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Nonprofit Law/Membership Dues Not Billed/Paid


I am a member of a 501c3 sports swimming facility where I pay  monthly dues.

The payment option provided is month credit card billing.
The organization just informed me that they failed in deducting the monthly dues from my credit card starting in March of 2014, and now I owe over $1000 in dues.
I did use the facility during this period.

2)  Am I legally obligated to pay these back membership dues?  If yes, is the obligation restricted in back billing (i.e. only past 90 days)?
3)  If I refuse to pay, can they terminate my membership?

I have in my profile that this free forum is only for general questions about IRS federal exemption issues of 501(c)(3) organizations. Your matter is controlled by state law and states may differ somewhat with how they would treat such issues. Even though this forum is not for such state law issues, I will try to direct you.  When contracting for goods or services you agreed to pay a certain amount and your received the benefits (goods and services contracted for) from March, 2014 until the present.  You knew, or should have know, that the 501(c)(3) organization was not, by some mistake, making monthly charges to your credit card.  States do have limitations of time in which someone more sue you for money owed, but that is almost always at least one year (statute of limitations).  Therefore, the 501(c)(3) organization may sue you in small claims court. Of course, 501(c)(3) organization's generally have procedures specified in their contracts (membership agreements) under what circumstances a membership would be cancelled or void. You would need to look into that document for the specifics.

Harvey Mechanic
Attorney at Law

P.S. This response is intended to be a general statement of law, should not be relied upon as legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. For me to consider your individual situation and how the law applies, I would need to gather more information.

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Harvey Mechanic


DO NOT GIVE ME INFORMATION THAT YOU WANT KEPT CONFIDENTIAL. I am an attorney and I volunteer time to answer general questions about U.S. Federal income tax issues of nonprofit 501(c)(3) public charities only. Those questions could be about establishing and maintaining legal requirements for such non-profit organizations in the United States, including Internal Revenue service filings and requirements. I will not be working on this free forum to answer questions about Nonprofit's possible unrelated or for-profit businesses or how to fill out forms. This forum is only for general questions about federal tax law, not as the law applies to your specific situation. If you do not make your question public then I will not be spending much of my donated time on answers that would not benefit the public. If you have other questions, please contact me at I will reply from my email. In any case, do not reveal confidential information to me until after I have contracted with you to provide personal legal services. My responses on this forum are intended to be general statements of law, should not be relied upon as legal advice, and do not create an attorney/client relationship. For me to consider your individual situation and how the law applies, I would need to gather extensive information about the situation. To search my previous answers you can do a Google search by "" without the quotes and then add your search terms before hitting enter.


I have been practicing law and especially the law of nonprofit organizations since 1990 when I was admitted to the New York Bar and I have maintained my status with the Bar since that time.


B.S. Columbia University in New York City, 1970

J.D. (Law Degree) Brooklyn Law School, 1990 -- Cum Laude.

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