Friday’s Letter from America

Welcome to this week’s edition of Letter from America, today we publish the launch of the GoFundMe Campaign for Irene Parker and her Legal Defence Fund concerning the subpoena in connection to Diamond Resorts v Finn Law Group. Even before the official launch $1,600 has already been raised and in a separate initiative, a further $1,700 has also been donated. With responses like this, it will not be long before the target is reached. Please show your support for the work that Irene has done on behalf of so many members, especially the elderly and the veterans.

Irene Parker’s $25,000 Legal Defense Go Fund Me Campaign

Launched: September 26, 2019

My GoFundMe is a Legal Defense Fund to cover legal expenses concerning a lawsuit Diamond Resorts filed against Finn Law Group in 2015. I received a subpoena to produce documents it would be humanly impossible, as an individual, to produce without technological and legal support.  

I have listened to, or have read, complaints from over 1,000 timeshare families. Approximately 20% are from veterans and active duty service members. Over 700 of the complaints are members of Diamond Resorts. When asked a legal question, or when an angry and desperate timeshare buyer doesn’t have the time or temperament to self-advocate, or the member has reached the end of his or her regulatory filing rope, I refer to one of seven law firms I know and trust.

It is apparent Diamond Resort intends financial harm to my family. I was deposed for six hours by Baker Hostetler. I answered many questions affirming I have never been compensated or received anything of value from a timeshare member or from a law firm. I am at 52 volunteer hours per week due to the volume of callers and the level of desperation expressed by those who seek to be rid of their timeshare.

Finn Law Group is a respected law firm. The firm has top AVVO and Martindale-Hubble ratings and an A+ BBB rating. Recently, Finn Law Group filed a national multi-million dollar class action case against Capital One over data theft. In 2015, the firm settled a class action filed against Bluegreen, Equifax and Experian which resulted in 11,000 Bluegreen members able to get the fatal foreclosure designation expunged from their credit reports. Going forward, Bluegreen is not allowed to report a loan default as a foreclosure for their right-to-use product.

Mike Finn has been practising law for nearly 50 years and has never been charged or faced disciplinary proceedings.

Mike Finn of Finn Law Group (Highlight link right click and open in new tab)

My timeshare journey began in July of 2015 when my husband Don and I were invited to be interviewed by the late Las Vegas attorney, Bob Massi, on his FOX News show Property Man. I wrote to Bob after experiencing a timeshare presentation at Diamond’s Grand Beach Resort in Orlando that was unpleasant, predatory and deceptive. My Inside Timeshare Tuesday Talk September 24, 2019 article explains the subpoena with a link to my 2016 article: The peasant of Venice and the Queen of Versailles.

Inadvertently, I became a contributor for Jim Cramer of CNBC Mad Money’s investment news service TheStreet. I also wrote articles for Op-Ed News, and currently, I publish articles about timeshare for Inside Timeshare on Tuesdays and Fridays (Tuesday Talk and Friday’s Letter from America). Inside Timeshare is based in Spain. Collectively, I’m told my readership has grown.

Of the 700 Diamond Resort families that have contacted me through Inside Timeshare, or through Social Media, over 100 are Platinum Diamond members.   These highest loyalty level members reported that they bought timeshare points they believed could be used to pay maintenance fees, only to learn later no such program existed. Other complaints are about being told if they purchased additional points, they would be able to resell points. Timeshares have no secondary market value.

I have retained two law firms. For over three years, attorneys I have gotten to know have provided timeshare members and me free legal advice. This has often been in the form of an initial consultation – when the timeshare member must make the decision to retain counsel or self-advocate.

Diamond’s contract has a class action ban that must be “opted-out” of within 30 days of signing the contract, forcing binding and private arbitration. In the trial I attended, Diamond Resorts v Austin Aaronson, an attorney representing Diamond stated Diamond had only lost one arbitration case. In the complex contract, there is a sentence that states, “I did not rely on any verbal representation to make my purchase.” Thus, self-advocacy has been a better alternative for many. The process requires contacting the resort, and if dismissed, filing a series of appropriate regulatory complaints.

Indirectly, the attorneys I’ve retained are representing you, the timeshare buyer who experienced unfair and deceptive sales practices because Diamond offered me a refund after I filed a complaint with the Arizona and New York Attorneys General. I refused to sign Diamond’s non-disclosure agreement.

So, the financial harm directed against my family is the cost of responding to a subpoena. Two law firms have been representing me pro bono for over a year, but this recent action goes beyond what should be expected from any attorney who has generously donated many billable hours to our cause.  

The lawsuit Diamond Resorts filed against Finn Law Group      

Finn and Diamond signed a settlement agreement in 2015 because Finn was bringing so many cases against the company, according to Diamond’s lawsuit.

It says in its latest lawsuit documents that the contract required them to cancel a number of contracts for Finn’s clients, while Finn agreed to stop reaching out to Diamond timeshare owners.

Diamond says Finn disclosed the contract to third parties, violating an agreement to keep it confidential. But Finn responded in court that Diamond failed to cancel some of the contracts it had promised to, while the timeshare company also violated the confidentiality agreement, rendering the contract void.

I was a panel participant at the Whistleblower Summit held in Washington DC July 2019. There I learned any whistleblower worth his or her salt will experience retaliation that can financially destroy a family and ruin a career. The law firm that issued the subpoena is closely aligned with the timeshare lobby ARDA.   

From left: Richard Hill, M.D. a VA whistleblower,

Maureen Elias, Associate Director Vietnam veterans of America,

Jackie Garrick, a DoJ whistleblower and founder of Whistleblowers of America

Irene Parker, the peasant of Venice

Diamond Member Articles About or By Veterans, Active Duty Service Members and Defense Department employees with a Security Clearance–by-Irene-Parker-Fraud-180908-59.html

John Collick, Congressional Candidate (VA-3) Petition for Timeshare Reform

Platinum Protest March 2019 Orlando by Navy Veteran family

Bronze Star Veteran Brenda Santos January 4, 2019

Department of Defense – Elaine Lim November 30, 2018, Security Clearance

Vietnam Army Veteran – Wilma Miller October 2, 2018

Army Veteran Leo Gomez, deceased, 2 Purple Hearts

100% disabled Agent Orange September 21, 2018

Army Veteran 70% Disabled Agent Orange George Yamada, September 11, 2018

Decorated Marine Veteran John Collick, July 3, 2018

Army Veterans – Gad and Noreen Liebmann protesting outside Daytona Regency and Sheilah Brust shares her “Pencil Pitch”

Army Veterans Gad and Noreen Liebmann

100% Disabled Army Veteran Sean Wofler, Agent Orange exposure

23 year Marine Veteran Raymond Mori, age 83, earned 2 Purple Hearts

90% Disabled Army Combat Veteran Joshua and Nichole Parker

Active Duty Air Force Kevin and Brenda Hopkins, Security Clearances

Navy Veteran Roy Simmons, retired letter carrier

Navy Veteran Scotty Black, disabled, security clearance, Homeland Security

Timeshare can pose a National Security Threat

Anthony and Ashley Davis, 90% disabled Army veteran

Samuel Melendez, 21 years Army, trained chemical, biochemical, nuclear defence

Active Duty Navy Amanda and George Jones, Security Clearances

Alan Callner retired Coast Guard

Gulf War Veteran Nancy Callahan April 24, 2017

A Military Family March 6, 2017

Canadian career Army the Hurleys January 25, 2017

Many of the disputes have been resolved. As a courtesy, I don’t link an article if resolved, but under the circumstances, I want their stories told.

I am still a Diamond customer.

Irene Parker

We seek to provide timeshare members with a way to proactively address membership concerns; to advocate for timeshare reform; to obtain greater disclosure from the company; to advocate for a viable secondary market, and to educate prospective buyers.

Free at Last Timeshare Support Course offered by Straight-A-Guide

Bluegreen Facebook

Wyndham Facebook

Wyndham Carriage Resorts Facebook

Sapphire Starpoint

Diamond Resort Facebook

Gold Key Facebook

Inside Timeshare Facebook Group

Thank you to those who have already donated and thank you in advance to those who will, remember Irene works for free to help beleaguered timeshare owners, many of which are disabled veterans. Now she needs our help please don’t let her down.

Have a good weekend and join us again next week.

One Comments

  • Bill Nygard

    September 27, 2019

    A great article about 2 of my favorite advocates: Mike FInn and of course Irene!
    Thanks so much for advice and encouragement, it would be a tough world out there without people like you both:)


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