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New Timeshare Lawsuit: A Lesson In Scams

New Timeshare Lawsuit

September 28, 2018 – by Primo Management Group

New Timeshare Lawsuit

Buyer beware! A recent timeshare lawsuit reveals a host of timeshare scams.

Since the timeshare industry started in the 1970s, many a consumer has filed a timeshare lawsuit against their resort. That’s no surprise since unfair and illegal sales practices are common in the industry. The latest timeshare lawsuit, filed by Lieff Cabraser on behalf of owners against Westgate Resorts, Ltd. is a perfect example of the many tactics used by companies to take advantage of consumers. According to the suit, Westgate hid disclosures from consumers, misrepresented material facts, and failed to provide reasonable use to owners, all in violation of Tennessee Timeshare Law. Unfortunately, these tactics are all too familiar.

The Secret Pocket

Tennessee, like many states, requires timeshare companies to provide consumers with important disclosures during the closing process. In Tennessee, sellers must provide a Public Offering Statement and information about the rescission period. In many cases, the agents hid these disclosures from the consumer in a secret pocket. This secret pocket sounds like something out of James Bond, but unlike Bond’s fictional gadgets, this one is very real, according to the suit.

Westgate’s secret pocket is part of a folio provided to agents to give to consumers during closing. The black faux-leather folio with the Westgate logo has many visible pockets and zips shut to contain the documents. However, the folio also contains a concealed pocket that the consumer can’t reasonably find. Agents routinely put the Public Offering Statement and rescission information in this hidden pocket. So, they could say they gave the documents to the consumer even though the consumer had no idea they had received them. It goes without saying that such hidden pockets are deceptive and unethical.

Misrepresentation of the Unit

The Tennessee Timeshare Act requires agents to tell consumers what they are buying. Westgate allegedly employed creative tactics to keep the truth from consumers. First, they had specialty model units they used for prospective buyer tours, indicating these were the units the consumer would be buying. These units were premium units with high-end floorplans and finishes. Too bad these units were not available for owners to stay in.

Further, according to the suit, “Westgate sales agents give purchasers the impression that they are purchasing the right to use a specific unit at the Resort. In actuality, they are participating in Westgate’s ‘Floating Use Plan,’ which gives owners the right to use a certain type of unit, subject to availability. And units are rarely, if ever, available to ‘owners,’ as advertised or expected.” Imagine thinking you were getting a unit when in fact, you were just paying money year after year for the right to reserve a unit. Some contracts went so far as to list a unit on the documents. Of course, in the fine print, the consumers signed away their right to that unit.

Failure to Allow Reasonable Use

So, not only did Westgate allegedly hide key disclosures and material facts of the unit, but they also failed to provide owners with reasonable access to any unit. Even if the unit isn’t quite what you wanted, when you purchase a timeshare, at a minimum, you expect to be able to use it. Unfortunately for the plaintiffs in the Westgate suit, they say they could not reasonably use their timeshare. And of course, they had to continue to pay their maintenance fees even without access.

Owner after owner reports being unable to book a unit, even when they called as early as possible. When they were unable to book, Westgate encouraged them to spend more money to upgrade to another unit to avoid this problem. Unfortunately, even when consumers spent more money, they still couldn’t book. Part of the reason they had difficulty booking, the suit alleges, is that Westgate oversold the resort. There were tens of thousands of owners at the single 1,004-unit resort. Worse still, the resort set some of those units aside as rentals, making it even harder to make a reservation. If true, this could be a deliberate attempt to limit access and increase profits.

Have you been a victim of the scams alleged in this timeshare lawsuit? We help people like you exit timeshares all the time. Contact us for a free, no obligation consultation. We promise: no secret pockets.

(Image Source: Pixabay)


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Frequently Asked Questions ?

How does PMG get me out of my timeshare contract?

PMG is not a resale, transfer, or donation company. We are consumer advocates—we help to negotiate the release of your timeshare contract obligation. We do not buy, sell, or rent your timeshare. Simply put, we help you to get out of your timeshare contract forever.

How long does the process usually take?

Usually less than 12 months, but it all depends on your situation. Let us help you. Speak to your advisor about the time, and what delays the resorts have put into place to prevent timeshare owners from departing their ownership. If you have a mortgage or past due maintenance fee, the process takes more time.

How much is my timeshare worth?

This is probably going to hurt, but whether you paid $5,000 or $50,000 for your timeshare, the IRS values all timeshares as worthless investments. In addition, that timeshare would have negative value due to the annual maintenance fee bill which compounds year after year. That is until PMG helps you cancel your timeshare.

Can I use your service if I still have a balance owed on my mortgage?

Yes. Whether you bought your timeshare 20 days ago or 20 years ago, PMG has a solution for you and is here to help.

Will my name be off the timeshare?

Yes! Permanently! GUARANTEED!

In addition to getting me out of my timeshare, can you recover the money I’ve already spent on mortgage payments and maintenance fees?

While we are able to recover money in rare cases, beware of any timeshare cancellation company that entices you with the promise of fund recovery. The truth is, the resorts are loath to give back the money they’ve already taken for timeshares.

Are your consumer advocates really “consumer advocates”, or is that just a fancy word for salesperson?

Because most of our clients have had their trust betrayed by timeshare salespeople, we understand how some consumers can become a bit jaded. When you call us for a consultation, that’s exactly what you get, a consultation. At PMG, our job is not to sell you; our job is to help you get out of your timeshare. Which is why we have numerous 5-star reviews and an “A” (excellent) rating from the BCA.

Why should I choose PMG to get me out of my timeshare?

We go above and beyond for our customers by helping to protect you, and have the best success rate in the industry, rated 5-stars by clients. We pride ourselves on providing our customers with the best customer service in the industry. When you contact our company, you speak to a live person, not an automated system or voicemail. We offer a 100% money back guarantee, and we can provide documented proof of our success in helping customers just like you.

What happens after I sign up with you? Will I be apprised of your progress?

At PMG, we pride ourselves on our hands-on, boutique-style customer service, so every new client will work with our expert, experienced team whose job is to keep you in the loop throughout the entire cancellation process. We are always just a phone call away.

How much is your fee?

Not all timeshare experiences are created equal. Some are more complicated than others, and every situation is different. That’s why our trained timeshare elimination consultants will ask you a series of questions designed to determine exactly what needs to be done to terminate your timeshare, how long it will take, and how they can best advocate for you. We will always seek the most cost-effective route for you.

What if I still have more questions?

Canceling a timeshare contract is not a cookie cutter process. With each situation being unique, once you complete the form below an experienced consumer advocate will call you today to discuss your options.