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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Transfer Smart News: Florida AG Files Lawsuit against Timeshare Companies

While the number of owners eager to get out of their timeshares is increasing every year, timeshare resale industry is also flourishing. However, the resale industry has been the favorite haven of the fraudsters and scammers nowadays, and thus, giving it a negative perception among the consumers. Recently, the Florida’s attorney general has filed lawsuits against three timeshare companies. This includes one in Palm Beach County which is allegedly engaged in deceptive and unfair practices. It is alleged that the companies used misleading sales pitches to get consumers to pay upfront fees for their advertising services.

One lawsuit which was filed in Palm Beach County Circuit Court is against International Marketing and Finance Group. It said that the timeshare reseller engaged in deceptive business practices by, among other things, misrepresenting the availability of refunds for upfront fees paid by consumers and, in some instances, unlawfully charging consumers’ credit cards prior to the receipt of signed contracts.

The two other suits on the other hand were filed against Timeshares By Owner and against Gold Crown Property Management and its owners, Roy Xiques and Jason Kres. The suit against Timeshares By Owner alleges that such company is in violation of a 2001 settlement agreement in which it was prohibited from using misleading sales tactics.

Meanwhile, the suit against Gold Crown and its owners was filed in Pinellas County Circuit Court. It seeks refunds and stops the company from making false promises that a buyer is ready and available to purchase a client’s vacation property. It also seeks to prohibit the company from claiming that clients can easily obtain a refund even if a buyer is not found. Since 2007, the Florida AG’s office has received more than 180 complaints alleging that the company was not honoring the conditions of the settlement.

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