My question involves collection proceedings in the State of: California

On March 3,2010 I received a collection notice stating that I owe $1,516.20 to a former gym I attended. The contract stated that I would be billed monthly and membership would not be canceled without (1) a sent written termination notice by the 5th of the prior month or (2) returning my membership card. By my mistake, I did neither and haven't gone back to the gym since Mid 2006.

I did receive a notice of intended legal action from the gym in October of 2006 (which was LONG after not attending that gym) stating that I owe $70.00 for the 2 previous months and that I've been referred to a collection department and that a suit against me would be filed if not paid in full, which I failed to submit.

It wasn't until March of 2010, that I received a notice from the actual collection agency, with this HUGE amount of $1,516.20 (approx 3 years later).

I understand I may owe a portion of the amount, but shouldn't I have been notified continuously with the amounts increasing? I haven't received notification of the debt since the last statement. I'm VERY stressed out about this HUGE amount. Can anyone please help me with my situation?