The Modus Operandi of a Timeshare Developer

 

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There exists a special forensic unit of the Federal Bureau of Investigation the task of which is to create criminal ‘profiles’ of wanted suspects. The idea is that by understanding the way that he operates, you can better predict his behavior and thus have an advantage in apprehending him. These profiles often share common characteristics in the case of the perpetrators of similar offenses. If a stereotypical timeshare developer were on this list, the profile would read something like this:
 
He employs deceitful, high pressure sales tactics as an inducement to solicit signing of contracts containing terms materially different than those presented verbally. Appears earnest and sincere, but lacks real empathy for his victim. Little or no remorse. Ignores subsequent communications. Does not typically respond to any consumer complaint directly, and refuses to give contact information to field questions or concerns about his practices, which in every instances includes, to varying degrees, the follow acts and omissions: He sells the timeshare with false verbal assurances that it constitutes  a real estate ‘investment,’ for which there was a viable secondary market.  He falsely states that he has a ‘resale’ department and will either re-sell it to a third party or buy it back if not. He makes material misrepresentations concerning the nature and extent of the vacation amenities and locations, most of which are not accessible. He dramatically understates the cost of the timeshare ownership. Because the nature and extent of resort accommodations are finite, rather than building new facilities, he now sells ‘points’ of accessibility to his resort facilities without regard to then-current occupancy, substantially diluting the value of existing interests and further limiting accessibility.
 
His victims pay  substantial money up front and became heavily indebted to his company. In each instance, only after his victims have had a meaningful chance to review the documentation do they come to realize the prohibitively expensive nature of the purchase and/or the lack of accessibility to resort facilities. By this juncture it is typically too late to engage in a statutory rescission of the timeshare contact.
 
He then refuses to provide an accounting upon request for a line item reconciliation of revenue versus expenses in the handling of ‘maintenance fees’, which continue to escalate without well-documented justification. His victims have reasonably inferred from the his refusal to document these figures that the fees are being diverted or misappropriated for allocation to other purposes, not associated with ‘maintenance’ of resort facilities.
If this sounds familiar, please feel free to call us free of charge in order to discuss your exit strategy options.

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