Timeshare Resale Scams Prey on the Elderly

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Aaronson Law Group - Timeshare Recession and Cancellation

The “bookends” of our society – children and elders – are the most vulnerable and, sadly, can become victims of abuse. Older people often have no friends or family close by and may experience memory loss, dementia, or other health issues that diminish their judgement. They can seem like easy targets for unscrupulous predators.

Six years ago, the Tampa Bay Times published an in-depth investigative article entitled “Timeshare Resellers Rarely Deliver on Promises, Usually Escape Punishment.”  The staff writers offered a thorough look at all elements of the problem, from conniving and sometimes felonious marketing representatives and targeting of vulnerable seniors to understaffed licensing agencies and a lack of aggressive prosecution. We wish we could report improvements to that dismal scenario, but unfortunately, that is not the case.

Throughout their investigation, reporters encountered many of the same distressing stories we continue to hear from clients desperately in need of legal help. One man suffering from dementia spent hundreds on timeshare resale scams. Another, thinking he was doing the right thing to divest himself of timeshares, lost his life savings to salespersons who promised impending sales that never materialized.

The telemarketing “pitch,” often to owners desperate to disentangle themselves from yearly maintenance fees, promises the sale of unwanted timeshares in exchange for an up-front fee. According to the Tampa Bay Times article:

Timeshare resale schemes have quietly become the most rampant form of consumer fraud in Florida . . . The state Attorney General’s Office received 964 complaints against Florida timeshare resale companies in 2008 . . . Then 2,257 in 2010.

The numbers rise every year, and many seniors on fixed incomes fall victim to the scams. Timeshare sales reps especially target seniors, who often have savings or the good credit that allows access to financial resources. Senior citizens frequently are too polite to reject the offer and too embarrassed to admit they were duped.

YOUR LEGAL PROBLEMS ARE NOT INSURMOUNTABLE!

If you seek to sell your timeshare, you owe it to yourself to avoid questionable timeshare resellers and to hire experienced, competent counsel. The same is true for seniors wanting to exit their timeshare contract(s). At the Aaronson Law Firm, we have over 80 years of combined legal experience. And we are willing to sue, if necessary, in the interest of getting your timeshare cancelled. Contact us today for your free consultation.