Archive for the 'Timeshare Resale' Category

ABC Report with Dave Ramsey – Are Timeshares Worth the Cost ?

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

Radio Host Dave Ramsey explains why he thinks timeshares are a bad investment !

This is a Great Video that was broadcast on ABC Money Matters Program.

(click here to WATCH VIDEO )


Thursday, January 22nd, 2009

Orlando Timeshare Company Has More Layoffs

Friday, January 16, 2009
ORLANDO, Fla. — One of America’s largest time-share companies has eliminated another 1,000 jobs during the past month.

Orlando-based Westgate Resorts once employed about 11,000 people. President David Siegel said it was down to about 7,000. The cuts were nationwide and some jobs were eliminated through attrition.

The company was facing a financing squeeze because of the nation’s severe economic downturn. Siegel said the cuts would affect all areas of business, from administration to marketing, sales and construction.

He said Westgate will be able to do business without access to the still-frozen credit markets by funding the operation with their own money.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AG Announces Lawsuit Against Florida Timeshare and Vacation Companies

Saturday, January 17th, 2009


AG Announces Lawsuit Against Florida Timeshare and Vacation Companies

October 14, 2008

Attorney General Corbett announces lawsuits against Florida timeshare & vacation companies accused of advertising, real estate, and telemarketing violations

Bluegreen1-250x275HARRISBURG – Attorney General Tom Corbett today announced lawsuits today against four Florida-based companies accused of illegally marketing vacation packages, using “free” airline ticket offers and other worthless prizes to lure consumers into aggressive and deceptive timeshare presentations.

Corbett said consumer protection lawsuits were filed against Bluegreen Corporation, Bluegreen Resorts, Bluegreen Vacations Unlimited, Inc. and Great Vacations Destinations, Inc., all of Boca Raton, Florida. Bluegreen contacted consumers by phone and through kiosks at shopping malls, fairs, and festivals throughout Pennsylvania, and also operates full-time sales facilities in Hershey and King of Prussia.

“Virtually any consumer with a checkbook and a pulse allegedly qualified as a ‘winner’ in these promotions,” Corbett said. “Unsuspecting consumers who believed they were contest winners were actually drawn into a high pressure bait-and-switch campaign designed to push timeshare vacation packages costing thousands of dollars.”

Corbett said more than 5,700 Pennsylvania residents purchased Bluegreen timeshares, with many paying $20,000 to $40,000 or more for packages that violated Pennsylvania’s Consumer Protection Law, the Real Estate Licensing and Registration Act, the Telemarketer Registration Act and other consumer regulations.

Phony Prizes
Corbett said that Bluegreen representatives allegedly called consumers who believed they were entering contests and other promotions promising cars, cash and vacations.

According to the lawsuit, consumers were told that they had not won the “grand prize,” but had been selected to receive other items, like free airline tickets. Consumers were also promised free gasoline and meals when they collected their prize, if they attended a 90 minute timeshare presentation.

Corbett said the lawsuit alleges that consumers who were contacted by Bluegreen were not actually randomly selected prize winners. Instead, virtually everyone who entered the contests was contacted and falsely told that they were a prize winner.

In one case, Corbett said a consumer informed a Bluegreen representative that the person they were trying to reach did not live at that address. The consumer was told that it wasn’t a problem – they would give her a prize too.

Bluegreen-Airfare1-366x244High Pressure Sales and False Advertising
Corbett said that in order to collect their “prizes,” consumers were required to schedule an appointment with a Bluegreen sales representative. In some cases, consumers who believed they would be attending a 90 minute timeshare presentation were actually subjected to relentless marketing pitches that lasted five hours or more.

According to the lawsuit, numerous deceptive statements were made to consumers during these presentations in an effort to get them to sign contracts immediately, including phony claims that prices would increase the next day, misrepresentations about when and where consumers could travel if they made a purchase and false statements about certain fees being waived.

Corbett said that some consumers bought vacation programs because they were told they were entitled to a one-week stay in Hawaii, only to learn afterward that the program they purchased could not be used in Hawaii.

According to the lawsuit, consumers who sat through the timeshare presentations received “prizes” that were nothing like what they had been promised. The “four free airline tickets” were actually booklets that offered two airline tickets with each hotel room reserved, at high prices, in a limited number of cities. In some situations, consumers were required to commit to a 10 night stay at overpriced hotel rates before being able to select a local airport for their flight.

Corbett said “free” gasoline and meals that consumers were promised turned out to be coupons or certificates with lengthy terms and conditions. For instance, consumers who were promised $40 in free gas were required to submit written requests to obtain a series of gas coupons. The coupons required consumers to pay for their gas first and then mail a receipt for reimbursement, with each coupon limited to a $5 purchase, with no more than one purchase per month.

Illegal Contracts
Corbett’s said contracts used by Bluegreen failed to properly inform consumers of their right to cancel their purchase. Pennsylvania law requires that consumers have five days to cancel any timeshare or campground purchase. Bluegreen is also accused of violating a state law that requires all consumer contracts to be written in easy-to-understand terms.

Bluegreen-Hershey-366x244Do Not Call Violations
According to the lawsuit, Bluegreen made numerous calls to consumers who were on Pennsylvania’s Do Not Call list, allegedly basing those calls on referrals from other customers. Additionally, the companies are accused of making repeated calls to consumers who clearly told them not to call again.

“Bluegreen took advantage of hardworking Pennsylvania residents eager to find an affordable getaway,” Corbett said. “Using deceptive contests, relentless sales presentations and misleading contracts, consumers were pressured into paying thousands of dollars for vacation packages that don’t meet their needs or their budgets.”

Corbett said the lawsuits seek restitution for consumers who suffered financial losses because of these deceptive or illegal practices.

Additionally, Corbett says the lawsuit asks the court to void all illegal consumer contracts and give consumers the right to cancel any agreement that did not include the state-required notice of cancellation.

The lawsuit also seeks up to $1,000 in civil penalties for each violation of the Consumer Protection Law, or up to $3,000 for each violation involving a senior citizen.

The lawsuits were filed in Commonwealth Court, in Harrisburg, by Senior Deputy Attorney General David Sumner of the Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.

Corbett says the investigation began after consumers contacted his office to report these practices. He encouraged other consumers who have problems with Bluegreen to file a complaint by calling the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-800-441-2555 or submit an online consumer complaint.

Corbett offered the following tips to consumers considering a timeshare:

  • Take your time.
    Treat a timeshare purchase like the purchase of a home or any other significant commitment. Don’t let high pressure sales tactics and long presentations force you into a hasty decision.
  • Do your research.
    Check the market and the value of the vacation property before you buy and investigate the seller, the developer and the management company. Ask for references and contact current owners to verify their satisfaction with the property.
  • Know the cancellation period.
    Pennsylvania provides a five-day cooling off period for buyers to change their mind and cancel a timeshare contract. Consumers must notify the seller in writing via certified mail or return receipt mail.
  • Recognize that timeshares can be difficult to resell.
    Buy a timeshare only if you plan to use it. It is an option for future vacations, not an investment.
  • Consider extra costs.
    Most timeshares require consumers to pay annual assessment fees, maintenance fees and taxes, closing and broker commissions, and finance charges. Some fees can rise dramatically in the future so it’s important to ask if there is cap on future fees.
  • Beware of scams.
    If you are offered a prize as an incentive to attend a timeshare presentation, ask for details and watch out for hidden conditions and fine print. Keep in mind that the value of promotional gifts may be low in comparison to the fees and charges associated with a timeshare purchase. Any ‘free’ travel or vacations you are offered may have blackout dates and other restrictions.
  • Read everything before you sign.
    Carefully review contracts and all other paperwork before you sign anything, and get all special promises about discounts, waived fees or other promotions in writing.


Friday, January 16th, 2009


Published: September 27, 1981

Time-sharing, the new rage in vacation real estate, has attracted thousands of satisfied customers across the country. But left strand ed on the beaches and slopes are some unhappy buyers, who in the worst cases, lost all their money.

Some 300,000 families, mostly middle and upper income people, have bought time-shares since the concept of purchasing rights to a hotel or apartment unit at a resort for a specific week or two each year was introduced in this country in the late 1960’s. After a slow start, the industry began to expand dramatically in the mid-1970’s.

In the last six years, the number of time-share resorts in the United States has grown from 45 to about 550, according to Carl Burlingame, author of a magazine on time-shares and a book on the subject.

Industry surveys show a high satisfaction rate among time-share owners – 82 percent. A major attraction is the inflation protection that comes from locking in a portion of the family’s vacation costs for the next 20, 30, 40 or more years.

Moreover, as the industry has grown in size and sophistication, it has attracted major institutional lenders as well as first-class developers.

The industry’s success, however, has not been accomplished without charges of fraud and deception. The most well-known incident in the industry involved the old Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colo., where 2,100 people bought time-shares before the developers went bankrupt in 1979. At an average price of $5,000, the purchasers were buying rights to new, luxurious condominium units around the old hotel. The units were never built. however. A court appointed trustee has tried to find another developer to take over the project.

In July, New York Attorney General Robert Abrams sought to bar sales in New York of time-shares from Tree Tops, Inc. in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania because of the company’s failure to register in New York. As part of the consent judgment in the case, about 550 New Yorkers who bought time-shares at Tree Tops will have the opportunity to get their money back. Units at the resort sold at prices ranging from $3,500 to more than $8,200.

Harry F. Lee, Tree Tops’ Pennsylvania attorney, said the company plans to properly register in New York. He said Tree Tops had written to Mr. Abrams’s office asking about requirements in New York, but never received an answer.

After consulting with New York lawyers, Tree Tops took the position that it was not selling real estate, but pre-paid vacations and it need not register in New York. Like some other time-shares, Tree Tops owners do not take title to a deed.

Mr. Lee said Tree Tops decided against time-consuming litigation and chose instead to agree to stop sales to New Yorkers and offer refunds.

Earlier this year Mr. Abrams’s office got the court to bar the sale of time-shares on the cruise ship ”Romance.” The attorney general contended that Little Cruise Ship Ltd., based in San Diego, and the company’s agent, Carlino & Phillips Advertising Inc, of Plainview, N.Y., misled buyers about the size and capabilities of the ship and failed to register properly.

Robert S. Robbin, assistant attorney general in charge of the Bureau of Real Estate Finance, said that complaints about time-shares are growing, reflecting in part the recent change in law allowing time-share sales in New York.

”The sales procedures are aggressive and that’s going to generate complaints,” he said. Time-sharing is ”still in the early stages and we’re trying to avoid problems by stopping problem practices early.”

Last month, a Federal judge in South Carolina sentenced John G. Mitchell, a Nashville lawyer, and Harry Morgan, a Tennessee businessman, to 15 years in prison for their roles in a time-share scheme. The men are appealing their convictions on conspiracy and mail fraud charges stemming from the sale of time-shares for a resort in Myrtle Beach that was never built.

John Clifford Ryan, an assistant U.S. Attorney in South Carolina, said investigators found about 127 people who had purchased timeshares in the promised project, which was called Resort Club Vacation Inc. Units sold for about $4,600.


SMART MONEY’S ARTICLE – Escape from Timeshare Hell "

Thursday, January 15th, 2009

Escape From Timeshare Hell

Updated on November 5, 2007.

DESPITE THEIR UNWILLINGNESS to travel just weeks after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Dowell Multer and his wife made the trip to their mid-October timeshare at the LaCabana Beach and Racquet Club in Aruba. “Things had changed a lot,” Multer says. “It was a much quieter place.” The couple vacationed there for two more years before deciding they did not want to return.

But after three years on the market, Multer, who is now 73 years old, still hasn’t found a buyer. Granted, there was interest from companies that specialize in timeshare resales, but they all demanded hefty upfront fees. “One person wanted $1,500 upfront and swore up and down it’s a great market,” Multer says. Another asked for $599, promising to advertise the property world-wide. A third wanted $300. Multer politely declined. Yet, with the $900 maintenance fee due each year, he’s desperate to sell. “Right now, we would be very happy if we could just give it away to somebody,” he says.

The Multers aren’t alone. While there are no official statistics on the number of timeshare owners looking to unload their investment, the sheer size of the marketplace suggests there are thousands — if not hundreds of thousands — of unhappy timeshare owners looking to get out.

With timeshares, you typically buy the right to stay at a resort for a week each year, as long as you live. (And because this is a deeded property, your timeshare will be passed over to your heirs after you die.) That may sound great at the developer’s presentation: Buying a timeshare from the developer directly usually comes with incentives like discounted weeks at the resort or free lunches, and is often something of an impulse purchase. But it also means you’ve bound yourself to an annual maintenance fee, which can run as high as $1,500 and can increase if the timeshare management decides to do improvements upgrades on the property.

Needless to say, life doesn’t always agree with such arrangements. People’s circumstances change and, for one reason or another, they can no longer use their timeshares. That’s where reality kicks in: Selling the timeshare is tough. Unfortunately, recouping your original costs — especially if purchased from the developer — is next to impossible.

Successfully unloading your property is a matter of adjusting your expectations and knowing what your options are when it comes to the sale. Here’s some advice:

Start with your resort
When trying to sell your timeshare, going to your resort is a logical first step: Some resorts have buy-back programs, where they will offer to buy your timeshare week or points at a certain price. The practice, known as “right to first refusal,” is meant to help preserve the value of timeshare properties, explains George Marine, a real-estate investor and timeshare owner from Long Island, N.Y. What it basically means is that if you want to sell your timeshare, the resort will offer to buy it back at a certain price, typically lower than the purchase price but still higher than what the owner may get at the resale market. While most brand-name resorts — such as Disney and Marriott Vacation Clubs — have right of first refusal clauses in their contracts, how often they exercise it will vary by resort.

If your resort doesn’t have a right of first refusal or any other resale program, they may at least refer a reputable broker or resale agent.

Find the right marketplace
However you approach the resale of your timeshare, one thing’s for sure: Never pay an upfront fee to a broker. “This is a wide-scale scam,” says Caroline Lindholm, president of the Greater New York Timeshare Owners’ Group (GNYTOG). “There are so many agencies out there that will take $395 or so, and promise you the moon. And the prices [they say you can get for your listing] are totally unrealistic.”

Pat Teal, a 72-year-old timeshare owner from Myrtle Beach, S.C., learned that the hard way. Back in 2003, she contacted several resale companies about selling her timeshare at the Fairfield Beach Ocean Ridge in South Carolina. She was quoted a $300 upfront fee, which she paid using a credit card, and a $200 commission after the sale was complete. But two months later she called to inquire about any interest in her property, and the company had disappeared. “I kept calling and calling, but I couldn’t get a hold of them,” she says. (According to Better Business Bureau records, the company — Freedom Resorts International in Hudson, Fla. — has gone out of business.) Teal figured out her $300 fee was a lost cause, but imagine her dismay when her credit card was charged another $200. She appealed the charge with the credit-card company and her $200 was refunded, but still, the experience was sobering. “I would be more than happy to pay a commission, once the timeshare sold, but I hesitate to pay money upfront again,” she says.

Wyndham Plans for Lay Offs – Changes happening in the Timeshare Industry

Thursday, January 15th, 2009

Monday, December 22, 2008

Wyndham Timeshare Will Lay Off 75 Percent of Reno, NV Staff

Author: Jason Tremblay

Wyndham Worldwide says they will lay off 75 percent of their employees at their Reno, Nevada locations, accounting for approximately 75 of 100 positions. The majority of the reductions will be among their timeshare sales and timeshare marketing team.

Wyndham spokesperson Lisa Burby, told Reno News 4 that the layoffs were part of the company’s organization changes, as Wyndham seeks ways to “re-invent the way they do business by taking a pro-active approach to ensure long-term stability.”

Wyndham timeshare owns WorldMark the Club, which operates six timeshare resorts in the state of Nevada, one in Reno, and two in Lake Tahoe.

Nationwide, Wyndham timeshare is reportedly laying off approximately 4000 workers during the upcoming weeks. In reporting this, The Timeshare Authority is adding more bad news to a growing list of recent timeshare blog posts about cutbacks in the timeshare development and timeshare sales industry.

ABC Special Nightline News Reports the TRUTH about timeshares !

Thursday, January 15th, 2009

Watch the ABC Special Nightline News Report Clip that explains from experts on what is happening in the timeshare industry. Pay attention to the TRUTH…..


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