Our volunteers have heard from over 300 veterans harmed by timeshare. As they battled timeshare, we listened to reports of extraordinary bravery and ultimate sacrifices, often permanently affecting their mental and physical health. Following are 40 reports of veterans harmed because of buying a timeshare. The first report was published in January of 2017. If we surveyed legitimate and fraudulent exit providers, the figure would be over 30,000 veterans, based on the the percentage of veterans who have reached out to After Inside Timeshare since 2017.
#1 Dominic: Our most recent veteran report, not published, was submitted by Dominic’s son, Michael. Dominic, an Army veteran, is 87. His Diamond Resorts sales agents up-sold him to a $350,000 loan. Monthly loan payments of $5,500 a month have depleted his savings. Hilton Grand Vacations acquired Diamond Resorts in 2021. Hilton did not respond to our request for comment concerning Dominic’s upcoming article.
#2 Diane Burkhardt’s father: One of Dominic’s Diamond Resorts California sales agents, was the same sales agent involved in up-selling Diane Burkhart’s father, a Korean War veteran, as reported by Consumer Affairs. After writing a letter asking to be released, because his wife could not travel due to scoliosis, Diane’s father was sold $250,000 worth of timeshare points between the ages of 85 and 88.
#3 Army veteran David in California lost $112,000 to Diamond Resorts, believing he had purchased a rental investment property.
David fought alongside 125 Australian soldiers at the battle of Long Tan. A movie, Danger Close, was filmed about the battle. The movie trailer is linked in David’s article. David, and the Australians he fought alongside, were ambushed by a battalion of 2,500 Vietcong soldiers. David served as a helicopter pilot, and a therapist, among other duties.
David retired from a prominent investment firm. It is not difficult, like the Army veteran below (#7), a pension administrator, to be convinced a timeshare point is tied to a stock price. https://afterinsidetimeshare.com/?p=1301
#4 Army veteran Edward, 100% disabled, in Maryland served our country overseas for 24 years in military intelligence. He has been diagnosed with a lung disease that will be fatal if he does not received a lung transplant. He needs his income working at the Pentagon, but his Security Clearance is in jeopardy because of a Westgate Resorts timeshare loan default. Edward reported that his sales agent told him he could rent to offset cost, but this is not so easy to do. Westgate denied Edward a hardship release. https://afterinsidetimeshare.com/?p=1295
#5 Calvin Wardrick, Army Veteran, 100% disabled, was hospitalized for two months due to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, attributed to managing an Iraqi POW camp housing 27,000 POW detainees. An exit company, Nationwide Transfer, defrauded him of over $20,000, seeking to exit a Vacation Village timeshare. https://insidetimeshare.com/fridays-letter-from-america-68/
#6 Rest in Peace Army veteran Leo Gomez, 100% disabled, earned two Purple Hearts, and a Bronze Star. Mr. Gomez contacted me with less than 30 days left to live after having been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer he attributed to exposure to Agent Orange. He reported that his Diamond Resorts sales agent told him he had to convert from Premier Vacation Points (PVC) to Diamond points because of the ILX bankruptcy. I knew this was not true. I still have PVC points. While Leo was able to resolve his dispute with Diamond, I received a call from his wife just hours before Leo died, distraught that Barclays was demanding he pay $4,000 that was charged to Diamond’s Barclays credit card, used to pay the down payment. 9/16/2018
#7 Rest in Peace Joseph, a Korean War Army veteran: Joseph passed away not long after his son David Berman published an article. Joseph’s vision was so bad he could not send an email, having lost 80% of his vision due to the side effects of a heart medication. He suffered his first heart attack 20 years ago and a second three years later. This was followed by a triple by-pass. When I spoke with Joseph, he said his blood pressure recently went up to 210/164 and then dropped to 55/40.
According to David: I sent Crown Ridge an email asking for a medical hardship release for my father thinking that wouldn’t be a problem. My parents were current on maintenance fees until three years ago when they paid a scam company $1,200 to get them out of their timeshare. Now, he cannot pay their maintenance fees. He is still receiving multiple calls offering to get them out. One company recently quoted them a price of $2,400 to $4,500. Jeanette Frost, manager of Crown Ridge responded to our request: “I have received your letter and will bring it to the next Board Meeting. Please understand that the Association does not take back units. I spent a significant amount of time talking with Mr O about this, and the options. I also mailed him information with re-seller names and information about these agencies that promise to get them out of their timeshares. I cannot discuss anything further with you, as you are not the owner of the unit.” https://tarda.org/f/the-worst-of-both-timeshare-worlds
#8 Maury, an Air Force Veteran, and I have talked once or twice a month since November of 2019, not always about timeshare. Maury, age 77, never used his Crown Resort at Hickory Hills timeshare in Mississippi that he bought in 1985. He had a stem cell transplant that did not go as planned. He has been battling cancer for the last 14 years. Back in 2019, if Maury went to the grocery store, he would be tired the rest of the day. His doctor wrote a letter to Hickory Resort, but they said he had to be diagnosed with a terminal disease, be bedridden, or living in a nursing home. Maury is now bedridden, but too weak to deal with the timeshare and too far behind on maintenance fees.
Maury’s message to those seeking to buy a timeshare: “Don’t buy a timeshare you can’t get out of.” How would Maury know in 1985 what the exit policy would be in 2019? Maury paid $2,000 to different companies to get out of the timeshare, including paying $1,400 to Paramount Networking Solutions in Florida. According to the BBB, they are no longer in business, or else changed their name.
#9 Earl Sharpe, a retired Canadian Armed Forces Military Police Officer, 100% disabled, served for almost 19 years. In 2014 he was medically released due to service-related injuries, including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Many life situations create flashbacks by sound, sight or smell. Earl lost 52,000 USD by buying a timeshare from Club Sunset in Mexico. When he attempted to sell two locations in 2019, he became a victim of a $72,000 CAN ($52,000USD) sophisticated timeshare resell scam.
#10 Reverend James McDonnell, a VA Chaplain and combat veteran, and his wife Donna, ages 76 and 81, reached out to us in 2018. Mr McDonnell paid Allied Solutions Group $27,895 hoping to be released from his Bluegreen and Silverleaf timeshare. Instead, he ended up with two unwanted timeshares AND a travel club he only purchased to be rid of his timeshares. Allied Solutions Group has been named as a defendant in a lawsuit. They are apparently still in operation with a BBB rating of F.
#11 George Yamada, a 70% disabled Army veteran, disabled due to Agent Orange, paid US Consumer Attorneys in LA $6,000 to be released from his Diamond Resorts timeshare. George was employed as a pension administrator. Like David (#3), George reported that his sales agent convinced him a timeshare point was tied to the price of the developer’s stock price. US Consumer Attorneys appear to still be in business with a BBB rating of F.
#12 Raymond Mori, a retired Marine and a Purple Heart recipient, 100% disabled, with severe traumatic brain injury, would likely, at age 83, have purchased an additional $234,000 in Diamond Resorts timeshare points had his daughter not been in attendance at a sales presentation, in which she reported her father had been dozing off in his wheelchair.
#13 John Collick, a decorated retired Marine veteran, and 2020 Congressional Candidate (VA-3), having resolved his timeshare dispute, was the first political candidate to include timeshare reform as part of his official campaign platform.
#14 Adam Siler, a disabled Air Force Veteran, was one of 10 Diamond Resorts members to file a complaint against his Diamond Resorts sales agent, still a top producer. Adam was able to resolve his dispute after multiple attempts.
#15 Richard Valdez, retired Marine Corps, Corporal IE4, Purple Heart recipient: Given the service Mr Valdez gave to his country, the extent of his injuries, and the report the VA provided, as to the reasons why this veteran should be released from his timeshare loan, we question the timeshare lobby ARDA in their assertion that timeshare companies have hardship departments.
I spoke with Richard by phone. He lives in Honolulu. Richard encountered explosive rounds in contact with his platoon. They had to shoot flares to see the enemy because there was no light. The 60 mortar rounds backfired. Fighting mountain to mountain, he was exposed to Agent Orange. He had a golf ball size growth in his head, maybe a little smaller. It took him a long time to get to reality. Richard says is often confused. He can’t comprehend when reading, so he just signed the timeshare contract.
Richard is the 6th Agent Orange exposed Vietnam veteran to contact us. Inside Timeshare has heard reports of unfair and deceptive timeshare sales practices from 111 veterans/active duty service members, and a total of 864 families. This report, by Richard’s son, explains our outrage. Richard is 100% disabled. This is how he was treated by his timeshare company. June 25, 2019
#16 Eddie Rodriguez, Army Veteran. U.S. Post Office manager, retired,
Blue Tree Resort at Lake Buena Vista, June 25, 2019
#17 Army Veteran Ron Tzinski, Wyndham Vacation Ownership, denied a hardship release. After Ron’s wife died, his annual income dropped dramatically to $12,000, driving him to the brink of bankruptcy. He initiated three hardship release attempts but was denied. June 21, 2019, https://insidetimeshare.com/fridays-letter-from-america-55/
#18 Platinum Protest March 2019 Orlando by Navy Veteran family
#19 Marine Veteran – The Sherwood Family, Wyndham Vacation Ownership, March 8, 2019
Wyndham eventually resolved Mr Sherwood’s request for hardship after he produced a YouTube.
I am a retired Marine Corp Master Sergeant. I spent 20 years in the service of my country and am 75 years old. My wife and I could not use our timeshare due to health issues that piled up over the years. Wyndham denied my request for release, despite a letter from the VA stating that I was unable to travel. Wyndham wanted proof I couldn’t travel. They requested full access to my medical history. I found this an egregious invasion of privacy, so I refused. Wyndham then sent me to collections with Pinnacle Recovery, Inc.
Getting old is no fun. I am sure there are plenty of timeshare buyers happy with their timeshare, but what happens when circumstances change? One of the reasons for this article is that I would like for as many people as possible to be aware of what they are getting into before purchasing a timeshare, or one day you find yourself hit in the face with the reality that there is no way out if there is a loan outstanding.
#20 The Kleen Veteran Family, Wyndham Vacation Ownership, January 18, 2019
#21 The Althage Marine Veteran Family, Wyndham Vacation Ownership, January 11, 2019
#22 Bronze Star Veteran Brenda Santos’ father January 4, 2019
#23 Vietnam Army Veteran – Wilma Miller’s husband October 2, 2018
#24 Army Veterans – Gad and Noreen Liebmann protesting outside Daytona Regency
#25 Army E6 at discharge Margaret and Edward Chandler
#26 Army and Air Force Veteran Mike Yelton
#27 100% Disabled Army Veteran Sean Wofler, Agent Orange exposure
#28 90% Disabled Army Combat Veteran Joshua and Nichole Parker
#29 Active Duty Air Force Kevin and Brenda Hopkins, Security Clearances
#30 Navy Veteran Roy Simmons, retired letter carrier
#31 Navy Veteran Scotty Black, disabled, security clearance, Homeland Security
Timeshare can pose a National Security Threat
#32 Anthony, 90% disabled, Army veteran
#33 Jeff Diehl, Marine veteran, disabled
#34 Samuel Melendez, 21 years retired Army, trained chemical, biochemical, nuclear defense
#35 Terry Carter, Army Veteran, Blood cancer, lived next to a burn pit in Basra, Bluegreen Vacations
#36 Alan Callner, retired Coast Guard
#37 Gulf War Veteran Nancy Callahan’s husband April 24, 2017
#38 Canadian career Army the Hurleys January 25, 2017
#39 Ernest, an Air Force veteran, 100% disabled, 20 years served
Our Virginia Diamond sales agent, Royal, said to be sure and not say anything about reselling points because that is not the purpose of buying points. He said if we didn’t like the program, “between me and you,” we would have the option of selling it back and making a profit, but Royal said not to mention this when signing papers. He said the new points can be sold back at a profit because we were buying at a lower price.
Royal’s Criminal Record: Virginia 3 Substance Abuse Charges, Cocaine, Pleaded guilty to one charge in 2005 PWID (Person with an injectable device).
Our Las Vegas sales agent, Anthony, said we needed to buy 3,000 Hawaii points. We thought we bought 3,000 Hawaii points on September 2, 2021, for $25,588, to become Platinum members, but our Dashboard did not indicate that. We were told we would be able to access higher equity. Anthony said, just like Royal, they knew that something was wrong with our file, since we weren’t offered something several years ago, so we were being offered points at the rate we were offered a few years ago. Our loan balance is $63,910 financed at 14.28%.
Anthony said that our current equity in US Collection was less valuable than Diamond’s Hawaii Collection. He said that was why our maintenance fees keep climbing, but Hawaii’s maintenance fees have remained stable because those properties are much more valuable and desirable. Anthony said we could call him, but never responded.
We were called on September 6, 2022, by a representative a few weeks ago who said he wanted to update us about the merger with Hilton. He said many new things transpired and tried to sell us more points, saying our Diamond points were less superior and that we were wasting our money staying with Diamond. He said “Our properties are more modern and have higher star ratings, while Diamond properties are outdated” I said, “So you’re telling me what I have is crap, and what you have is better.” He said, “I’m just stating the facts, Sir.”
I had joined a Facebook Group called Timeshare Cancellation Information. I posted a comment about Diamond. Irene Parker responded by saying that there was a Diamond advocacy Facebook Group and that we should reach out directly to Diamond to talk about our concerns and not engage with anyone soliciting on any Facebook Group. The Hilton representative who responded to our complaint told us Irene had been issued a cease and desist and had been advised she could not help people. Irene said she never received a cease and desist, but if she had, she would never not respond to a veteran reaching out.
We have 50,000 Diamond US Collection points.
I could not write a better summary than the veteran who posted this recently on our Bluegreen Timeshare Hostages Facebook Group
#40 A 100% disabled veteran, Irene Parker initially helped prepare and present what I call my “VETERANS EXIT REQUEST” because that is the only way we knew to request. Irene told me it may or may not work but anything is worth trying so later we could “COUNT THE WAYS” of how many options we used before total failure, or be released from Bluegreen Timeshares.
My timeshare journey
I have put my family in harm’s way by speaking out against unscrupulous exit companies and unscrupulous timeshare sales agents. I have been physically threatened and used as a pawn, called as a non-party witness, in what I feel was a whistleblower retaliation lawsuit. But whatever discomfort I have experienced is insignificant compared to the dangers the soldiers I’ve gotten to know have experienced, and willingly experienced, to keep me safe. I treasure the friendships my husband and I have nurtured with all who have reached out, including our relationship with After Inside Timeshare publisher, Charles Thomas, himself a British Army veteran.
Consider joining our forces to protect others from harm.
When we consider the importance of today and the ultimate sacrifice many gave for our freedom, not just in the “Great War” of 1914 – 1918 or the Second World War from 1939 – 1945, but all the conflicts in between and since. Our Service Personnel are still laying down their lives and many return home badly affected with horrific injuries and more importantly the ones you cannot see, those of the mind. This was covered in the story published last month titled The Veteran & The Ocelot about a young soldier suffering from PTSD.
Yet we at AIT are continuing to publish what was started in the old Inside Timeshare, highlighting the abusive practices by unscrupulous sales agents with the complicity of their employers, targeting our Veterans. This has to stop and stop now, all Veterans that have been targeted by these sales practices need justice, at the very least the cancellation of their contracts and the return of all monies paid, including interest. It is also down to the developers, as the employers they ARE RESPONSIBLE for the behaviour and sales tactics of their employees. After all, in the military, if a mission fails due to bad performance, it is the commanding officer who is ultimately responsible. SO MAN UP DEVELOPERS.
The words in the Title Banner “At the going down of the sun”, is from the poem by Laurence Binyon “For the Fallen”. First Published in The Times, September 1914, just 7 weeks into the war. The third and fourth Stanzas (especially the 4th) have been claimed as a tribute to all casualties of war, regardless of state. The full poem cam be read at the following link.
That is all for this week, join us on Monday for Episode 4 of our Silverpoint saga where we see the start of the dismantling of the Trotta Empire. We hope you all have a good weekend, Baby Dog is doing his usual trick of looking sad, a prelude to him going mental with his toy.