WASHINGTON, Feb. 7, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Resort Development Association – Resort Owners' Coalition (ARDA-ROC), representing over 1.5 million timeshare owners, today applauded Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson for taking decisive legal action against Reed Hein & Associates, operating as Timeshare Exit Team, for unfair and deceptive conduct in the marketing and sale of timeshare "exit" services in violation of three different state laws: The Consumer Protection Act; the Debt Adjusting Act; and the Credit Services Organization Act.
"Attorney General Ferguson's legal action sheds light on an ongoing scheme against consumers that we have been warning about for years – exit companies making empty promises to 'help' unsuspecting consumers, and then pocketing thousands of dollars without providing services," said Robert Clements, VP of Regulatory Affairs and General Counsel of ARDA.
In the complaint, Attorney General Ferguson characterized Timeshare Exit Team's business model as based on deception:
"Virtually every aspect of Defendants' operation is deceptive and/or unfair in violation of the Consumer Protection Act (CPA), and thousands of people across the country and in Canada – including over 2,500 consumers in Washington – have fallen victim to Defendants' practices."
Clements continued, "An increasing number of attorneys general as well as organizations like the Better Business Bureau (BBB) are recognizing the predatory nature of exit companies, who use deception and high-pressure sales tactics to convince timeshare owners to pay upfront fees for services they cannot guarantee or deliver. We hope the Attorney General's action will prevent others from falling victim to these scams and help to further expose the dangers of an unregulated timeshare exit industry to the public."
Last month Holiday Inn Club Vacations won a legal victory over Timeshare Exit Team that barred the predatory firm from ever contacting any current or future owners, highlighting the nature of the exit company's exorbitant upfront fees, misleading claims, and deceptive advertising. "Once again, Timeshare Exit Team's practices of exploiting unsuspecting timeshare owners who believed they were being helped when in fact they were being deceived, have been exposed," said Clements.
To view the full complaint as well as other information regarding timeshare exit scams and schemes, please visit www.responsibleexit.com. To combat unscrupulous exit schemes, the timeshare industry has increased its engagement with owners who want to understand safe timeshare exit options, often directly through their developer or management company. Timeshare owners are encouraged to visit www.ardaroc.org to learn about red flags of exit and resale scams and www.responsibleexit.com to learn about options around exiting their timeshare.
Owners who have been unfairly taken advantage of or defrauded by an exit company should contact their state's Attorney General (ConsumerResources.org), the Attorney General in the state where the business is located, their local BBB office, or local law enforcement. For additional help contacting these resources, consumers can reach out to the ARDA-ROC Consumer Support Team at 1-855-939-1515.
The ARDA-Resort Owners' Coalition (ARDA-ROC) is a 501(c)4 non-profit entity funded by over 1.5 million individual timeshare owners' voluntary contributions. ROC is dedicated to preserving, protecting, and enhancing vacation ownership through smart policy and sensible regulation. We advocate 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 www.ardaroc.org.
SOURCE American Resort Development Association-Resort Owners' Coalition (ARDA-ROC)