Welcome to this week’s edition of Letter from America, this week Irene Parker answers a question asked by many consumers when it comes down to loans/mortgages for the purchase of timeshare. This is very much a problem for our US readers as in Europe and especially in the UK all loan agreements are considered personal loans to purchase a product, any default on the loan agreement is a civil matter and is dealt with by the County Courts. The courts can order the repayment or send in the bailiffs to seize personal property to the value of the loan. The timeshare will not be seized as the loan is not collateralised by the timeshare, after all, it is worthless.
There are not many figures available on County Court Judgements made for defaults on these loans, mainly because they are listed as personal debts not attached to anything but a debt to the lender. For instance, you may have taken out a loan for home improvements, this is treated exactly the same as a loan for timeshare. It should also be pointed out that a County Court Judgement commonly known as a CCJ destroys any credit rating and will prevent you from getting any further finance. Now, considering the average age of timeshare purchasers, they are of a generation that will pay off these defaults as a debt is a debt and to receive a CCJ is out of the question. It should also be pointed out that even if consumers receive a CCJ, they are unlikely to advertise the fact on these timeshare forums, after all, it could be very embarrassing.
Is a Timeshare Foreclosure an Installment Loan Foreclosure or a Mortgage Foreclosure?
Is a Timeshare Foreclosure Considered Mortgage Foreclosure?
On the credit report yes, but not with mortgage lenders: Per HUD mortgage lending guidelines, a timeshare is not treated as a regular foreclosure and is treated as consumer debt.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the parent of FHA) classifies timeshare mortgages as installment loans and not real estate loans.
By Irene Parker
July 23, 2021
Over the past year, there have been six disturbing reports that indicate timeshare developers are becoming more aggressive in pursuing members who default on loans. If the reports listed below obtained from credible sources are accurate, timeshare buyers should NEVER finance a timeshare, and timeshare attorneys will be provided substantial job security. If you get sued, you need an attorney. There is nothing to prevent a timeshare company from suing a member, but it is more difficult to collect on a timeshare judgment as the loan is not collateralized with anything but the timeshare.
Last week on TIMESHARE TALKSJessica Burke of Virginia Beach Timeshare Rentals discussed the benefits of renting timeshares. Renting avoids the initial outlay, and more importantly, gives the consumer time to evaluate different timeshares so as to make an informed decision as to which timeshare might be right for their family. Host John Raymond is a licensed timeshare broker and founder of Resort Reseller. Timeshares can be purchased on the secondary market for a fraction of the cost.
At a 2019 Florida legislative workshop I attended, Mr. McKelvey testified:
“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 (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 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….”
Timeshare members donate $5 to $10 per contract to ARDA-ROC in mostly “opt-out” donations. These donations are not as voluntary as they sound. When I asked that the $7 not be charged to my credit card along with my maintenance fees, it was charged anyway. When I called to ask that the $7 be removed, I was told they had to fill out an internal form to do so. That was back in January. Another member recently reported they had to call three times to have the $7 removed. Collectively, ARDA-ROC raises approximately $5 million a year from members.
Following are five additional disturbing reports:
One developer’s contract used to specifically state that they do not pursue summary judgments. That language has been removed.
Eric Olsen, an attorney of 42 years, was quoted in Kiplinger, to the ire of timeshare developers, when asked what happens when someone stops paying: “I ran this often-asked question by Salem, Ore.-based attorney Eric Olsen, founder of HELPS, a national nonprofit law firm that helps lower-income seniors with debt they can’t afford to pay. Olsen concluded our interview by urging readers to, “Consider walking away from the timeshare, as they generally have no value. Stop paying and ignore their communications. It will eventually get foreclosed and owing any deficiency is highly unlikely.” Kiplinger, April 26, 2021
Westgate’s VP of Mortgage Services stated in recent court documents that Westgate “probably” has a 30% default rate. Westgate’s lenders can’t be happy with that high default rate. Other developers have default rates that exceed 20%.
Hilton Grand Vacations and Orange Lake/Holiday Inn have sued members defaulting on loans, according to one exit provider.
Another source reported an upsurge in attorney hiring.
What does this mean to timeshare members and owners?
According to HomeGuidesSF:
The company may sue you in civil court to obtain a judgment. If the judge issues a judgment against you, the management company may garnish your wages or levy your bank account to get the money you owe.
Deeded timeshare owners face a different dilemma. If you stop paying on your timeshare loan, you face foreclosure. Foreclosure is the process whereby the lender files to take possession of the property and sell it at auction to recover the money you owe. There are two main types of foreclosure: judicial and non-judicial foreclosure. In a judicial foreclosure, the lender files a foreclosure lawsuit and takes you to court. The judge may issue a deficiency judgment for the remaining balance due after the auction. A non-judicial foreclosure is basically a paperwork shuffle. Your contract authorizes the trustee to sell the timeshare in the event you stop paying on it. You receive the official Notice of Default and the Notice of Sale. In California, the majority of foreclosures are non-judicial foreclosures where the lender cannot receive a deficiency judgment after the sale of the property.
Yahoo Financereporter Abigail Fisher recommends timeshare stocks because consumers are tricked into signing contracts they can’t get out of:
Best Stocks to Buy According to Hedge Funds
We find evil companies to be a very rewarding hunting ground to uncover long-term stock winners. In our opinion companies like Philip Morris (PM), Facebook (FB), Apple Inc. (AAPL), Alphabet (GOOGLE) are evil companies that delivered 1000% or more gains to their investors.
In this article we are going to look at another set of evil companies that use high pressure sales tactics to trick consumers into signing complex long-term contracts that they don’t understand: timeshare marketing companies. Check out this Reddit post where the user is asking several questions about Wyndham timeshare cancellation. This person was able to cancel and receive a full refund, but many consumers don’t cancel within the 7-day or 10-day window specified in their contracts.
How would this reporter feel if the buyer tricked, was her grandmother? Tiffany’s parents were kept for 11 hours, their IDs withheld. They lost their two deeds they had since 1998, and $34,000. They were told that if they didn’t convert their deed to points, maintenance fees would increase from their current fees of $2,000 to $6,000. The transaction resulted in maintenance fees of $6,000 which they could not afford. Tiffany’s interview:
Many timeshare members and owners, who report unfair or deceptive sales and marketing practices, are senior citizens in their 60s, 70s, some in their 80s and 90s. They have maintained lifelong high credit scores, but are faced with little choice but to default on a timeshare loan if the resort dismisses their complaint because they signed a contract. There is little to no secondary market. Coupled with interest rates ranging from 12% to 20% (higher if credit card financing), a timeshare can become a financial nightmare. About a third of those reaching out are younger. The youngest was 19 and pregnant when she signed a perpetual timeshare contract at midnight – after a six-hour presentation.
Timeshare members can negotiate directly with their resort to resolve a dispute, but expect to be challenged with:
You signed a contract,
Your allegations are unsubstantiated,
We are not responsible for what our sales agents say,
You didn’t question this on the recorded closing (because you believed the sales agent or were coached on what to say or not say).
How can this posturing and ongoing war between developers and those providing exit services be healthy for the timeshare industry?
People, members of the media, and even the Federal Trade Commission have started addressing why thousands of members reach seeking release from an unwanted timeshare. The FTC lists Timeshare Sales at #7 on their current Top Ten Scam list and Timeshare Resales (fake buyers) #10.
Related Articles: FTC: Timeshares: Yes? No? Maybe?
Thank you Irene, a very interesting article and I hope it helps to answer some of the questions we receive.
It should also be pointed out that in the UK, one bank, Shawbrook Bank, did acknowledge a few years ago that they did not carry out their due diligence when authorising timeshare loans, meaning many agreements were signed without the affordability checks. The bank set aside around £9 million to cover any defaults on these loans as they would have had great difficulty in enforcing these loan agreements in the County Courts. The CEO at the time was forced to resign as he was the one that arranged the agreements with the timeshare companies.
Another point is all timeshare sales companies must be authorised in order to broker these loans, before April 1st, 2014 these would have been authorised by The Office of Fair Trading and from that date by the Financial Conduct Authority. A case that Inside Timeshare has been following was the validation of these agreements by Barclays Partner Finance for loans brokered by Azure Service Ltd who were not authorised. This validation order would legalise the loan agreement and make it enforceable in law.
Inside Timeshare has already uncovered many timeshare companies who brokered loan agreements with various lenders and have found that the vast majority have never been authorised. This investigation is ongoing and is being used to end loan agreements.
That is all for this week, have a great weekend, and join us again next week for more news and information on the murky world of timeshare.
Welcome to the latest edition of Inside Timeshare’s Letter from America, today’s article will certainly make you wonder why the timeshare industry has such a bad reputation. The information within the article has been collated for a couple of years and is based on the correspondence received by Inside Timeshare from our cousins in the US. The information contained are genuine stories and all information has come from public records so is totally accessible by the public. Inside Timeshare along with our US friends have verified the information through long drawn-out research before being able to publish. As the title suggests, when you attend a presentation you should have no doubt as to the integrity of your sales agent so “WHO IS YOUR SALES AGENT?”
Crimeshare – Know Who You Do Business With
Published by Inside Timeshare
Friday, July 2, 2021
Inside Timeshare Contributor Tiffany Renee was interviewed last week on Timeshare Talks. Tiffany talked about how she took it upon herself to research her parents’ sales agent, a self-described quality assurance agent, after hearing from her parents what transpired during their 11 hours sales presentation. Both of her parents’ sales agents are listed on the criminal background report below. The transaction resulted in Tiffany’s parents forfeiting two deeded timeshares, and losing $34,000, scared into believing Tiffany and her siblings would be liable for the deeds, should something happen to her parents, if they did not convert to points.
Timeshare Talks is an interactive forum dedicated to promoting a viable secondary market and improving communications between developers and members. Hosts include John Raymond, founder of Resort Reseller, Wayne C. Robinson, author of Everything About Timeshares, Before, During and After the Sale (especially before), and Wayne’s book editor, Irene Parker.
Tiffany’s brother Gary passed away May 7, 2021. Partly due to her parents’ recent financial loss, a GoFundMe was launched to cover burial expenses. Many of our Facebook Friends contributed. Tiffany wishes to thank all who helped out. They say the eyes are a pathway to the soul. Gary’s eyes represent the eyes of a good and kind soul.
Tiffany, working with a team advocating for change, knows there are some changes that need to be made in timeshare. Irene goes over some of the proposed changes with Tiffany during their interview. The first change is to let the consumer know they will be attending a sales presentation.
The following reports were obtained through public records searches. It was a collaborative effort. While some of the offenses occurred in the distant past, it is of concern if there are multiple complaints of deceptive sales tactics reported against the agent. Complaints were directed against one of the agents as recently as 2020. This complaint resolved in 2017:
Marketing materials were professionally produced. At a dinner we were presented again with the “New Currency program” which included a professional looking corporate “Currency” app tool set up for members with 50,000 points that would be eligible for a 2x bonus. We could use those points to pay all 2018 vacation expenses at $0.30 per point. The “Currency” app tool was reset to show cash payment for 100,000 points, up to a total of $10,000 at 100% @ $0.10 per point. We verified that we would be eligible to receive up to $24,600 to pay for 100% of travel expenses @ $.30 per point or up to $8,200 at 100% @ $.10 per point. The agent could not give us copies of the printouts as the program would not be announced until January 2018. The program was fabricated.
Those convicted of a crime deserve a second chance, but working with the elderly in lending is not a good mix. An attorney we checked with said that as long as the adjudications are listed, these are public records and can be published. We did not name the resort these agents worked at, because several have moved on to work at other timeshare resorts. Eleven of the 20 sales agents/managers with criminal records are working or have worked in Virginia, a state with a heavy military presence. An active duty service member can lose their security clearance over a timeshare foreclosure. We helped one active duty Air Force member with his security clearance review by providing actions initiated against his resort by an Attorney General.
There have been reports of sales agents and managers referring prospective customers to exit companies and attorneys, falsely promising they can be released from another timeshare to be able to afford their timeshare, despite endless warnings to avoid exit providers. One member had proof of this with the phone number and name of an exit attorney written on the back of the agent’s business card.
Jeffrey Heath Shaver, a former Branson, Missouri timeshare agent, operated an exit company accused of scamming timeshare members:
Should the following agents/managers have been hired to work in lending? A former bank CEO said they would not have been hired to work in banking:
#1 Melinda Elannan: Florida and Virginia
#2 Robert Carneal: Florida and Virginia
#3 Tim Lima, Former: Former Florida self-described QA Agent
#4 Dawson Allen: Former Florida sales agent
#5 Dan Chudy: Former Branson Sales Manager
#6 Ryan McMillian: Disbarred Attorney, Branson, MO
#7 Robert Palmer – Las Vegas
#8 Brent Rohde – Missouri and Virginia
#9 Talonda Davis – Virginia
#10 Daniel Joseph Vendl – Former California sales agent
#11 Daniel Ortiz – Virginia
#12 Royal Johnson – Virginia
#13 Anthony Lagrand-Perez (deceased) – North Carolina, Cabo and Branson
#14 Frank Shields – Virginia
#15 Clifton J Gill – Virginia
#16 Mohamad Anas Haitham Soueid, aka “Alex Soueid” or “Anas Alswaid,”Virginia
#17 Reginald Buck, Nevada
#18 Dayne Arokium, Virginia
#19 Devin Azevedo, Tahoe
#20 Ron Kalif El, Virginia
#1 Melinda Elannan Court Records – Florida and Virginia
3 cases. State of Florida vs Elannan, Melinda
Arrested by Winter Park Police Department
07/11/2003 – CR -Petit Theft – Second Degree. (pleaded Guilty) if property is valued at less than $100. Fine $543.00. 1day in jail, Placed on supervised Probation 179 days and removal if serves 20 hours of community service ordered to pay restitution of $150.00 to victim. Adjudication withheld.
She was arrested by the Orange County Sheriff Office, both dates:
Charge #1 07/12/2005 – Theft Statute: Third Degree – Felony
#2 07/15/2005 – Principal to Grand Theft Third Degree – Felony
1. Definition of Grand Theft is the unlawful taking or using of property valued at $300 or more with the intent to deprive the owner of their rights to the property.
2. Grand Theft Third Degree is property taken and is valued from $300 to $20,000. She was indicated as the principal for this charge. She pleaded not guilty, jury trial on 10/04/2006, verdict returned not guilty and she was acquitted. So ordered on 07/21/2008, put on Administrative Probation, and ordered to have no contact with the victim during Administrative probation. The Victim: Correspondence was filed by P.Divers with Allstate.
She was acquitted of these charges on 08/18/2005
200810/29/2008 – Petit theft of $100 or more. Fine $180 adjudication withheld. She “pleaded NOLO” as charged; it is the same as pleading guilty.
#2 Robert Carneal (Melinda Elannan and Robert Carneal worked together)
Orange County FL Court System
10/18/1991 Robbery second degree Pled Guilty Adjudication withheld
09/22/1998 Petit Theft of $100 or more He had to pay restitution of $240 to Gayfers
09/23/2003 Domestic Violence no disposition stated
09/23/2003 Domestic Violence w/children no disposition stated
07/25/2005 Domestic Violence no disposition stated
07/28/2005 Domestic Violence no disposition stated
02/16/2007 Domestic Violence no disposition stated
10/28/2009 Petit Theft no disposition stated
04/16/2011 Battery (Domestic) first Degree, arrested by Orlando Police Dept. No contact order was issued. No disposition stated
#3 Tim Lima, Florida
1997 Seven burglaries, 4 year jail term served
1997 Six cases of theft
2001 aggravated assault and battery
2002 driving with suspended/revoked driver’s license (Criminally charged for multiple offenses)
2008 Grand Theft Third degree felony
2012 driving with a suspended license/no valid ID (criminally charged for multiple offenses)
Speeding violations: 74 mph in a 45 zone, 43/25, 75/55, 81/45, 84/55, 60/40, 100/65
These are just a few examples of speeding violations, including 7+ suspensions. His record shows neglect to pay for tickets or show up in court. There are multiple counts of theft and burglary, some of which took place while violating probation. Records were pulled from two counties: Orange County and Osceola County.
An August 22, 2020 an auto accident report noted Category 4 “Incapacitating” which for the state of Florida indicates that injuries are disabling, such as broken bones, severed limbs, etc. and usually require hospitalization and transport to a medical facility. Details are not listed as that information is protected by HIPAA. The posted speed limit was 45mph, by default they assume he was going 45 mph when he lost control of his vehicle. He hit a curb and two trees while he was ejecting.
03/23/2018 Unlawful use of weapon with possession of a controlled substance, 35 grams or less marijuana
Dan Chudy was named in a lawsuit Diamond and Wyndham filed against timeshare exit companies, The Transfer Group/Principal Transfer Group. Wyndham sued The Transfer Group in 2018. Other businesses and individuals named in the suit are:
• Allied Solution Group LLC, Springfield; • Bart Bowe, a Missouri resident; • Dan Chudy, Branson and Sparta; • CLS Inc., dba Atlas Vacation Remedies and Principal Transfer Group
#6 Ryan McMillin, Missouri
Ryan McMillin was disbarred unanimously by the Missouri Supreme Court for mismanaging trust accounts due to a gambling and cocaine addiction, along with mental health issues. He has been recorded by a member.
#7 Robert Palmer, Nevada
My sales agent Robert John Palmer violated a civil order to pay alimony and was jailed to compel compliance. The power to jail him was an alternative in the civil code to compel his compliance. The fact that he willfully did not pay, and had to be jailed to comply is a fact and enough to show he has no moral compass or scruples. He divulged some sort of criminal activity and the luxury of living in Costa Rica. Palmer was jailed for voluntary non-payment of over $100,000 of court-ordered alimony. Despite this he was granted a Nevada Real Estate Timeshare License. The promises and description of the program were made by an unscrupulous predator. DRI failed to conduct due diligence in hiring this person.
#8 Brent Rohde, Missouri and Virginai
Theft by Check
Injury to Elderly
Injury to Family Member
#9 Talonda Davis, Virginia (worked with Brent Rohde)
VA Beach Public Records: Forgery Class 4 Felony Arrest date 01/06/2011 Pled Guilty GC11000381 Amended charge Identity Theft: ID to defraud misdemeanor Class1
VA Beach Public Records: Forgery Class 4 Felony Arrest date 01/05/2011 Pled Guilty GC11000380 Amended charge Identity Theft: ID to Defraud misdemeanor class 1
#10 Daniel Joseph Vendl, California
License # 01077403 Restricted
Convicted or the crime of battery against a spouse, March 20, 2002
Indian Wells, CA 92210
#11 Daniel Ortiz, Virginia
1. 08/22/2011 DWI 2nd offense within 5Y-10Y Not Guilty.
3. 12/21/2011. DWI: Refusal of Blood or breath test. Guilty
1 and 2 are related.
#12 Royal Johnson Virginia
3 Substance Abuse Charges Cocaine Pled guilty to one charge in 2005
PWID (Person with and injectable device)
#13 Anthony Lagrand-Perez, Missouri, deceased
DOD February 22, 2021 Car accident, age 27
MO DWI 01/17/2019
03/25/19. Placed on SATOP Substance Awareness Traffic offender program.
Completed 04/06/19 2 yrs probation
December 29, 2018 – Age 23 The arrest report indicates that Highway Patrol requested charges/citations be issued against him before he was released for treatment. Highway Patrol reportedly requested a misdemeanor DWI charge and a citation for failure to drive on the right half of the road. The 214 BMW 353 was totaled in the crash.
#14 Frank Shields Virginia, 54 DOB: 05/29/1966
02/09/87 Robbery Felony Class 2 Nolle Prosequi (was not processed or dismissed)
10/09/90 Felony Larceny – 3rd offense
Guilty 1yr Jail
The Grand Jury gave a true bill, meaning there is enough evidence the suspect is guilty. They set a trial date of 10/25/90. At trial he pled guilty and was sentenced to serve one year in jail
04/08/91 A Grand Jury on a second offense gave a true bill. On 5/13/91 it was set for trial.
Felony Larceny 3rd offense
Trial by judge 1 year jail
5/30/91 arrested capias – defendant arrested
7/10/91 continued set for trial August 12, 1991, continued again on September 30, 1991..
10/7/91 trial – judge with witness sentenced to 1 year jail term
#15 Clifton J Gill, Virginia
4 MEN ARRESTED IN HOME INVASION IN KILN CREEK
Police spokesman Lou Thurston said the resident answered a knock at his Featherstone apartment in the 700 block of Bellows Way shortly before 6 a.m. His wife and month-old daughter were in a bedroom asleep. As the door opened, two men charged into the apartment.
The intruders demanded the keys to the man’s white Montero Sport SUV. When he told them he couldn’t find the keys, the pair then directed the resident to another room. At one point, police said, the occupant wrested the pistol from one of the intruders. During the scuffle, the weapon fired, sending a bullet through the wall into a bedroom where the man’s wife and infant were asleep, police said.
Detectives later arrested Terry Dawand Grant, 22, of the 100 block of Lands End Lane; Clifton Joseph Gill, 22, of the 13000 block of Warwick Boulevard; and Jason George Nazario, 28, of the 300 block of Hickory Point.
1/28/14 Failure to Appear (FTA) File date 1/30/2014 out on bail.
Arrest date 3/28/16 driving under revoked/suspended license misdemeanor
Charge 1: Drugs: Possession Schedule 1 or 2
Arrested Class 5 Felony 4/29/19
Not processed (dismissed in Circuit Court)
File date 12/13/19
Trial/hearing date 10/20/20
Went to Grand Jury
Charge 2: Arrested 7/28/20 Class 6 Felony possessed gun W/SCHI-IIdrug
Charge 4: Arrested 4/29/19 Felony Class 6 possessed gun W/SCHI-IIdrug
(4 different charges) (Dismissed)
File date 4/20/19
2 Unlawful Detainers (rent not paid/same as eviction), owed $3,060
Hearing date 8/8/17
Hearing date 5/21/19 owed $2,000
#16 Mohamad Anas Haitham Soueid, aka “Alex Soueid” or “Anas Alswaid,” is a Syrian-born naturalized U.S. citizen, is a former Virginia sales agent (2018 – 2020). He went by Alex Soueid during his tenure in timeshare. He was convicted of unlawfully acting as an agent of a foreign government on March 26, 2012:
Mohamad Anas Haitham Soueid, 48, a resident of Leesburg, Va., was sentenced to 18 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for collecting video and audio recordings and other information about individuals in the United States and Syria who were protesting the government of Syria and to providing these materials to Syrian intelligence agencies in order to silence, intimidate and potentially harm the protestors.
“Mr. Soueid betrayed this country to work on behalf of a state sponsor of terror,” said U.S. Attorney MacBride. “While the autocratic Syrian regime killed, kidnapped, intimidated and silenced thousands of its own citizens, Mr. Soueid spearheaded efforts to identify and intimidate those protesting against the Syrian government in the United States.”
MinuteCode1: COMPLETED BY CTB MinuteCode3: COMPLETED BY CTB
03/13/2008 TRANSFERRED TO JC
03/13/2008 COMPLETED BY MLF
MinuteCode1: COMPLETED BY MLF MinuteCode3: COMPLETED BY MLF
03/13/2008 CTRACK Track Assignment JC08
03/17/2008 RECEIVED FROM DA
RECEIVED FROM DA
03/17/2008 COMPLAINT FILED
03/18/2008 ARRAIGNMENT COMPLETED (Judicial Officer: Gubler, James L. )
03/18/2008 Arraignment (8:00 AM) (Judicial Officer Gubler, James L.)
05/01/2008 APPEAL BND-CIVL (Judicial Officer: Martin, D. Eugene )
05/01/2008 COURTESY NOTICE OF DISPOSITION GENERATED
MinuteCode1: COURTESY NOTICE OF DISPOSITION GENERATED MinuteCode3: COURTESY NOTICE OF DISPOSITION GENERATED
05/01/2008 Bench Trial (8:00 AM) (Judicial Officer Martin, D. Eugene)
Result: CASE FINDING
#18 Dayne Arokium, Virginia
Dayne’s previous career is as a flight attendant for JetBlue. He was arrested for sexually harassing a passenger.
Arokium was arrested seven months after the incident and charged with obscene and indecent exposure. Rousset decided to publicly come forward with her story after his arrest.
#19 Devin Azevedo, Tahoe
A salesman in Tahoe boasted about having been a professional snowboarder. Turns out he also stole a bunch of stuff at a fundraiser for Heavenly Ski Foundation.
MINDEN – A Mammoth Lakes man received a suspended 3-year prison sentence in connection with the theft of items donated for sale by the Heavenly Ski Foundation.
Devin M. Azevedo, 36, of Mammoth Lakes was arrested Dec. 3, 2005, for taking an autographed basketball, a bottle of wine and four Sacramento Kings tickets. Azevedo’s attorney Todd Young told Judge Michael Gibbons that Azevedo was intoxicated at the time of the offenses.
Azevedo was still under the influence when he admitted taking a $20,000 fur coat, according to prosecutor Dina Salvucci, a crime someone else later admitted.
Azevedo said he had been clean and sober for 141 days.
# 20 Ron Kalif El, Virginia
Case #1 Of 11 Reports for Ron Kalif El (not including 5 minor infractions)
Well, this certainly puts a new light on the timeshare industry. I nor my friends can name any other industry which employs people with some very dubious and serious records and have the ability to take thousands of dollars from some very vulnerable people. Yet the timeshare industry does not appear to have the checks and balances necessary to ensure those employed have integrity and honesty thereby protecting their potential clients. In this respect the industry itself is culpable, yet we do realise that in most circumstances the sales agents tend to be itinerant, moving from one resort and country to another making the usual checks to be difficult, plus their employment tends to be through connections and word of mouth. But make no mistake, this is the industry’s own doing and it is now time for change.
Welcome to the latest edition of Letter from America, again Inside Timeshare thanks Irene for her time in preparing this week’s Letter and also all those that contributed with information and proofreading. Today’s article follows on from previous ones which focus on the industry and the related scams. Timeshare owners from both sides of the pond and indeed the world are all familiar with the tactics that have been employed to fleece them of their hard-earned cash. These articles are to highlight this ongoing problem and make the industry change of its own volition, failing that, then governments need to step in and legislate as they have in Spain. The ball is squarely in the court of the industry.
CRIMESHARE: Anatomy of an Ongoing Timeshare Resale Scam
In representation of XYZ Properties and Mr. ABC, we are thrilled to inform you that your membership has been appraised and has obtained an offer to be purchased (for $300,000). Please find attached to this email our statement of intent.
Email from a wire fraud expert
By Irene Parker
June 18, 2021
Retired Canadian Military Armed Forces Police Officer Earl Sharpe was concerned enough to share on TIMESHARE TALKS about how he and his wife Faith were scammed by a resort in Mexico, and by a sophisticated ring of timeshare exit criminals. Those defrauded by a dark web exit scam or a dishonest timeshare sales agent have long memories. Earl volunteers to help research scams for those who have been contacted with bogus offers to buy or sell their timeshare.
Earl told me about Timeshare Specialists, Inc., an honest timeshare resale company that has gathered the names of over 100 resale and transfer scams to try to prevent scams before they happen. I have my own shorter list. It is alarming to me that I did not recognize any of the names. One of the entities actually went by the name Just Fly Corp! (Claiming to be part of the legitimate company/website)
As explained by Timeshare Specialist’s website:
Most timeshare owners never see it coming. They think they’ve just closed a deal to sell their property when in reality they’ve just been scammed out of thousands, sometimes tens of thousands of dollars!
Also alarming is the orchestrated level of sophistication. When I attempted to insert the statement of intent mentioned in the email above into this article, it would not allow the offer to be displayed. That’s never happened to me before.
Earl is not ready to disclose the real name of XYZ Properties because he has not yet finished researching the scam. It would be amusing, if not so tragic, this disclaimer appearing at the bottom of the email Earl received:
Disclaimer: The information in this e-mail and any documents and files transmitted with it are confidential and for the use of the intended recipient only. If you are not the intended recipient, please delete the message and statements immediately and notify the sender. Alternatively, please contact XYZ Properties on telephone 877 xxx xxxx. Any unauthorized dissemination or copying of this E-mail, or any misuse or wrongful disclosure of the information contained in it, is strictly prohibited and may be considered illegal.
What’s the problem? What’s the solution?
In 2017, Red Week reported that at least 1.15 million timeshare owners want out of their timeshares. The California Real Estate Commissioner’s warning from 2017 holds true today: “The glut of properties and owners desperate to get rid of them has created easy prey for unscrupulous timeshare exit companies.”
The article mentions that the trade association for the timeshare industry (ARDA) advises owners who want to get rid of their timeshares to contact the resort directly to see if they can work out an exit solution. It also advised that timeshare owners not pay an upfront fee to anyone offering help getting rid of a timeshare. However, ARDA-ROC advised one timeshare member to contact an ARDA member to list their points (that have no resale value) – and pay an upfront fee. Such listings quickly grow cold.
It was a pleasure speaking with you today. I am sorry to hear about your experience. I would recommend calling their customer service department and file a formal complaint……
ARDA has a list of timeshare advertising and resale companies. Please click here to access the list of ARDA members specializing in timeshare advertising and resale. Please note: there is an up-front fee for these advertising services and that fee varies by company and advertising package selected. We always recommend using an ARDA-member company for your resale needs to avoid being the victim of a scam, however, you can also list your timeshare “for sale by owner” on websites such The Timeshare Users Group or eBay, just note these groups are not affiliated with ARDA.
Thank you again for contacting ARDA-ROC. If you have any additional questions, please let me know.
ARDA-ROC Consumer Support
If you would be interested in sharing your timeshare experience, bad or good, contact host John Raymond, founder, and owner of Resort Reseller. We thank Earl, our first official guest, his wife Faith, and Service Dog Raven, who has been drafted as our official Timeshare Talks mascot. Earl’s interview, linked in this article, includes good advice from former timeshare executive Wayne C. Robinson, author of Everything About Timeshares.
Wayne worked at many resorts throughout Mexico and the Caribbean and is well aware of the tactics Earl and his wife Faith experienced. Consider subscribing to Timeshare Talks to help us spread the words:
The Canadian Government issued a warning about Mexico timeshares (surprising published by Yucatan Times), and the Canada travel advisory for Mexico provided tips on their website on what you should do before purchasing a timeshare:
gather as much information as possible
review carefully the contract; anything not included in the contract will not be honored
provide your credit card only if you are sure you want to make the purchase
keep copies of all correspondence
At some resorts, the presentation won’t happen if you don’t provide your credit card in advance. There are many reports of people who could not leave a presentation because the sales agents refused to return their credit card and driver’s license.
I would add to the due diligence list what consumer advocates advise – never buy the same day an offer is presented. One wonders if this industry would survive if that rule were to be applied.
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