Browse Tag

Irene Parker

The Tuesday Slot

Welcome to The Tuesday Slot, the supporters of Irene Parker have raised over $7,000 in less than two weeks for her Legal Defense against Diamond Resorts Fund. There have been 109 Donors and 172 Shares. The goal is $25,000. Please donate whatever you can. It’s not easy asking those who have been financially harmed for money. Most donors are struggling because they bought timeshare points they later learned were unnecessary. It is with our deepest appreciation, Irene and I both thank you for your support and donations. The faster our goal is met, the stronger the message. Any excess funds will be donated to a timeshare consumer advocacy organization TBA Friday, October 11. 

https://www.gofundme.com/f/irene-parker-diamond-resort-legal-defense-fund?fbclid=IwAR1wj_cAkvvWXcUHXrC1zkDJtSZrlx9j_3RJKE5L7J0bUW7SM1rSwCFvFHY

On a lighter note, we are honoured and pleased to announce the formal launch of Koala, a new Platform for Timeshare Exchanges.

Koala 

Bringing Transparency and Technology to Timeshare Exchanges

 Visit our KOALA website:

https://www.go-koala.com/guest/owners/

 October 8, 2019

 Press Release

 Koala is live! Koala is the first online timeshare rental marketplace that is 100% secure, free to list, and open to everyone in the world. Koala secures every transaction with a simplified 3-EasySteplisting process that takes only minutes.  

Owners around the world have already started listing their timeshares on Koala, applauding the site’s ease-of-use and absence of upfront fees. 

Dave Julien, admin of the 11,200 member Club Wyndham Owners Facebook Group says, What’s different about this, and what I like, is there will NOT be any listing or delisting fees. You are in control of what you want to rent.”

Timeshare owner Ron F: “I like what I see and I like its ease of use. When I put listings on other sites, I feel like I have to write a sales blurb. Not on Koala” Ron added that the speed with which he can upload listings on Koala is a major advantage.

Transparency

Koala sets the standard for transparency in an industry rife with scams. Koala charges no upfront fees and has zero hidden costs. Owners pay an 8% fee only upon successful booking. Koala only gets paid if you do. 

Technology

Every resort listed on Koala comes with customized descriptions and photos, so all the work is done for you. With our platform, specialized for timeshares, Koala’s 3-EasyStep™ listing takes only minutes.   

Security

Koala verifies every resort listing, protecting travellers. Unlike our competitors, Koala secures every transaction, protecting both owners and their guests from scams. Say goodbye to mailing paper checks to strangers!

Our KOALA Team

Koala was founded by Mike Kennedy, a former employee at Hilton Club New York. Mike has over ten years’ vacation ownership experience. Mike set out to solve a problem for timeshare owners who struggle to use or sell what they purchased.

James Burbridge is a web solutions leader with over twenty years’ experience, delivering solutions in the travel, retail and hospitality sectors.

Koala – The first secure, hassle-free and transparent platform for timeshare rentals. With zero upfront fees and our simple 3-EasyStep™ listing process, getting your timeshare rented has never been easier.

 Check with your resort to determine if there are any restrictions on renting.

Then start packing! Koala offers the solution – connecting timeshare owners with travellers looking for space, security and the certainty our property listings provide.  https://www.go-koala.com/

Thank you Koala, Inside Timeshare wishes you all the best and success in your new venture, I’m sure you will have many happy clients.

Inside Timeshare would also like to thank all those who have donated and pledged support for Irene, please do keep the donations coming in.

Friday’s Letter from America

Welcome to another edition of the Inside Timeshare Letter from America, today we publish Part 3 of the GoFundMe Campaign for Irene Parker and her Legal Defense Fund. As we know she has now become the focal point of attention in the lawsuit filed by Diamond Resorts against Finn Law Group, so far over $5,000 has been raised. In this weeks article, Irene explains how the VOLUNTARY work she does in helping others has taken control of her life and is actually costing her money. Your contributions will not only help Irene but will also send a message to Diamond that she does have our support!

How Diamond Resorts Thwarted my Dream to Teach Piano Lessons 

Pictured above a Diamond Member who visited my house on vacation from England

Please donate $10 (or more) to my GoFundMe to let your voice be heard or contribute anonymously

GoFundMe Launched: September 26, 2019

Link to my GoFundMe: Over $5,500 donated in one week towards $25,000 goal!

https://www.gofundme.com/f/irene-parker-diamond-resort-legal-defense-fund?utm_medium=email&utm_source=product&utm_campaign=p_email%2B2300-co-team-welcome

October 4, 2019 

By Irene Parker

The reason for my GoFundMe Legal Defense Fund is because I have become the central focus of a lawsuit Diamond Resorts filed against Finn Law Group in 2015. At a six-hour deposition, conducted at the law office of Baker Hostetler in Orlando, Diamond’s outside counsel attorney ran out of “no” answers to questions about receiving or paying money to the law firm. Seemingly at a loss, the two attorneys left the conference room to confer. When they returned, they took a new direction.

As I understand Diamond’s case against me, because it feels like a case against me, it is because they contend I am greatly enriched by receiving free legal advice from attorney Mike Finn in exchange for my soliciting Diamond members to sign up with Finn Law Group. I have never been compensated by any attorney, law firm, or timeshare member. I have listened to and responded to over 1,000 timeshare families. This link to the Orlando Sentinel article is about the lawsuit:

https://www.orlandosentinel.com/business/os-bz-orange-lake-timeshare-finn-20180404-story.html

Diamond’s accusations leave me infuriated, thankfully not beyond words. The volume of angry and mostly desperate timeshare members contacting me through Inside Timeshare, or through social media, has increased from one member on average every two weeks in 2016, to a current average of three members a day.

What this means is I can’t take piano students. In 2015 it was my intention to resurrect by first love career – teaching piano lessons. At ten students a week, I could have earned $100 a week at $10 per student. I could have charged more, but the five students I taught were mostly neighbours and friends. When you’re living on a fixed income, $400 a month is nothing to sneeze at. In the fall of 2015, we moved from Bowling Green, Kentucky to Venice, Florida. We used our Diamond points while nomads in-between houses.         

Today’s article proves I really did intend to move to Florida to teach piano lessons before I attended the ill-fated timeshare presentation at Diamond Resort’s Grand Beach Resort. https://insidetimeshare.com/peasant-venice-queen-versailles/

I’m hoping Maya P, formerly with Diamond’s PR firm Prosek, will be deposed because when Maya called me the first time in 2016, I was teaching a piano lesson. Our initial phone conversation went like this:

Maya: “Irene, this is Maya from Prosek, Diamond’s PR firm. Can we chat?”

Irene: “I’m in the middle of teaching a piano lesson. Can I call you back?”

Maya: “You’re a piano teacher???!!!”

Irene: “Yes, we’re ruthless. I’ll call you back as soon as we’re finished.”

Maya: “I’ve always wanted to learn to play the piano.” 

This student is five years old, playing from her John Thompson’s Easiest Piano Course Book 1. This picture was taken on May 20, 2016, when I would only hear from a timeshare member about once every two weeks.

The pace of callers picked up after I started publishing articles for Jim Cramer of CNBC’s Mad Money’s investment news service TheStreet. I was reaching out and unknowingly emailed TheStreet. One of the editors responded asking to arrange an interview to become a TheStreet contributor. My first TheStreet article was an editors’ pick. It was about how I made my worst enemy a fortune during the stock market crash beginning Black Monday, October 19, 1987. I’m hoping that is how all this turns out.

How I Made my Worst Enemy so much Money

https://www.thestreet.com/story/13576145/1/the-markets-crashed-my-first-day-as-a-stockbroker-and-here-s-what-i-did-next.html

Diamond ignored me until I published June 20, 2016, TheStreet article about how Apollo Global Management acquired Diamond in 2016. I have to admit I went berserk after I read the announcement. Apollo’s predecessor company was Drexel Burnham Lambert. DBL filed bankruptcy on a $650 million fine and Michael Milken was sent to jail for securities fraud. You can imagine my reaction when I learned – Drexel BOUGHT MY VACATION PLAN!!!?? My husband and I had been DBL clients.

https://www.thestreet.com/story/13624491/1/is-apollo-returning-to-its-junk-roots-with-its-acquisition-of-diamond-resorts.html

DBL banker Leon Black formed Apollo after the DBL bankruptcy. Mr. Black’s name is being circulated among the power brokers associated with the late Jeffery Epstein’s “Financial Black Book” concerning sex trafficking.

In order to find out how he (Jeffrey Epstein) amassed his fortune, it may take subpoenas from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York to Wall Street types in Epstein’s inner circle—people such as Leslie Wexner, the billionaire founder and CEO of L Brands, Glenn Dubin, the billionaire co-founder of the hedge fund Highbridge Capital Management, and Leon Black, the billionaire founder of Apollo Global Management, the private-equity behemoth.

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2019/07/jeffrey-epsteins-financial-black-book

In addition to traditional piano lessons, I teach jazz piano, having mastered 13th chords after studying for five years with St. Louis jazz great Herb Drury. Prior to studying with Herb, I majored in classical piano at Lindenwood Colleges in St. Charles, Missouri.

Student Brian is a former Sarasota police officer and certified alligator wrestler. Brian plays by ear. I taught him some music theory.

Finally, we have Robert, brother to the five year old pictured above, Robert is playing a Sarabande at The Springs skilled care facility. I wish I could take credit for Robert’s brilliant ability, age 9, but I was his interim piano teacher while his piano teacher recovered from surgery. Robert speaks Polish and English. His piano teacher speaks Russian. The Springs activity director, who arranged our venues, was at her wit’s end trying to get rid of her Westgate timeshare. 

Pictured above Robert playing a Handel Sarabande at The Springs

Thank you if you are still reading. It is my hope this narration may convince timeshare power brokers and potential donors that I am not the kind of person to hustle law clients in exchange for great financial gain.

Never in my wildest imagination did I think answering the phone and responding to emails from infuriated timeshare members would lead to this. Who would have thought referring to any law firm, when asked a legal question that I was not legally able to answer, or because the timeshare member did not have the time or temperament to self-advocate, would be described illegal or immoral?  

Thank you to all donors. It is painful to have to ask for money from timeshare members already financially distressed because they made the mistake of buying timeshare points that led to their insolvency. By directing the vast majority of over 700 Diamond members to Diamond, as opposed to an exit company provider, or to an attorney, I probably saved Diamond and the members a fortune in legal and arbitration fees. Another way of saying no good deed goes unpunished:   

My Inside Timeshare September 24, 2019 article explains the subpoena.

https://insidetimeshare.com/the-tuesday-slot-49/

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.

https://www.facebook.com/timeshareadvocategroup/

https://tug2.com/Home.aspx

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/everything-about-timeshares-wayne-c-robinson/1129749757?ean=2940161600962

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

https://www.udprep.info/june

Bluegreen Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/groups/180578055325962/

Wyndham Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/groups/376743609795740/

Wyndham Carriage Resorts Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/groups/CHCROwners/

Sapphire Starpoint  https://www.facebook.com/login/?next=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fgroups%2F292083584642570%2F%3Fref%3Dshare

Diamond Resort Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/groups/DiamondResortsOwnersAdvocacy/

Gold Key Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1639958046252175/

Inside Timeshare Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/insidetimeshare/

Inside Timeshare Facebook Group

https://www.facebook.com/groups/2213231165610648/

Thank you, Irene and thanks to all who have donated so far, there is still a long way to go but with your help, the target will be reached. In the time I have known and worked with Irene she has selflessly put others first, I have on many occasions spoken with her and given her encouragement to lift her spirits. Inside Timeshare calls on all our readers to now help her in her hour of need. Thank you.

That is it for this week, join us again next week for more on news and information on the murky world of timeshare. Have a great weekend. 

The Tuesday Slot

Welcome to The Tuesday Slot, we begin with news from Irene Parker and her Legal Defense Fund in the Diamond Resorts v Finn Law Group case, as of last night (after today’s article was submitted) it is now standing at $3,999. What a great start, keep the donations coming in. Here is a fine example of the work Irene has undertaken, we are also more than grateful to timeshare resorts who have been working with the elderly and the infirm to voluntarily take back timeshares. Irene reported that in just the last few weeks, by making sure timeshare owners who don’t know where to turn, or who to call, get pointed in the right direction. Irene has been doing a little detective work for them to make sure the timeshare member or owner has the right department or person to talk. You would think this would be an easy task, but due to age-related concerns or disability, small tasks can become mammoth in size.

Yesterday a struggling elderly couple in their 80s stayed on the line while Irene was able to put them in touch with a company that really does have a responsible exit. The company representative walked the couple through the process while Irene stayed on the phone. Maybe there is hope that we can turn Timeshare Wars into Timeshare Cooperation by having exit companies refer timeshare members and owners with fully paid for timeshares to Inside Timeshare and we will do what we can to keep up the pace of our readers seeking release.

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

Launched: September 26, 2019

A Progress Report:  Diamond Resorts v Finn Law Group 

October 1 Update: Over $3,000 donated since Friday Towards $25,000 Goal!

Please donate $10 (or more) to my GoFundMe and let your voice be heard!

https://www.gofundme.com/f/irene-parker-diamond-resort-legal-defense-fund?utm_medium=email&utm_source=product&utm_campaign=p_email%2B2300-co-team-welcome

By Irene Parker

Borrowing a page from NPR, America’s version of the BBC, we are interrupting our regularly scheduled articles to meet our fundraising goal of $25,000.

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. 

#2 of 13 subpoenaed demands: The term “computer materials” shall mean any and all files from any personal computer, notebook or laptop computer, (we gave one old laptop to a Wisconsin Diamond member when he was here in Florida. He asked if he could stop by my house for help with regulatory filings. Diamond called him before we finished the third regulatory filing. He resolved his dispute after he returned home and was able to get the deception he recorded out of his phone. He mentioned his son’s computer broke down, so my husband gave him my old laptop he had been tinkering with.) To continue: file server (This is what got Hillary in trouble), minicomputer, main-frame computer, or other storage devices, including, but not limited to, hard drive disk drives or backup or retrieved electronic information, including, but not limited to e-mail. All relevant files that are still on the storage media, but are identified as “erased but recoverable,” are to be included. 

This is one of those, “Honey, can you help me with this?” My husband Don is pretty good with computers.

It is ironic that hundreds of Diamond members have sent hundreds of complaints to Diamond and to the timeshare lobby ARDA and ARDA ROC, a Political Action Committee, and it is no secret I review members’ reports of unfair and deceptive sales practices. ARDA and ARDA ROC have ignored all complaints. (ARDA is closely related to the law firm Baker Hostetler that deposed me for six hours and issued the subpoena). Diamond CEO Michael Flaskey sits on ARDA’s board and has oft-quoted his concern over unfair and deceptive sales practices perpetrated by timeshare exit company providers.       

I am humbled and grateful, having received over $3,000 in GoFundMe contributions since Friday. GoFundMe has accomplished much good for so many. 

My Inside Timeshare September 24, 2019 article explains the subpoena.

https://insidetimeshare.com/the-tuesday-slot-49/

Rather than an article today, I offer two highlights from this past week. Resorts tell me they are inundated with owners calling seeking timeshare release.

From Frank Hennessey, age 78 to XXX Resort

August 21, 2019

I purchased an XXX timeshare on Nov. 15, 2013, from XXX Resort for $7,900. After complaining about lack of availability, I was told the unit I had was not very desirable and I should upgrade to a better unit. On July 23, 2015, I purchased from XXX unit 202 at XXX sales price $15,900. 

As of September 2019, I have never been able to use this or any property I was promised. Not once.  Because of some medical problems I have experienced in the last few years – knee surgery (ACL repair) hip replacement, knee replacement, broken arm, 10 broken ribs with punctured lung (5 days in hospital) I do not wish to remain in this contract 

Please contact me. I reached out to ARDA’s Coalition for Responsible Exit, but xxx was not listed. The timeshare is fully paid. September 13, 2019, I E-mailed ARDA and informed them of my wish to cancel my contract with XXX and would appreciate their help. I’m waiting for a reply.

Frank Hennessey

ARDA Coalition for Responsible Exit

https://responsibleexit.com/

Frank did receive a release.

#2 Helene Broome (same resort)

Helene Broome, age 88

September 26, 2019

To Ms. Parker, (an excerpt) from the resort:

I wish that we could take back the units of every owner who calls us with a sad story.  Unfortunately, the condo association could not afford to pay all of their fees. We will make an exception for Mrs. xxx and send her a Quit Claim Deed to terminate her ownership. 

From Irene to Ms. xxx

Helene is 88 years old, she has just been denied (I later learned gave up) her driver’s license, she’s a widow, uses a walker. Do you have to be in a permanent coma? Holding people 88 years old hostage is not healthy for the industry. 

I am grateful you will make an exception in Helene’s case.

Thank you, Irene

Ricard is 89. An exit company was going to sign him up for $4,000, even took Richard to Disney for a chicken dinner. I made one call to Welk Resort to make sure Richard could easily reach the right person.  

https://insidetimeshare.com/the-tuesday-slot-48/

I have heard from about 60 Legacy owners in the last few months. Some resorts have worked with their owners. Some will not. Seniors are terrified of the foreclosure process. I am working on a good, bad, and ugly report of exact figures. 

Mr. Kenneth McKelvey, of Defender Resorts, Chairman of ARDA ROC, testified March 12, 2019, at a Tallahassee legislative workshop I attended:

“Most of the developers I know and certainly most of the timeshare managers I know, and I managed timeshare properties for thirty years… every single resort had a dissolution policy, every single one! There was a way to get out. You had to come to your management company, and based on what the board of directors instructed us (the management company) to do in the terms if they had to pay a fee or if they had to be current, whatever those situations were, we did not have a one that did not have a dissolution policy and a hardship policy….”

https://insidetimeshare.com/http-insidetimeshare-com-p5261/

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.

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.

https://www.orlandosentinel.com/business/os-bz-orange-lake-timeshare-finn-20180404-story.html

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.

https://www.facebook.com/timeshareadvocategroup/

https://tug2.com/Home.aspx

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/everything-about-timeshares-wayne-c-robinson/1129749757?ean=2940161600962

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

https://www.udprep.info/june

Bluegreen Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/groups/180578055325962/

Wyndham Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/groups/376743609795740/

Wyndham Carriage Resorts Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/groups/CHCROwners/

Sapphire Starpoint  https://www.facebook.com/login/?next=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fgroups%2F292083584642570%2F%3Fref%3Dshare

Diamond Resort Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/groups/DiamondResortsOwnersAdvocacy/

Gold Key Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1639958046252175/

Inside Timeshare Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/groups/2213231165610648/

Thank you Irene for another report on the work that you and our other advocates do free of any charge, to all our readers Inside Timeshare asks that you help by making a donation to the Defense Fund. Only together can we beat the monster that is the timeshare developers.

Tomorrow Inside Timeshare will be publishing a report from El Diario a Spanish newspaper titled “A court seizes the first properties of the giant ‘timesharing’ in the south of Tenerife’. Inside Timeshare has already published on this subject but the El Diario report only goes to reinforce the fact.