Report 5 of 6: Two More Military Careers in Jeopardy because of Timeshare

Report 5: A Husband and Wife, both Active Duty Air Force, 10, 9 years served

We are hoping that the accounts of active duty service members who find their security clearances and military careers in jeopardy, because of timeshare lending, will reach the eyes and ears of someone who will understand how timeshare lending can be more harmful than Payday loan lending. Payday lending has been deemed off-limits for members of the military. Payday loan borrowers know why they are borrowing, but in all the following accounts, service members report that they purchased or upgraded a timeshare for reasons they later learned did not exist. A timeshare loan default can put a security clearance in jeopardy and can lead to involuntary separation from service.   

Today’s active duty Air Force family made several Orange Lake/Holiday Inn Club Vacations (HICV) timeshare purchases over a period of five years. In 2019, Orange Lake Country Club changed their corporate name to Holiday Inn Club Vacations.

A husband and wife, both active duty serving in the Air Force, owe approximately $75,000 for an accumulated 425,000 HICV standard points and $50,000 for a 200,000 HICV Signature Point Collection contract. Signature annual maintenance fees increased to $1,639. The family reported that they were told fees would decrease if they bought additional points. Maintenance fees for the Standard Point Collection were $4,111 for 2021. The family  had no choice but to stop making loan payments. Timeshares are financed at between 12% to 19%.

Prior Reports submitted by Navy, Marines, Air Force, Active Duty Service Members: 

Report 1 of 6: Active Duty Navy, Chief Petty Officer, 14 years served

Report 2: Marine Veteran, 26 years served, security clearance

Report 3: Active Duty Navy, 12 years served

Report 4, Active Duty Navy, 18 years served

Maury in Mississippi, age 75, an Air Force veteran

Maury called as I was preparing this report. Report 5 features an Air Force couple, so I include an update on Maury, an Air Force veteran. Maury and I have talked once or twice a month since 2019. We don’t always talk about timeshare. Maury bought a Crown Resorts at Hickory Hills timeshare in 1985 that he only used once. To deed back the owner must be: 1) Bedridden 2) Diagnosed with a terminal disease, or 3) Living in a nursing home. In 2019, Maury needed a special van just to get to the grocery store, yet Crown Resorts would not take the timeshare back. Maury is bedridden now, but so far behind on maintenance fees he would not be able to catch up. Maury lost money to resellers.

From December 29, 2021

Orange Lake/Holiday Inn Owner Resolution,

My husband and I purchased Orange Lake Holiday Inn Club Vacation points several times over five years. We were always told we could easily sell the timeshare back to Orange Lake because we are military. We’ve made purchases because they would keep saying that we would lose our point freeze if we didn’t purchase something. We used to use our points two or three times a year, but due to deployments, we can only book trips about once a year. We counted on being able to sell the timeshare if we had to.

I spoke with someone at Orange Lake on March 9, 2022, after noticing that our account had been frozen. They said they could not speak with us because someone was representing us. I guess that’s because we filed a complaint with the Florida Attorney General. On top of everything else, we can’t even use our points. When I spoke with an Orange Lake representative before, they said we could 1) pay off our loans and then ask Orange Lake to take them back, 2) take out a personal loan, or 3) foreclose. He said because the amount is over $100,000, it’s possible that Orange Lake could take us to court.

Our Timeline:

  • First purchase November 2016:
    • O A was the first salesperson that told us we could sell the timeshare back to Orange Lake at any time since we’re military.
  • August 2017:
    • Sales agent Daniel upgraded our timeshare when Orange Lake moved from fixed weeks to points. We asked about exit options. Daniel confirmed that we could sell  back to Orange Lake anytime since we’re military and that there were other exit options.
  • August 2018:
    • Daniel was our sales person again. I purchased 50,000 Signature points to have access to luxury rooms.
  • September 2020:
    • Salesperson Taylour in Vegas said our contracts were a mess. Taylour confirmed that since we’re military Orange Lake would work with us to sell the timeshare back to them at any time. We upgraded to 425,000 standard points.
  • April 2021:
    • I was deployed. My husband went and bought 30,000 more points from Lindsay who said that we didn’t have the Registry Collection. We later learned we did. He asked about being able to get out and she said we could sell back since we’re military.
  • August 2021:
    • We went on a family vacation in Tennessee and were told we had to do a meeting. Salesperson Kim looked over our contract saying our three contracts were a mess. We told her we wanted to get out because maintenance fees were getting too high and that ALL our sales agents said we could sell back. Kim said she had never heard of that, but she could lower maintenance fees until we could figure out a way to get out. She said we would have to hire lawyers. Kim said the only way to lower maintenance fees was to combine our contracts and convert to one 200,000 Signature points package. The purchase price was around $54,000. We were drained and felt pressured, believing we were trapped. We were there for more than six hours away from our families. Kim said I wouldn’t have to put the 5K down payment on my credit card because I could apply for a zero-interest RCI credit card. After filling out the application online, she said the website went down so I would have to charge the down payment on my personal credit card. I asked her to cancel the RCI credit card since we didn’t need it. She said okay. Weeks later I got a card in the mail with my credit run for an RCI card. I called Orange Lake to complain that my social security number was used after telling them not to open the RCI card. They said they would handle it, but I never heard back.

Orange Lake lost our trust. I know I am not alone. Nearly 1,000 Better Business Bureau complaints have been filed over the last three years.

Related articles:

In 2020, Orange Lake was required to take back nearly 1,300 timeshares from customers who retained an exit company. The exit company ceased operations:

Thank you both for your contribution to this series of articles, this is certainly an issue which needs to be addressed at the highest level. For too long we have seen sales agents getting away with everything and the Developers just turn a blind eye, “NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT OUR SALES AGENTS SAY“. Hogwash, pure and simple.

Ever since Irene and I teamed up in 2016, we have received a never-ending stream of complaints, all telling the same story. The vast majority of these were from seniors who fell for the “pitch” when either retired or just coming up to the great event, easy prey for the vultures. These stories were dubbed “Nightmare on Timeshare Street“, but the testimonies we have received from Serving Military and Veterans are beginning to deserve an even more gruesome title. What they have been subjected to was bad enough for our “civilian victims”, but having their whole Military careers put into jeopardy, all because of a sales agent’s actions, is unacceptable!

On that note, we wish you a very happy weekend, Baby Dog as you can see is ready for a few days off.



  1. Benn Dover

    I fully agree with the comment: “NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT OUR SALES AGENTS SAY“. Hogwash, pure and simple.

    That is just a cop-out and for the regulating agencies to accept that for an answer is unacceptable. I wonder how other businesses prevent verbal lies? Maybe to begin with the company needs a code of ethics- Westgate doesn’t have one. They probably believe if they don’t have one they can break it! Once they have a code of ethics…they need to enforce it. Part of the reason people are so trusting is that every employee they come into contact with uses the same selling points and omissions, managers have to sign off on offers, and they hear what is being said. NO ONE is being held accountable.

    1. Irene Parker

      ARDA has a Code of Ethics they they feel their developer members are adhering to. However, if an agent is caught on a recording applying deceptive tactics, the dispute is resolved “without admitting liability” and this seems in conflict with a Code of Ethics.

  2. John

    I guess that the perfect ending to a timeshare interview would go like this: “Thank you for explaining all the details of this package. We have decided that it just isn’t right for us. Why?? Well, I know there is a “verbal representation clause” in the contract that says that we can’t believe a word you’ve said. Knowing that, I have to believe that you have lied to us for 4 hours. So, we are out.”

    1. david young

      Right on, brother

  3. Sherida Nett

    How many of these timeshare sales agents have signed on the dotted line to LAY DOWN THEIR LIVES FOR OUR COUNTRY AND OUR FELLOW AMERICANS? It’s rotten shame. These resorts and agents should instead be doing everything they can to honor our service men and women, not dishonor them.

  4. Steve D

    The deceit routinely used in the timeshare industry has been well documented (though they keep coming up with new twists to keep their deception going). Many many honest people, thinking the person across the table from them shared a basic moral outlook, have been effectively robbed by these smiling crooks. Indeed, if payroll lending companies have had to be put off limits to help protect our service members, it definitely makes sense for similar protections to be put in place against the conniving timeshare industry.

  5. MLR

    Not only should there be protections for military families, but also for the elderly and other vulnerable populations. Since these companies don’t have a standard of ethics on their own, it is time for lawmakers to step up and compel them to do what is right.

  6. Sheilah

    Unfortunately this kind of thievery is not going to stop until officials stop taking payoffs. These companies are robbing hard working honest people. They don’t take responsibility for the things that their employees say to people because of money, money, money, the root of all evil. Guess the timeshare companies don’t care that the sales agents are destroying their name. There should be nothing that you purchase that you can never get out of.
    A note to people who are being held for hours and you give in make sure when you are signing the contract you ask to be shown the how many days you have to rescind the this contract and what and where you rescind too. As soon as you get out of that meeting go to your unit, do what you need to do to rescind, make copies and mail out certified retuned receipt, fax also if you can but do both the next day. Better to cost you a few dollars to do this then owe thousands to a timeshare Co. that will also take money away from the deceitful sales agent.
    These articles are written by Irene are great articles, she is very passionate for helping people. Thanks to Charles for publishing the articles.

  7. MA

    It saddens me something fierce that anyone would intentionally take advantage, outright lie, deceive, coerce, the very people that risk their life for yours in defending this country, USA. Shame on you for actions against any person or family of military service. Instead you should be nearly worshiping the ground they walk on for risking their life every day so you may live in peace. Due to timeshare actions they are definitely not living in peace

  8. Greg Jansen

    It’s unbelievable that an industry can be known for long-term, and consistent, deception. It’s horrible to see how the unbridled fraudulence of these organizations can hurt our military families. Yet, this article is also a poignant reminder that, as long as the industry is allowed to continue business as usual, thousands of new families, military or not, will be taken in by the smoke and mirrors, only to face huge financial loss.

    It’s very real to us because we are one of those families. The sales agents assured us that the timeshare purchase was a great financial investment, that would increase in value over time. Once we were shown a printout of our “account” showing that we’d already “borrowed and used” the next year’s points. In a state of duress, we bought some more points, only to find all of the coming year’s points back in our account a week later! I believe it is safe to say that every owner has been told to buy more points so they can rent some of the extra points to offset the maintenance fees… we were just LOCKED OUT OF OUR ACCOUNT, for the SUSPICION, of the Compliance Department, that we were renting our points!

    We’ve spent thousands of dollars to enjoy wonderful vacations, and we have nothing to show for it.

    How long will those who sit in the appropriate elected positions… continue to look the other way?

    1. david young

      Words spoken and written have had little to no effect. Concerted action seems to be the only answer

  9. david young

    Post the names, addresses and phone numbers of all those irresponsible people who refuse to be responsible; whose selfishness supports them making a living at our expense!

  10. Randy Lovell

    Things like this should NEVER happen. There should not have to be a law to stop this practice. Sales should be 100% ethical and above board. If what they were selling was as good as they say it is, then bad information and deceptive practices would not need to be used to complete the sale.

  11. Karen Spracher

    With all our military members do for us, the 99% who have not served, they deserve to be treated with the respect they have earned. It makes me sick to hear these stories of family after family being taken advantage of by timeshare sales companies. When will our goverment–and organizations that are supposed to support our military–take action to stop this from happening?

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