situation and concern to a Mt. Holyoke random worker, and she said that the camp was here and setting up all the equipment. She said she would go see if she could find someone to call me back to address my questions. Moments later, she did call back and said due to circumstances beyond their control, the camp is cancelled...and the rest is history. So...I think they had all intentions of holding camp regardless of the paperwork they didn't turn in, or turn in too late.
---NOT that that is an excuse...I'm not defending them, b/c I'm pissed and need the refund, as we all do.
 

biq

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I did an interview today with NBC10 Boston Affiliate. Leslie Gaydos consumer affairs reporter. She was great and hopes to spread the word. Please contact NBC10 as well.
Nice interview last night, thanks for speaking on our behalves...
 
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Dwnjef

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Great news interview last night. I spoke with the attorneys office again today (yes, I call there daily) and learned that they have not yet filed the chapter 7 bankruptcy, but now plan to do so "in the next week or so" (for those of us considering filing small claims). I asked a variety of questions but what the office said today that was different was that under most chapter 7 bankruptcy filings (80% or more), the party claiming bankruptcy is saying they have no money and they are not able to pay back any debt. The attorneys office today indicated that this is NOT the case with USGTC. He indicated that USGTC DOES have assets they intend to sell and they DO have money in the bank. He indicated that it is their intention to present a plan to the court to liquidate their assets and to distribute the money from the bank account back to us unsecured debtors. He said we will most likely not get all of our money back, but if we submit the paperwork that the court sends us, we should get something. That something is TBD. Attorneys on the post, what's your take on this? Is is likely or not and does it still make sense for folks to file a small claims action or are we tossing bad money after lost money? Thanks
 
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bookworm

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I continue to be stunned by this story...and I feel for each and every one of you that forked over 1000+ bucks with no hope (it seems) of seeing your money again.

I think back to all the years my girls did IGC and then Woodward ,and like USGTC, the camps had been in existence for many years so I didn't think twice about sending the money required by check....I'm not sure if either of those required a bank or cashiers check but I still think I would've sent it without thinking twice.

None of these camps are new and they've been well established so I don't think the parents of the enrollees missed anything but from the news story it seems like USGTC missed any shot of opening on time by ignoring the notifications in the spring from the town...that required a 3 month leeway. Not sure what these "new regs" are in South Hadley but that camp has been there forever so somebody missed something and it's the gymnasts families that are paying.
 
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Muddlethru

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Great news interview last night. I spoke with the attorneys office again today (yes, I call there daily) and learned that they have not yet filed the chapter 7 bankruptcy, but now plan to do so "in the next week or so" (for those of us considering filing small claims). I asked a variety of questions but what the office said today that was different was that under most chapter 7 bankruptcy filings (80% or more), the party claiming bankruptcy is saying they have no money and they are not able to pay back any debt. The attorneys office today indicated that this is NOT the case with USGTC. He indicated that USGTC DOES have assets they intend to sell and they DO have money in the bank. He indicated that it is their intention to present a plan to the court to liquidate their assets and to distribute the money from the bank account back to us unsecured debtors. He said we will most likely not get all of our money back, but if we submit the paperwork that the court sends us, we should get something. That something is TBD. Attorneys on the post, what's your take on this? Is is likely or not and does it still make sense for folks to file a small claims action or are we tossing bad money after lost money? Thanks
Small correction: You are an unsecured creditor not debtor. Michael and Susan Jacobson are the debtors.
 
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bostongymdad530

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Great news interview last night. I spoke with the attorneys office again today (yes, I call there daily) and learned that they have not yet filed the chapter 7 bankruptcy, but now plan to do so "in the next week or so" (for those of us considering filing small claims). I asked a variety of questions but what the office said today that was different was that under most chapter 7 bankruptcy filings (80% or more), the party claiming bankruptcy is saying they have no money and they are not able to pay back any debt. The attorneys office today indicated that this is NOT the case with USGTC. He indicated that USGTC DOES have assets they intend to sell and they DO have money in the bank. He indicated that it is their intention to present a plan to the court to liquidate their assets and to distribute the money from the bank account back to us unsecured debtors. He said we will most likely not get all of our money back, but if we submit the paperwork that the court sends us, we should get something. That something is TBD. Attorneys on the post, what's your take on this? Is is likely or not and does it still make sense for folks to file a small claims action or are we tossing bad money after lost money? Thanks
Thanks for the update!
 

_bargirl

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I continue to be stunned by this story...and I feel for each and every one of you that forked over 1000+ bucks with no hope (it seems) of seeing your money again.

I think back to all the years my girls did IGC and then Woodward ,and like USGTC, the camps had been in existence for many years so I didn't think twice about sending the money required by check....I'm not sure if either of those required a bank or cashiers check but I still think I would've sent it without thinking twice.

None of these camps are new and they've been well established so I don't think the parents of the enrollees missed anything but from the news story it seems like USGTC missed any shot of opening on time by ignoring the notifications in the spring from the town...that required a 3 month leeway. Not sure what these "new regs" are in South Hadley but that camp has been there forever so somebody missed something and it's the gymnasts families that are paying.

The "new regs" were State regulations. If you haven't seen the video yet, you should watch it, because the Town explains exactly what happened. And because the Town couldn't issue a license, the program needed to be cancelled.

https://www.nbcboston.com/news/local/NBC10-Boston-Responds-Flippin-Out-490976141.html
 

bookworm

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The "new regs" were State regulations. If you haven't seen the video yet, you should watch it, because the Town explains exactly what happened. And because the Town couldn't issue a license, the program needed to be cancelled.

https://www.nbcboston.com/news/local/NBC10-Boston-Responds-Flippin-Out-490976141.html
I did watch the video. My point on the new regs comment was the camp has been there forever with the "old regs" and I get that the town says they notified the camp about the regs but I just wonder what exactly needed to be in place 3 months prior as the owners filed the paper work on July 10 and were told it couldn't open because of the 3 month window. I would think whoever was in charge of all the licenses etc would have been up on the "new regs" (and what exactly are they vs the old) and avoided this debacle.
 
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