By ADD is multitasking, 12.9k followers
This wry gentleman took time out from making videos about engine repairs (31 to 303 views) to use his platform to share his experience about being lured into a Bluegreen presentation. He was promised luxury gifts that never materialized (15,452 views and 86 comments).
There has been a steady stream of Bluegreen Vacations owners that have complained about Bluegreen sales agents pitching the ability to rent to offset the costs of their timeshare or to earn income. While this complaint is commonly reported industry-wide, Bluegreen has taken the unfair and predatory step of suspending hundreds of accounts of owners “suspected” of commercial activity. Suspicion is based only on reservations in the name of others, despite rules that allow friends and family to use an owner’s points or weeks.
Bluegreen is now requiring owners to sign a Declaration, under threat of perjury, basically admitting that they retained a third party party to rent their timeshare. All who reached out to us said that their sales agent was the one who encouraged them to buy additional points to rent! Bluegreen is demanding the Declaration be signed in order to have their account unlocked.
Some Bluegreen owners reported that they were baited by a survey presented at check-in, asking them to evaluate “likes and dislikes” with the list including “maintenance fee assistance.” Agents then zeroed in explaining that they should buy points to rent to offset fees. Some said their agents provided them with names of specific rental companies.
Bluegreen whistleblower Denise Mecke, who worked for Bluegreen from 2002 until August 4, 2022, stated in her lawsuit complaint, “These employees were advising timeshare owners on renting points online, which violated Bluegreen policies.” Ms Mecke reported the violations through the proper channels. No changes were made.
Shaundre and Kimberly Laskey filed a lawsuit against Bluegreen Vacations in 2018 The case is still pending. A Third Amended Petition was filed on June 21, 2022.
SHAUNDRE and KIMBERLY LASKEY, et al. Plaintiffs, v. BLUEGREEN VACATIONS UNLIMITED, INC., et al., Defendants, filed in the CIRCUIT COURT OF CHRISTIAN COUNTY, MISSOURI Case No. 19CT-CC00126.
Among their seven allegations is c: Defendants told Plaintiffs Laskey they could rent their timeshare out for a profit or to cover their maintenance fees
Angela was the first to report a Bluegreen suspension. When we last spoke, Angela said her account had been unlocked, Another owner reported that his account had been locked, unlocked, and locked again.
We cannot give legal advice, but I reached out to attorneys to ask about the Declaration after being falsely accused of contacting Bluegreen owners to tell them to sign the Declaration. Not a lawyer, I would NEVER tell a timeshare owner to sign or not sign any legal document that was to be signed under threat of perjury. The attorneys I spoke with advised that Bluegreen owners NOT sign the Declaration. I was granted permission to share their advice.
Industry-wide rental scam pitch
We are following 11 Wyndham Vacation Resorts lawsuits with virtually all mentioning being pitched the ability to rent to offset costs or make money. Earlier this year, Westgate Resorts Protestors held court on the curb, holding up signs in advance of Westgate’s annual meeting. Protestors said they were told to buy a week to earn income or cover costs. Plans are underway for the next protest.
Sheri in Minnesota has proof of her The Colonies (Vacation Village) sales agent pitching the ability to rent to offset costs. The agent referred her to her “personal friend” who had a real estate license, suggesting Sheri rent out her bonus Colonies week and sell her Westgate week so she could afford to buy at The Colonies. Her agent’s friend listed Sheri’s Westgate Week (for an upfront fee) for the ridiculous listing price of $39,000! Needless to say, there were no takers for the rental or sales listings.
A lawsuit was filed against Hilton Grand Vacations on March 20, 2023. One of six allegations (d): Advising on multiple occasions that Plaintiffs could earn income from renting out the subject timeshare interest.
RICHARD DEHAAN, an individual; and JUDI DEHAAN, an individual, Plaintiffs, vs. HILTON GRAND VACATIONS CLUB, LLC., Filed in the Eighth Judicial District Court in Clark County, Nevada, Case #A-23-867540-C
The Bluegreen Declaration demanded in order to get your account unlocked (edited for brevity)
I, _____________________________ hereby declare, acknowledge, and affirm as follows:
- I am an Owner Beneficiary and member of the Bluegreen Vacations Club (“BVC”).
- On or about _______________________ (enter date), I entered into an agreement with a third party rental company and received compensation in return for my agreement to allow the Third Party to access my BVC account via Bluegreen’s owner website to enable the Third Party to use my account for commercial purposes, including booking reservations under my Account and renting them to the general public. To facilitate this, I provided the Third Party with my login credentials for BGO.
- My agreement with the Third Party ended on ________________ [insert date], which is evidenced by the attached Notice of Termination from the Third Party dated ________________ [insert date], and I am no longer obligated in any way to the Third Party.
Signature _____________ Printed Name
Governmental agencies to report unfair and deceptive practices
While our volunteers and I cannot provide legal advice, we can answer questions about which agencies to file a complaint with if you feel you experienced unfair and deceptive marketing, sales or lending practices. Complaint filing protocols vary by state. These agencies include:
* The Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
* The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), but since loan payments are made to the Developer, and Developers are not considered a lender, despite being a massive lending machine, you can only “Tell Your Story” to the CFPB and we encourage you to do so. The FTC and the CFPB have filed joint Amicus Briefs supporting the timeshare consumer. They are listening.
* The Office of the Attorney General in the state where the contract was signed.
You can also join one of the various Facebook Groups that promote working directly with the Developer to resolve a dispute. The Groups do not allow exit companies to solicit. For Bluegreen, join the Bluegreen Timeshare Hostages Facebook Group. This group was launched in 2011. I was asked to be an admin last year.
Contact us if you would like to share your timeshare experience, good or bad. We appreciate all our contributors!
Making the best of a bad situation, Sheri turned to KOALA, an honest rental platform for members and owners allowed to rent. She has been able to rent some of her weeks, but advises that in no way should renting be a reason to buy a timeshare to offset the costs of a timeshare. Reading the contract would not have helped Sheri because, like Westgate Resorts and Club Exploria, those contracts state you can rent.
Thank you, Irene, once again we see a timeshare developer using “legal” means to “blackmail” their own members, members who have paid substantial amounts of money for a product based on lies. If the authorities, who are your “elected” representatives, are unable to see this for what it is then the whole system needs to be changed.
As for whether to sign, well, never sign anything without first completely understanding what you are signing, if that means receiving genuine legal advice then don’t sign until then. Unfortunately, timeshare seems to bypass this sound advice and insists on signing on the day when purchasing, then holding you to ransom in order to use what you have purchased. All of them use highly paid legal parasites to find loopholes and twists to suit them, safe in the knowledge that you the consumer will never have enough money to fight against it in court.
As individuals, you have no power, and you don’t have the cash, but together you have the best tool possible, you are all able to speak with one voice and tell the same story, bombard the relevant authorities with complaints, and keep the posts going on social media. You have Truth on your side.
That is all for this week, we hope that you all have a great weekend and we also wish Irene a very happy Birthday today. Baby Dog was being his mischievous self again, insisting on playing when it suits him, and don’t let that look fool you.