Does the Florida A G Protect Timeshare Developers or Consumers?

The results of a Westgate Resorts Public Records Request 

By Larry Lobbyist, a Westgate Owner

A group of Westgate Resort timeshare owners, angry that they were sold on the benefits of renting, filed a Public Records Request with the Office of the Florida Attorney General (OAG). The OAG produced 551 Westgate complaints filed over the last three years. Nearly half of the complaints mentioned renting to cover the cost of the timeshare, an unfeasible strategy. Reading the contract would not have helped because the Westgate contract states you can rent. The total dollar amount of Westgate complaints reported totalled over $4 million.

Mixed Messages  

The Florida OAG has taken no action against Westgate, but the full force of the Florida Attorney General’s prosecutorial powers were unleashed against an exit company that secured $87,000 in restitution. Florida Attorney General, Ashley Moody, applauded her office for investigating Premier Rental Solutions and Paramount Property Professionals saying, “…… I am proud of my Statewide Prosecutors for securing restitution for Florida victims of this fraud.”

 (Owner) Walsh will pay $87,000 in restitution to Florida victims of the scam—an average of approximately $1,750 per victim.

Among the 551 Westgate owners reporting $4,162,062 in losses (many left the amount blank):

29 mentioned being veterans, 3 mentioned being active duty military

251 mention “rent”

88 mention “profit”

111 mention “investment”

The keywords were tallied via a word search by a volunteer who read through each complaint. The complaints encompassed approximately 4,000 pages. A Spanish-speaking volunteer will be reading through the Spanish complaints. Florida is only one state. There could be thousands of complaints nationwide, plus many don’t think to file a complaint with an Attorney General.

Five vitiating factors were mentioned in practically every complaint:  

  1. Misrepresentation
  2. Mistake
  3. Duress
  4. Undue influence
  5. Illegality (unable to be proven without a recording) Florida is a “two-party” state. Recording a meeting is not allowed without the consent of both parties.

An Over-Reliance on the Non-reliance (Oral Representation) clause

The “oral representation” clause, warning consumers not to rely on statements made by a timeshare sales agent, should be disclosed prior to the sales presentation, not buried in fine print. A recent change in Florida law offers developers further assurance that the consumer will be unaware of this important disclosure as all documents can now be provided electronically. Some resorts provide only a cheap tablet that often doesn’t work. It would likely be a feat to obtain a hard copy during the rescission period while on vacation. One Westgate owner provided pictures showing how her Westgate Public Offering Statement was hidden in a secret compartment.

How can being denied a hard copy of documents, unless ordered, be considered a pro-consumer measure? ARDA applauds the legislative change:  Around the Industry is Now Digital

The Recorded Closing was used as an Entrapment

An unintended consequence of an Arizona Attorney General’s investigation made matters worse for consumers. Their office initially received about 400 complaints filed by Diamond Resorts members. As the investigation progressed, that number grew to over 1,000 complaints. After the company was issued an Assurance of Discontinuance, in 2017, Diamond began recording the closing “QA” session. Other developers soon followed. There have been multiple complaints and some recordings of agents advising buyers what to say or not say on the recording. One example: “I help people refinance (sell, rent) outside of here, so don’t mention anything to the closing agent.” The recording is then used as “proof” that there was no misrepresentation. The buyer is not allowed to listen to the recording without a subpoena. A subpoena would require filing an arbitration case, arguably biased towards industry.

Who’s Being Protected?

Timeshare members are concerned that some Attorneys General are protecting developers from consumers. Reviewers with the Florida Attorney General’s Timeshare Division, Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR), are quick to  dismiss complaints by referring to what is written in the contract, and to the contract rescission period responding, “Verbal representations are difficult to prove.” The problem, as stated above, is that in the case of renting out Westgate units to cover costs, reading the contract does not help. The rescission period does not help because no one would attempt to rent a newly purchased timeshare while on vacation. It is only after frustrating rental attempts that the buyer learns renting for income is unfeasible. The contract states the buyer did not buy for investment purposes, but according to one attorney we spoke with, renting just to cover maintenance fees should not be considered investment purposes.

The Westgate owners also sent a Public Records Request to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. That agency forwarded 541 Westgate complaints. The CFPB issued Westgate a Civil Investigative Demand (CID) in 2015.

It is disturbing that the Florida OAG will not investigate Westgate’s practices having received so many complaints. Other states have launched investigations with fewer numbers. Without legislative changes, the Florida OAG won’t have to do anything! We want to know why no one – not the Attorney General, ARDA, or Westgate, cares about us and the harm we have suffered. More importantly, why are lawmakers and regulators not concerned with veterans and active duty service members losing their security clearances because of timeshare sales and lending? In frustration, we launched Westgate Timeshare Hostages Facebook Group in late December of 2021. Nearly 1,000 members have joined.

The Queen of Versaille Documentary about the Owners of  Westgate

A Combat Veteran 24 years served with a security clearance

My wife and I bought a Westgate Resorts Vacation Villas timeshare unit in Orlando on November 13, 2021, for $20,000. We financed $19,305. Since our purchase, my incurable, combat-related medical condition has worsened. My lung capacity is at 73%. I have idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), a fatal lung disease where the additional presence of pulmonary hypertension (PH) reduces survival. My only option is a lung transplant, but in order to be moved up on the wait-list, I have to be on a ventilator. This means I must be bedridden before I would be eligible. It has become increasingly difficult to travel. I also have degenerative disc disease. Our Westgate agents promised us that if we did not want to continue with the property, we could request to get out of the timeshare loan with no penalty and Westgate would retain the property without further financial charges. Our agents also said we could offset the cost of the property by renting the timeshare out and that Westgate would assist us with the rental process. The promised 90-minute presentation turned into six hours. I suffer from PTSD and TBI.

Response from the Florida Attorney General

Dear Irene Parker,
The office of Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody received your communication regarding your concerns with Westgate and Bluegreen and we thank you for taking the time to file a complaint with our office.

The Attorney General’s Office is concerned with all potentially unfair and deceptive trade practices.  In general, our office uses complaints such as yours to identify patterns of questionable business practices which may indicate the need for formal investigation or action by our office to protect the broad public interest.

This office appreciates consumers who brings their concerns to our attention, often, it is only through correspondence from concerned citizens that this office becomes aware of consumer problems.  

Again, thank you for giving us the opportunity to hear from you.


Office of the Attorney General
Consumer Protection Division


Bluegreen Vacations is mentioned in the response. They offer a survey at check-in with a list of “likes and dislikes” as reported by several Bluegreen owners. Of course “maintenance assistance” is checked. One owner reported her sales agent looked at her response and said, “This is a sign you don’t have enough points” and then proceeded to encourage them to buy additional points to rent. Beginning about a year ago, Bluegreen began suspending accounts “suspected” of commercial activity! The suspicion is based only on reservations in the names of someone other than the account holder.

After Inside Timeshare has heard from timeshare members and owners who purchased from a total of nine developers, based on the ability to rent to cover costs. Wyndham, a 10th developer has had a sales agent pitching to rent. This was not a Wyndham member reporting, but a lawsuit filed against one of their employees! Our analysis to follow in an upcoming article.   

Articles about renting to cover costs: Three additional Active Duty Service Members and Veterans

A Navy Chief Petty Officer, 14 years served 

Tahiti Village, Soleil Management – According to statements made by Soleil’s representatives, they will not take a timeshare back under any circumstances. In November of 2021 he paid an exit company $2,800 but has received nothing but email updates.

I bought a Tahiti Village timeshare in 2017 in California. The sales agent told us this was an investment because the Raiders stadium was being built right across the street. We were told we could rent the timeshare out so that it would pay for itself. After learning it would be unfeasible to rent to cover costs, I tried to sell it through Timeshares Only, a company recommended by Soleil. On October 21, 2021, I paid them $600 to list the timeshare for $5,000. No one inquired. I learned that honest brokers either will not accept a listing or suggest a selling price of only a few hundred dollars. They said it may be difficult to give it away.

Active Duty Air Force, 8 ½ years served 

In September of 2021, my family of three purchased a 4 BR Westgate Resorts unit at Westgate Lakes in Orlando. We were assured of the ability to rent to cover the cost of the timeshare, and to earn income. After learning that renting to cover even just the cost of the timeshare is all but impossible, I reached out to After Inside Timeshare and was referred to Westgate’s Legacy department. In their dismissal, they asked me to provide the reason why national security is threatened. The reason is because a loan default can lead to the loss of a security clearance, which can lead to involuntary separation from service. I counted on the ability to rent to cover the cost of the timeshare. We would have never purchased a 4 BR timeshare for just the three of us.

A Documented Veteran who fought at the battle of Long Tan

This family lost $112,000. In 2018 we were invited to an “educational” dinner at Newport Beach, California, to learn how to use points. The dinner started at 6 PM. We signed a contract to buy 7,500 additional points for $29,000 around 11 PM. Our agent said we could deduct our maintenance fees because renting points can be run as a business. He mentioned this after noticing we hadn’t used our points. We rarely travel. He explained how people from all over the world could get their own Dream Vacation by renting points from us. He used this example: You live in California. People want to ski, so you book a trip, then post an ad and make money. We cancelled this contract, finally, realizing Diamond points are not an income investment.

Other rental complaints

Are my Consumer Rights being eroded? Westgate Benn Dover February 25, 2022

Nine Westgate Families (2 – 10) March 4, 2022

Club Exploria (1) March 11, 2022

Sheri Vacation Village (1) March 18, 2022

Ashley Vacation Village (2) September 2, 2022

Westgate by Abdur Rashid (11) April 22, 2022

Jackie’s Vacays Westgate (12) June 10, 2022

Branson’s Nantucket (3) May 13, 2022

Thank you, Larry and all who contribute to these articles, they are your testimonies to the unfair and in my own opinion fraudulent practices of the timeshare industry. Some may say that is too strong a word to use, but according to the definition below it fits the criteria.

That’s all for this week, have a great weekend.


  1. Adam

    As a USAF veteran I myself had been taken advantage of by timeshare salesperson. They placed me in a cubical for 6.5 hours and gave me all these promises and what sold it was the promise to refinance outside of the office. Well 45 days later nothing ever happened but continuous lies. It got as bad to the point where the agent lied and said his son was in a severe car wreck and later we found that the pictures had been used to circulate through the office in moments to be used and similar store was used. It’s so shameful of them to go to this extreme.

    1. Timeshare Insider

      Fake photographs and families, used by many sales agents, one I know of had different identities depending on who was in front of him. His favourite “UPs” were grandparents, out would come “his grandchildren”. You guessed it, he’s got you hooked.

  2. Benn Dover

    “𝘐𝘯 𝘨𝘦𝘯𝘦𝘳𝘢𝘭, 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘰𝘧𝘧𝘪𝘤𝘦 𝘶𝘴𝘦𝘴 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘱𝘭𝘢𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘴 𝘴𝘶𝘤𝘩 𝘢𝘴 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘪𝘥𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘧𝘺 𝘱𝘢𝘵𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘯𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘲𝘶𝘦𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘣𝘭𝘦 𝘣𝘶𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘴 𝘱𝘳𝘢𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘤𝘦𝘴 𝘸𝘩𝘪𝘤𝘩 𝘮𝘢𝘺 𝘪𝘯𝘥𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘵𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘯𝘦𝘦𝘥 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘮𝘢𝘭 𝘪𝘯𝘷𝘦𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘨𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘰𝘳 𝘢𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘣𝘺 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘰𝘧𝘧𝘪𝘤𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘵𝘦𝘤𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘣𝘳𝘰𝘢𝘥 𝘱𝘶𝘣𝘭𝘪𝘤 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘵.”
    I am extremely interested in what it takes to identify a pattern of questionable business practices. I would think that 4000+pages of complaints that are all almost identical complaints would be more than enough to identify a pattern. Even more shocking is that although the complaints were filed over the last 3 years- they date back to purchases made in 1998. This means the pattern has existed for close to 25 years, if not longer. UNACCEPTABLE!

  3. Joanne Y Peck

    How many horrific stories is it going to take before our lawmakers and courts do their job? Perhaps they think the companies put them in their positions? VOTE OUT all incumbents.

  4. Sherida Nett

    Thank you to all who have worked so hard to gather this information. I hope the drip, drip, drip of truth finally opens a floodgate soon.

  5. Michael

    I have no personal involvement or interest in or with Westgate, but it is encouraging to see efforts to hold any timeshare company accountable.

  6. Deb

    Timeshare companies rely on lies to even exist. I encourage AG’s to protect their citizens from the ongoing deceptive practices. What exactly is it going to take? Thank you for your time and commitment to shine a light on this entire industry. How do you spell scam?

  7. Donna

    thank you for all if your wotk

    1. Irene Parker

      Thank you for reading. The goal is consumer education – especially concerning the Oral Representation Clause warning that should be disclosed prior to the sales presentation.

  8. Roy

    It has become increasingly evident that the Florida Office of Attorney General chooses to protect the developer, rather than the consumer.

  9. D. Volgenau

    Thanks to Irene and everyone that has worked so hard to keep these issues in the public view instead of buried as timeshare companies would prefer. My situation is a little different. Westgate would not allow us to sell our unit even though we had a licensed real estate contract and buyers. They demanded we PAY THEM a commission! Still unresolved.

    1. Chris B.

      Leeches will leech. Past due time to pull blood-sucking crooked leeches off the American people and make them get real jobs that benefit society as a whole. Sure, I expect they’re too lazy to do that, but some honest hard work won’t hurt them. It will help them instead.

  10. Chris B.

    This shows the level of deeply rooted corruption in our government. When fraudsters pay so-called “public servants” to look the other way while Americans are defrauded, we have the proverbial “fox guarding the henhouse.” Remember, when you vote for crooks, you get a crooked government. Notice who your crooks are and vote them out asap! We need moral, honest people running for public office instead!

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