Martial arts students of defunct Silver Spring club urged to file claims -- Gazette.Net


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Anyone who purchased a membership at the now-defunct Chung’s Martial Arts Clubs in Silver Spring is being encouraged to file a claim with the Consumer Protection Division.

The gym allegedly shut both Silver Spring locations at 744 Cloverly St. and 15440 New Hampshire Ave. in December 2012 and January 2013 without previous notice and continued to collect payments set up as automatic debits from consumers’ bank accounts, according to a press release from the Maryland Attorney General’s office.

Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler advised former members of Chung’s Martial Arts Clubs to file a refund claim with the Consumer Protection Division.

Maryland law requires health clubs to obtain security, which gives consumers a safety net to ensure they won’t be paying for services they don’t receive when clubs close, he said.

Maryland Health Club Law requires centers such as self-defense schools, weight loss facilities and health clubs to register with the Consumer Protection Division, and clubs like Chung’s Martial Arts, which can charge three months payment in advance or an initiation fee of more than $200, have to provide a bond or letter of credit.

“The company is required to post a bond through an insurance or financial method. ... It protects consumers’ interests,” said Alan Brody, deputy communications director of the Maryland Office of the Attorney General. The martial arts academy was last registered in 2012 with a $70,000 bond.

According to Brody, the division has received almost 100 claims so far, and he hopes that more people come forward if they know the gym continued to charge their bank accounts after the school shut its doors.

Consumers who need more information about the closing or would like to know how to file a claim to discontinue debit payments should call 410-576-6350, or send an email with their name, address and telephone number to healthclub@oag.state.md.us.

abarros@gazette.net