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For Immediate Release
September 16, 2003
Contact: Sean Caine, 410-576-6357
scaine@oag.state.md.us

ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE ACCEPTING COMPLAINTS FROM MEMBERS OF CLOSED CECIL COUNTY HEALTH CLUB

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced that consumers who were members of a recently closed Cecil County health club can file refund claims with the Consumer Protection Division of this office. Hard Times Fitness Corporation, which was located at One Commercial Plaza, Elkton, closed in April without advance notice to its members. The Division may be able to assist consumers in recovering some of their membership fees and provide information about how to stop the club from continuing to collect payments set up as automatic debits or transfers from bank accounts.

Consumers who are entitled to refunds should send a copy of their membership agreement and proof of payment to: Hard Times Claims, c/o Consumer Protection Division, 200 St. Paul Place, 16th floor, Baltimore, MD 21202. Refunds will be paid from a letter of credit posted by the business.

Consumers who want more information on the closing or instructions for filing a complaint and discontinuing debit payments can call 410-576-6350, or send an e-mail with name, address and telephone number to consumer@oag.state.md.us.

Maryland's Health Club law requires health clubs, self-defense schools and weight loss centers to register with the Division. Clubs like Hard Times, which collect more than three months' payment in advance or an initiation fee of more than $200, must also provide the Division with a bond or letter of credit to protect consumers' advance payments.

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