Military Consumer Month – Predatory Timeshare Lending Report 1 of 6

July in America is Military Consumer Month. After Inside Timeshare has received reports from ten U. S. military service members this year reporting how they were harmed by unfair and deceptive timeshare sales and marketing practices. Two of the ten were able to resolve their dispute. Three lost monies to timeshare exit companies. If we surveyed exit companies that hear from several hundred to several thousand members and owners per week, the numbers would be exponentially higher.

As we discussed on America’s 4th of July, in the EU, no military service member would risk involuntary separation from service due to a timeshare loan default. A loan default puts security clearances at risk.

In regards to “predatory lending” to serving military personnel, what we do not know is the effect this may have had on those in the reserve. They are essentially civilians and volunteer their spare time to serve as reservists, attending regular training but ultimately holding down a civilian job and life. In the past, it would have been very unusual for them to serve in conflict zones, but over the past 20 years or so, we have seen them called up for active duty more than before. So we do have to ask the question, how many have fallen into the trap as civilians?

Today we feature the first of six reports by a Navy Chief Petty Officer who has served for 14 years. Due to security clearance concerns, we will not name the service members in their reports, or their location.

It’s not necessary to ask the timeshare companies to comment. They would respond that allegations are unfounded and timeshares are highly regulated. This is why we have been gathering a form of proof – multiple complaints of a similar nature.

In 2020, Timeshare Sales were #9 on the Federal Trade Commission’s Top Ten Scam list and Timeshare Resales (fake buyers) #10, totaling $31 million:

A Summary of the Six Reports

  1.     A Navy Chief Petty Officer is disputing Tahiti Village, a Soleil Management resort. According to statements made by Soleil’s representatives, they will not take a timeshare back under any circumstances. The officer paid a timeshare listing agency Soleil recommended $600, to no avail. In November of 2021 he paid an exit company $2,800 and has received nothing but email updates.
  2.     A Homeland Security agent, and a Marine veteran, 26 years served, resolved his dispute by working directly with his resort.
  3.    Active duty Navy, 12 years served, a father of four purchased a minimum number of Diamond Resorts timeshare points, 2500. They paid an exit company $6,000. They lost in arbitration resulting in a $66,000 judgment against them, disputing a $10,000 loan: “The presentation lasted seven hours with six agents. They said we had to make our decision to buy that day. Our children were restless. We were told this was an investment that would help us when we bought a home. The agent said he was giving us a great deal because we are military. Riding back to my room, I asked the agent and her fiancé, ‘If I change my mind tomorrow what happens?’ They laughed and said it was too late. I signed on the dotted line. I later learned I had five days to cancel. We were not given a copy of the contract, only a tablet that did not work well. They mailed the documents. Upon review, I learned that the interest rate is astronomical.   
  4.     Active duty Navy, 18 ½ years served, in 2019 purchased 15,000 Diamond Resorts points for $36,034, financing $32,000:  We repeatedly told our sales agents we could only afford $1,500 in maintenance fees. They said if we purchased additional points, we would be eligible for a program to offset 50% of the fees by charging purchases to a Diamond Barclaycard, but It turned out this would only offset fees by 1%. Diamond offered a settlement of $16,000, half our loan amount. We refused. We would have to borrow the money. We were not given a copy of the contract when we purchased, only a tablet, but the tablet did not work. The mortgage agent and manager said they would send the documents. We never received them. We charged the $4,000 down payment to Barclaycard believing this would offset about half of our maintenance fees. A Barclay’s rep said that was not how it works. I had a breakdown and hung up the phone. We are a single-income family and I will be deployed this year. One of my children has special needs.
  5. The following husband and wife are both active duty service members:
  6. Air Force, We purchased multiple times: First told in 2016 that an Orange Lake/Holiday Inn timeshare is easy to sell back because we are military. In August of 2021, in Tennessee, we complained about rising maintenance fees. We told this sales agent that ALL agents said we could sell back.  She said we could not and that we would have to hire lawyers to get out. She told us the only way to get maintenance fees lowered was to combine our 3 contracts, which required buying points we did not need. We owe an estimate of $75,000 for one contract and $50,000 for the second. Fees increased even though we were told they would decrease. We used to use the points two or three times a year but due to deployments, we can only book about once a year.
  7.     A Homeland Security agent; resolved his dispute.
  8. Active duty Air Force National Guard, 8 ½ years served, purchased a four-bedroom unit, despite being a family of three: “In September of 2021, at Westgate Lakes in Orlando we bought a 4 BR “Unlimited Getaways” week for $50,954.42, financing $44,711.19. We were told about an owner who rents her unit online with AirBnb and Westgate doesn’t touch any of the money. They talked about unlimited Getaways that we could buy and sell to others. The agent said there was a loophole to rent so that we receive the income instead of Westgate. They explained that the variable rental rate was $49 to $399 per week, but we could turn around and rent it out for around $1,000 or whatever the market bears. My fiancé attempted to find renters, but there were too many extra fees and obstacles. Our sales agent told us they had a deal because someone was giving up a unit. They said if we ever wanted to sell the timeshare we could, and that the original price was $75,000. Before we signed documents, our sales agent said not to mention anything we discussed.” 
  9.     Marine active duty, served 9 years: “We purchased a 2 BR Westgate Vacation Villa in Kissimmee in 2021. Our Westgate sales agent told us military members often buy timeshares. We were concerned about not being able to use it when deployed. They said no problem because we could rent the timeshare out and use the money to pay our mortgage or fees, or we could sell the timeshare. We were offered a timeshare that was a little over $24,000. We declined. We were told to sit tight. The agent came back with a man “in charge of the military department” who stated that they had just brought a unit back from a service member with a mortgage paid down to $12,000. We didn’t have the money for a down payment. They offered to set up a payment plan to finance the down payment. We learned Westgate does not buy back timeshares. The purchase price was $12,230.09 and the amount financed was $10,650.”
  1.   Works at the Pentagon, 100% disabled combat veteran, 24 years Army, served in Iraq, Bosnia, and Afghanistan: “In November of 2021 at the Westgate Vacation Villas in Orlando we bought a unit for $20,000, financing $19,305. My combat-related medical condition has worsened. My lung capacity is 73%. I have been diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), a fatal lung disease. My only option is a lung transplant, but in order to be moved up on the transplant wait list, I have to be on a ventilator.  I also have degenerative disc disease. Our Westgate agents promised that if we did not want to continue with the property, we could request to get out of the loan with no penalty. They said Westgate would retain the property without further 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. We stopped making loan payments. We reached out to Westgate and filed a complaint with the Florida Attorney General April 1, 2022 through the Military and Veterans Assistance Program. Westgate answered the Attorney General on April 4, responding that there was no misrepresentation. Our promised 90-minute presentation turned into six hours. I suffer from PTSD and TBI. I have not lived in the US for 24 years. Since my return, I have experienced more stress being in the US than being in war.

Article 1 of 6: Navy Chief Petty Officer, 14 years served, 

Based on my experience, military service members should never purchase a timeshare if there is no responsible exit available. My timeshare is paid off. I have no loan, but Soleil Management, Tahiti Village will not take a timeshare back under any circumstances.

According to another Tahiti Village buyer’s report: We don’t want the timeshare due to my health issues. I am in Stage 5 kidney failure and on dialysis. I was told Soleil Management will not take a timeshare back under any circumstances. We have not paid maintenance fees for three years. 

My travel time is governed by the military. Covid restrictions and deployments prevented my using the timeshare. I served seven years in Okinawa, Japan, and thirteen months in Afghanistan and the Middle East. I was unable to stay at Soleil properties due to frequent deployments.

I bought the 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. They said that was a low price. No one even inquired. I learned that honest brokers, that do not charge upfront money, either will not accept a listing or will only suggest a selling price of a few hundred dollars. They explained that it may be difficult to even give it away.

Timeshare is a risk to our national security, especially when financed at a high interest rate. Presentations should be made off-limits like Payday loans. With no secondary market, and impossible to sell with a loan outstanding, too many are left with no choice but to default.

[Code of Federal Regulations (annual edition) – July 1, 2002 Edition]


[Subtitle A – Department of Defense




Sec. 631.5 General.

(a) Armed Forces Disciplinary Control Boards (AFDCBs) may be

established by installation, base, or station commanders. The mission of AFDCBs is as follows:

(1) Advise and make recommendations to commanders on matters concerning the elimination of crime or other conditions which may negatively affect the health, safety, morals, welfare, morale, or discipline of Armed Forces personnel.

Through public records, I found out that my exit company agent that I paid $2,800 to last November, has a criminal past.

  • M
    • Case Type: Theft/Burglary
    • Offense Date: Dec 04, 2007
    • Offense Code: 812.13(2)(A)
    • Court: CIRCUIT
    • Disposition: ADJUDICATED GUILTY
    • Disposition Date: Nov 21, 2008
    • Case NO: 2007-CF-018102-A-O
  • M
    • Case Type: Drugs
    • Offense Date: Oct 04, 2013
    • Offense Code: 893.13(6)(B)
    • Court: COUNTY
    • Disposition Date: Dec 18, 2013
    • Case NO: 2013-MM-010613-A-O
  • M
    • Case Type: Drugs
    • Offense Date: Aug 16, 2014
    • Offense Code: 893.13(6)(B)
    • Court: COUNTY
    • Disposition Date: Oct 17, 2014
    • Case NO: 2014-MM-008972-A-O
  • M
    • Case Type: Traffic
    • Offense Date: Aug 28, 2017
    • Offense Code: 322.34(1)
    • Court: COUNTY
    • Disposition: DISMISSED
    • Disposition Date: Oct 17, 2017
    • Case NO: 11-2017-TR-019912-0001-XX
    • Arresting Agency: FLORIDA HIGHWAY PATROL

I have lost over $3,000 in my attempts to be released from this nightmare, including $600 because of Soleil’s bad advice. I Told My Story to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. So far, no action has been taken to protect us.

Related Articles:

Westgate Arbitration and the Military Lending Act Lawsuit June 17, 2021

Bluegreen and the MLA:

CFPB Director Rohit Chopra, Penn Lecture, regulation inadequacies

Thank you Irene for coordinating these reports, we also thank all those who have come forward and told their story, it certainly highlights a very grave situation, one allowed to perpetuate by the industry itself. It would also be interesting to know how many of these “sales agents” are former servicemen themselves, I personally know many timeshare sales agents who served in the British military, and two I know served in the RAF and Royal Navy, one on the Royal Flights the other on the former Royal Yacht Brittania. It is inconceivable these people would have “turned” on their “brother in arms” and become “predators”, putting their comrades at risk.

Have a great weekend and please leave a comment on this or any article published, if you would like to share your experiences please use our contact page.


  1. Benn Dover

    Wow, just unbelievable and wrong. Statistically speaking, for every 1 that tells their story chances are there are 25 others that have similar stories that won’t speak up.

  2. Chris B.

    All of this behavior SHOULD be criminal, but when Americans have their government in cahoots with “timeshares” and “vacation clubs,” and the foxes are guarding the henhouse, Americans are in deep trouble! Vote for crooks you get a crooked government.

  3. Sheilah

    These type of sales need to stop. I don’t know how companies that hear the same terrible complaints always say it is the buyer who is wrong. How can companies keep hiring criminals. I would hope they do background checks on everyone they hire, but if they do then they don’t care as long as they make money. Glad that companies and sales people are being exposed. Government leaders who don’t listen to the people who are harmed are also to blame because they let this continue. Shame on all.

  4. Patti

    If you buy from Diamond Resorts or probably any of them, you need to record the sales session, if legal in the state that you buy. Otherwise, like what happened to us in Branson with our sales agent who told us, falsely, if we purchased more points, we could use points at $0.30 per point to pay maintenance fees. This has driven us to default. We had been happy Diamond members for years. They would have had a hard time finding a member more loyal. If you are told what to say or not to say on the recorded closing, know that it is being used to entrap you. We are seniors, but hurting young couples is just as bad. But the worst, we know first hand with family members being in the armed services, active and retired, with security clearances, some very high in the military are being targeted and harmed with deceptive practices.

  5. Pamela Stilwell

    These articles appear to have similar threads among many timeshare owners regardless of affiliation (e.g. Westgate, Diamond, Holiday Inn, Hilton, etc). Promises made with no delivery and there does not seem to be any recourse. Based on the sheer number of common complaints and concerns it would really be prudent for the Attorney General offices to form a task force to investigate fully the business practices of the time share + exit companies + credit card companies.

  6. Sherida Nett

    It is not fair that these people who give their lives for our country have to fight wars abroad and here. There is more than one way to get PTSD.

  7. JoAnna P Guillory

    My son was on leave from Afghanistan in was able to go to Florida. Our family decided to meet him while he was there to spend time with him before he had to return back to base. While there we were offered free room if we attended a presentation. The whole time we were there we kept telling them know we did not want to purchase. They won’t let you leave you are continued offered different offers with different incentives. We were there 6 hours. We arrived at 10am and 4 o’clock we were still there. My husband and I are both retired the time share is paid off. We continue to pay maintenance fees. I contacted Lagacy to buy back timeshare they have refused. We have paid on this timeshare for over 15 years and was not able to utilize it once. The dates that we won’t to attend are not available and the cost they told us we would pay was 3 times the cost. In the last year we have experienced two hurricanes back-to-back. We have gone through a storm along with living through these pandemic years. Really need immediate assistance getting rid of the albatross.

  8. Kent

    I sympathize with all the people involved in the above stories. We had a similar experience with a time share agent. Lie after lie after lie. The government needs to do something to stop this type of salesmanship!

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