This week we report on a trial that began this past Monday, October 24, concerning a lawsuit Wyndham Vacation Ownership filed three years ago against Carlsbad Law Group, a California law firm, and Timeshare Compliance, a timeshare exit company.
Our position at After Inside Timeshare is that both sides are at fault. Developers complain about Exit Companies, but refuse to admit that some of their sales agents, and subsequent complaint dismissals, drive timeshare buyers to exit companies. There is no “exit industry” for the residential homes market. If you own a home with an outstanding mortgage, you can still sell your home by calling a realtor. It is next to impossible to sell a timeshare with an outstanding mortgage. The majority of timeshare buyers have high credit scores, so the possibility of default and a lengthy foreclosure process can be overwhelming.
What’s wrong with Timeshare Developers in general
Hardship releases are not always forthcoming. One Westgate Resorts buyer, an Army veteran, suffers from a lung condition that will be fatal if he doesn’t receive a lung transplant. He needs his income from the Pentagon, but his work requires a security clearance. His security clearance is in jeopardy due to defaulting on his Westgate loan. He reported that his sales agent told him he could rent out the timeshare if he couldn’t use it to cover the cost of the timeshare. That’s not so easy. Westgate denied him a hardship release.
Wyndham Plaintiff’s witness, Ramona Harrington, Vice President of Title Services, Travel & Leisure, testified that one of the five release options Wyndham offers includes a hardship option. This option has proven to be an uphill option in several cases. Ron Tzinski, an Army Veteran was denied a release. Ron served our country for 11 years.
June 21, 2019
I bought a Wyndham timeshare in Tennessee in October of 2016. In October of 2017, I talked to someone at the Wyndham Grand Desert about getting out, but instead got talked into buying additional points. They promised that if this purchase was a problem, Wyndham would buy back the timeshare. They explained the reason for this convenience is because Wyndham self-finances loans. This made sense.
I have not made a payment in eight months. I am a small business owner on the verge of bankruptcy due to massively decreased income. My wife passed away two years ago after we had purchased the timeshare. My income decreased to $12,000 a year. I applied for a hardship release. Wyndham started three files, but ultimately denied a release. You must have to be on welfare to qualify. We are now veterans in a different kind of war.
Why Hedge Funds Recommend Timeshare Stocks – because they are Evil
By Yahoo Finance reporter Abigail Fisher
In this article we are going to look at another set of evil companies that use high-pressure sales tactics to trick consumers into signing complex long-term contracts that they don’t understand: timeshare marketing companies. Check out this Reddit post where the user is asking several questions about Wyndham timeshare cancellation. This person was able to cancel and receive a full refund, but many consumers don’t cancel within the 7-day or 10-day window specified in their contracts.
We find evil companies to be a very rewarding hunting ground to uncover long-term stock winners. In our opinion companies like Philip Morris (PM), Facebook (FB), Apple Inc. (AAPL), Alphabet (GOOGL) are evil companies that delivered 1000% or more gains to their investors. These companies thrive at the expense of their clients. Philip Morris slowly kills its customers.
What’s wrong with Exit Companies
Karen reached out to us having signed an agreement to pay a Colorado Exit Company $27,000 to be released from two paid-for Wyndham contracts. At trial, Ms Harrington explained Wyndham’s “Limited Edition” exit option. Karen will be released at no cost and can even use her points for three years without paying maintenance fees. She would have paid the exit company $27,000 for no reason. I called Wyndham with Karen on the line and we learned of this program. Wyndham has been nice about allowing me to stay on the phone with those who reach out who are impaired, scared and desperate.
Sales agents who work for Timeshare Compliance assured timeshare members and owners that as soon as the attorney sends a cease and desist letter and a demand letter, they would be out of their timeshare contract. This was not true. They were also told their credit would be protected. This may or may not be true and should not have been stated as a certainty.
The Bench Trial (no jury) began October 24
WYNDHAM VACATION OWNERSHIP, INC. a Delaware corporation;
WYNDHAM VACATION RESORTS, INC., a Delaware corporation,
WYNDHAM RESORT DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION; a Oregon Corporation;
SHELL VACATIONS, LLC, an Arizona limited liability company;
SVC-AMERICANA, LLC, an Arizona limited liability company; and
SVC-HAWAII, LLC, a Hawaii limited liability company, Plaintiffs,
SLATTERY, SOBEL & DECAMP, LLP, a California limited liability partnership;
DEL MAR LAW GROUP, LLP, a California limited liability partnership;
CARLSBAD LAW GROUP, LLP, a California limited liability partnership;
JL ‘SEAN’ SLATTERY, an individual and resident of the State of California;
PANDORA MARKETING, LLC f/k/a Timeshare Compliance, LLC d/b/a Timeshare Compliance and d/b/a timeshareexitcompanies.com and d/b/a timesharecancellationreviews.com, a Wyoming limited liability company;
PANDORA SERVICING, LLC, a Wyoming limited liability company;
INTERMARKETING MEDIA, LLC d/b/a Resort Advisory Group, a Wyoming limited liability company;
POWER HAUS MARKETING INC., a California corporation;
KENNETH EDDY a/k/a Ken Eddy, an individual and resident of the State of Oregon;
RICH FOLK, an individual and resident of the State of California;
WILLIAM WILSON a/k/a James Wilson a/k/a Bo Wilson, an individual and resident of the State of California; and
ANDRIS PUKKE a/k/a Marc Romeo a/k/a Andy Storm, an individual and resident of the State of California, Defendants
The gist of this lawsuit is that Wyndham alleged Pandora Marketing and Inter-marketing Media are guilty of false advertising, and that the lawyers involved with the companies were aware of this. They also contend that the referral relationships with the attorneys violated ethical standards and laws.
Lawyer defendants counter that they had no knowledge of false advertising and that no client who ceased making payments has been required to pay any additional monies to plaintiffs.
Plaintiffs (Wyndham) seek an injunction (a judicial order that restrains a person from beginning or continuing an action threatening or invading the legal right of another), corrective advertising, and disgorgement of profits.
As I was leaving court Wednesday (10/26), I received this email from one of our readers:
I attended a “hotel tour” in October. We were there to earn a free trip. The idea of spending more quality time together as a family appealed to us. We- I- got lost in the excitement. He had worked overtime the previous night and was running on four hours of sleep. He was listening to everything but not really aware. If I was on board then so was he. He trusts me. We’ve never made a big purchase so we didn’t know what questions to ask. We didn’t fully understand what we were getting ourselves into. We want out of this contract. I am typing up the cancellation request and plan on sending it ASAP. I would really appreciate it if one of you could steer me in the right direction; it can be easy to get lost in all the lingo. I want to make sure to dot my i’s and cross my t’s to avoid any nasty surprises down the line. If you can help please contact me. Thank you so much for reading this. God bless you. As I am writing this.
Our volunteers cannot provide legal advice, but we can advise on which regulatory agencies to file a complaint with if the timeshare resort dismisses your complaint. We always recommend first reaching out to your resort, but the oral representation clause, contained in timeshare contracts, typically means that any complaint that begins with, “The sales agent says …” will likely be dismissed. The purchaser initials a clause that states the purchaser did not rely on oral representations to make their purchase.
Next week we will report on what transpired over the first three days of the trial. Stay tuned for the outcome.
A Declaration, publicly filed by a former Wyndham executive of 19 years, pertaining to a lawsuit filed against Wyndham Vacation Resorts/Travel & Leisure, elucidates how inventory is manipulated in that non-members can at times book less expensively than members.
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF DELAWARE, Plaintiffs STEVEN ERIC KIRCHNER, ELIZABETH LEE KIRCHNER, and MARCIA RICHARDS, Individually and on behalf of all persons similarly situated, Plaintiffs, vs. WYNDHAM VACATION RESORTS INC., Defendant. No. 1:20-CV-00436-RGA-JLH Filed 7/15/2022
Thank you, Irene, as you so rightly said at the start, AIT believes that both sides are at fault, the developers for their intransigence in not allowing people to exit and the “exit” peddlers who cash in on the uncertainty faced by those members. The promises of a swift and painless “exit” are bound to attract those who feel trapped, especially when “scare” tactics are used, a problem not just confined to the US. Spain enacted their own laws based on EU Directives, these govern what a timeshare is and how it can be sold, including the removal of the “in-perpetuity” clause, which limits any contract to a maximum of 50 years. It has also seen a big change in the attitude of some timeshare developers to allow a free or low-cost exit, this was probably due to the hundreds of cases that hit the courts throughout Spain. All found in favour of the consumer I might add.
Other aspects of Spain’s laws, ban the taking of any payment within the statutory cooling-off period, currently 14 days in Europe, but the most important point to come out of the law and its subsequent confirmation through Supreme Court rulings is the illegality of “floating weeks & points” systems. As these do not have an assigned week or apartment, which guarantees usage each and every year, “floating weeks & points” are a club-based product which is subject to “availability”. The Supreme Court’s explanation was that these systems have no substance, they are nothing but fresh air and promises. A fact that any “points or floating week” “owner” will testify to.
It is time for change, developers have to take responsibility for their actions and those of their sales agents, it is from the very beginning of a consumer’s “timeshare” journey that the seeds for future scams have been sown. Law enforcement & other consumer bodies need to take stock of who they listen to, hundreds of complaints about one industry, what does that tell you?
That is all for this week, next week we shall be publishing Part 2 of our Silverpoint story, there are a few upsets in store and a lot of money is at stake. We hope you all have a great weekend, Baby Dog has already let me know what he wants.