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Timeshare Law

The Attorney General Takes Action Against Fraudulent Companies

Timeshare resale fraud is something all consumers must consider when someone calls them out of the blue. Whether you are in the market to purchase a timeshare on the secondary market or wishing to advertise your timeshare for sale, it is extremely important to research any company that claims they will help you. There are legitimate resale companies that can help you advertise your timeshare, but it is important to determine the difference between a company that can legitimately generate traffic to your advertisement and one that is simply throwing up a web page or making empty promises. To help protect consumers, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi is working to investigate complaints of deceptive practices and to suspend those who are deemed to be operating under unlawful terms.

In March of 2013, Bondi’s office sued multiple Florida timeshare resale companies for unfair and deceptive trade practices. These companies included: International Timeshare Exchange/Network, Travel Buy Owner, CFL Ventures, A1 Marketing Unlimited, and Access Travel Network, Inc. These telemarketing companies were found to be guilty of charging consumers up to $2,500 and making false promises to sell their timeshare properties. All companies in Florida are regulated by the Florida Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices act to protect consumers from scams.

Warning Signs

These four companies were also suspected of violating the Florida Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices act by participating in one of the following actions:

Taking payments through check or credit card without written authorization from the customer. If anyone asks for your credit card number before signing a contract, this is a red flag. Before accept this offer OR sign a contract, consult a timeshare attorney to protect your rights under state laws.

Offering a full refund for services but never followed through the promise. If a company offers a money back guarantee, make sure it is included in the signed timeshare contract and there is a mechanism to get your money back. Have a lawyer read the contract before it is executed to ensure that there are no clauses to contradict this, and are provided an adequate remedy that doesn’t mean trying to find them 6 months later.

Promising to owners that their timeshare would sell very quickly. If a company makes the claim that your timeshare will sell in a certain time frame, this is a red flag. Even if they promise a refund if it is not sold by a certain date, have a timeshare lawyer review the clause to make sure that it is enforceable and if they fail to meet their obligation, you can do something about it.

Provided false or misleading contract terms. Providing misleading information about a company’s service is considered false advertising. Always read a timeshare contract thoroughly.If there are any discrepancies between what the contract says and the advertising provided, you need to have an attorney review it to make sure that these concerns are resolved before you sign.

Stated that they have buyers waiting to purchase these timeshares. The Florida Attorney General recommends that if a sales claim seems too good to be true… it probably is. If a company calls you out of the blue promising that your timeshare is “hot” and that they have buyers waiting, they are most likely more interested in your money than actually helping you to properly sell your timeshare.

Protect Yourself

If these or any false claims were made verbally, they can be extremely hard to prove in a court of law. However, if you feel that you were a victim of a timeshare scam, it is important to file a complaint with the Attorney General’s office to help protect future consumers. Timeshare Attorney can also help to review your case.

At this time, both Timeshare Exchange/Network and Travel Buy Owner/CFL Ventures are prohibited from partaking in any timeshare resale or advertising ventures. In addition, both companies’ assets were frozen in hopes to provide some reimbursements to consumers. As for A1 Marketing Unlimited and Access Travel Network, Inc. the state is currently seeking to fine the companies up to $15,000 for each violation and ban them from any future unlawful acts. For more information, click here.

If you are currently exploring the option to sell your timeshare, speaking with an attorney to determine what you can do is the first step in protecting yourself as an owner. Consult a timeshare attorney to decide the best course of action today.

Legal Counsel for Timeshare Owners

Champaign bottles, streamers, cheers, and other couples celebrating their timeshare purchase. Some or all of these elements may have been part of your timeshare purchase experience. It was exciting!

Until reality set in.

When considering the topic for our inaugural blog post, we had plenty of ideas. And that’s because we speak with dozens of clients every week, each with their own questions:

  • What are the legal consequences of “walking away” from my timeshare?
  • What is my timeshare worth?
  • What legal methods can I use to get out of my unwanted timeshare?
  • How should I transfer my property?

The list goes on, and we’ll work through many of them here on this blog. But as an initial matter for this post, you’re here because you’re looking for competent and efficient legal services at a reasonable rate.

Of course, there are many options in this information age. You have advocacy groups, Google, and a myriad of websites and discussion boards all offering their services and advice. So why hire a timeshare attorney? You’ve heard the old adage – you get what you pay for. With that in mind, below are the main reasons to retain a timeshare attorney.

Located in Orlando, Florida, Robertson Law Associates, P.A. operates in the timeshare capital of the world. We have a combined 20 years of experience in the timeshare industry working with all major timeshare resorts. Our attorneys are licensed to practice law in five states and have experience in contracts, negotiation, litigation, and probate. Perhaps most importantly, we have researched and negotiated with major players in the timeshare market, saving you time and money. Other forms of assistance simply cannot provide you the benefit of legal counsel and advocacy when dealing with timeshare resorts.

Many of our clients, prior to hiring us, have lost money after hiring others to assist with their timeshare properties. When you hire Robertson Law Associates, you enter an attorney-client relationship. This means that we are required to provide competent legal services. We outline our services in a signed engagement letter so you have a clear understanding of what we are hired to do. If you have any questions, we are there to assist you.

Your ability to perform a thorough back-ground check is a unique aspect of hiring an attorney. Each of us here are registered with our respective state bar associations. You can look us up, ensure that we are attorneys in good standing, and verify our information. The practice of law is a highly regulated field and all of our timeshare lawyers were required to attend accredited law schools, go through the state’s character and fitness evaluation, and successfully pass the bar exam. Quite honestly, it’s an exhausting process. But it’s done to protect the profession, which is really to protect you.

The Florida Rules of Professional Conduct require that an attorney communicate with the client. When you hire an attorney, you can expect that your calls will be returned, you will receive updates on the status of your matter, and we will consult with you before making major decisions. We also have a duty to exercise independent professional judgment and render candid advice. All of this is to give you peace of mind.

So back to that celebration you experienced when you purchased your timeshare… we’re nothing like that. But wouldn’t it have been valuable to have had an unbiased attorney sitting by you during that presentation and when you signed? Well, that moment is gone, but you owe it to yourself to have legal representation this time to protect you and your family. If not Robertson Law Associates, please be sure to retain a timeshare attorney that can represent you with these important decisions regarding your timeshare or vacation ownership.