Resorts Pursue Legal Action Against Timeshare Exit Companies and Cancellation Attorneys
Every once in a while, you’ll hear about a lawyer who gave someone bad advice. But now there’s an entire category of lawyers who are allegedly getting themselves into legal hot water and their clients into financial trouble. They call themselves: “Timeshare Cancellation Attorneys.” These attorneys are work in the background for companies generally know as timeshare exit companies. They promise to get their clients out of their timeshare contracts with no consequences to their contractual obligations or to their credit ratings.
It’s the latest fad in the timeshare resale market, which is plagued by scammers and swindlers. However, these exit companies that tout contract cancellation as legitimate; don’t have the law on their side, according to a growing number of legal authorities. Attorneys for Welk, Westgate and Diamond Resorts have all filed suit against these timeshare cancellation attorneys and the timeshare exit companies who work with them. They “plague the industry by preying on unsuspecting timeshare owners,” according to the suit filed by Diamond Resorts International against Nashville-based Castle Law Group, its principal Judson Phillips and affiliated individuals and entities.
And they’re not cheap. For instance, Reid Hein & Associates, operating as “Timeshare Exit Team,” charged fees of $5,000 and more for their “services,” according to the suit filed by Welk Resorts. The suit also alleges that that owners who became delinquent and went into default under the Timeshare Exit Team scheme suffered significant damage to their credit records.
A timeshare owner would hope that after paying $5,000 or more they would be hard at work getting their clients released from their ownership. However, the amount of effort that goes in may be minimal. According to the Welk suit, Timeshare Exit Team and its cadre of attorneys would conspire to send bare-bones, generic, one-page attorney demand letters to Welk, claiming they represented the owners in breaching the contract.
To give prospective clients some peace of mind, most timeshare exit companies offer some type of money back guarantee. However, it seems the guarantee may not be enough protection. American Resource Management Group, who did business as Resort Release, filed for Bankruptcy after being sued by both Wyndham and Bluegreen, a Trustee was appointed to take control of the organization and noted “…Debtors, despite being paid substantial upfront fees from timeshare owners, have minimal cash in their bank accounts and have insufficient reserves to cover potential 100% ‘guarantee’ claims they made to thousands of timeshare owners.” So always vet the organization you are doing business with to ensure they can live up to their promises.
While timesharing is at an all-time high and continues to gain in popularity, the resale market does struggle. Owners who need to divest and still have a mortgage, should seek the help of their resort, they might get a hardship deferment or perhaps the resort will take back the ownership. Despite what you might hear from the exit company’s spokes people, if a timeshare is free of a mortgage some units can be sold (for a fraction of the original purchase price) and with a significant amount of work most ownerships can be given away. If you want to outsource this process Timeshare Specialists can handle it for you, we guarantee that we’ll find a new owner, and don’t charge our fee until we’ve completed all the work. So unhappy timeshare owners should keep in mind that there are alternatives to the timeshare exit firms and cancellation attorney and evaluate them all prior to paying significant upfront fees for a questionable service.