Scammers pretend to help owners get out of their contracts while taking their cash.
Legal Action by Missouri Attorney General Schmitt Against Timeshare Exit Companies Serves as Warning to Consumers
For Immediate Release | 6/21/2022
Contact: Sarah Bascom | Kelsey Deasy
ARDA-ROC Reminds Timeshare Owners to Talk to Their Developer First When Looking to Exit Their Timeshare
Washington, D.C. – In response to recent action by the Missouri Attorney General against an interrelated network of timeshare exit companies and their principals, the American Resort Development Association-Resort Owners’ Coalition (ARDA-ROC) today reminded timeshare owners who are looking to exit their timeshare about the importance of going to their timeshare developer first.
The Missouri Attorney General obtained a temporary restraining order against an interrelated network of timeshare exit companies and their principals, freezing several million in funds from their bank accounts. Entities named in the complaint are Consumer Law Protection, Consumer Rights Council, Premier Reservations Group, Resort Transfer Group, Square One Development Group and related entities, and Timeshare Help Source (collectively referred to as “The Companies”). Read more about the action by clicking here.
“Consumers should always be extremely cautious about engaging with unscrupulous third-party companies who require consumers to pay thousands in up-front fees and offer guarantees that sound too good to be true,” said Robert Clements, Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and General Counsel for the American Resort Development Association (ARDA). “These companies make false promises, use deceitful practices and prey on owners looking to exit their timeshares, and sadly, thousands of consumers have lost millions of dollars in the process. If you have done business with one of the companies named above, we encourage you to reach out to the Missouri Attorney General’s office.”
The action Missouri took alleges that since 2018, The Companies have:
- Used “deceptive, unfair, and high-pressure sales tactics to convince consumers to pay them thousands (or tens of thousands) of dollars for timeshare exit services that [they] cannot or will not perform.”
- Made a myriad of false and deceptive statements, including that consumers’ timeshare maintenance fees would escalate unchecked into perpetuity; that unless consumers paid for services, consumers’ children and grandchildren would be saddled with ever-increasing timeshare fees; and that they would provide a full refund if consumers had not been exited within a year.
- Falsely claimed they are affiliated with timeshare developers, exchange companies, the Better Business Bureau and the industry trade association, ARDA.
- Failed to disclose, and even taken steps to actively conceal the right to rescind the contract within three days.
The state estimates that the number of victims could be in the thousands with millions of dollars in damages, including damage to consumers’ credit.
The Missouri Attorney General’s office has asked customers nationwide who believe they were defrauded by the companies to file a complaint through the Consumer Protection Hotline at 800-392-8222 or submit a complaint online at ago.mo.gov.
“ARDA-ROC continues to shed light on these stories in hopes of reaching more and more consumers out there before these ‘timeshare exit companies’ do,” said Ken McKelvey, Chairman of the Board for ARDA-ROC. “Timeshare owners looking to exit should always go to their timeshare developer, resort management company or homeowners’ association first to discuss what kind of programs they have in place.”
ARDA-ROC recommends owners always contact their timeshare developer, resort management company or HOA as their first source of information regarding exit options. The Coalition for Responsible Exit is also a place for owners to safely explore free or low-cost exit options that are supported by timeshare developers and can be accessed by visiting ResponsibleExit.com.
ARDA-ROC is a 501(c)4 non-profit entity funded by over 1.5 million individual timeshare owner’s voluntary contributions. ARDA-ROC is dedicated to preserving, protecting, and enhancing vacation ownership through smart policy and sensible regulation. ARDA-ROC advocates for local, state, and federal policies that enable the vacation ownership industry to thrive and provide consumers with an enriched vacation ownership experience. For more information, visit ARDA-ROC.org.