The Tuesday Slot

Welcome to this edition of The Tuesday Slot, this week Inside Timeshare publishes one of the last articles from Irene Parker due to the subpoena from Diamond Resorts in their case against Finn Law Group. Irene will, however, be submitting the progress of her GoFundMe campaign to raise the funds for legal representation.

Before we go on with Irene’s article, Inside Timeshare has received the following information from one of our readers regarding SG Abogados, the “FAKE” law firm which is part of the Litigious Abogados Family.

Our reader has been receiving numerous telephone calls regarding Diamond Resorts and Royal Oasis Club along with a Mr Barras (possibly the name they are using as “director”) being taken to court in Santa Cruz, Tenerife. According to the information given Diamond, Royal Oasis and Mr Barras are being taken to court for various reasons including fraud.

Some new names have now also come to light, they are supposedly the UK associates using the email address @sg-ukclaims, they are Andrew Hartley and Richard Lamont.

SG Abogados now claim that they cannot lose the case and will be working on a “no win no fee” basis, however, a fee, the amount is not yet given needs to be paid to the “Procurator” to file with the court. Once the case is lodged with the court all official court papers (FORGED) with be forthcoming.

Our Reader contacted Diamond Resorts and was told that there were no court cases being launched against them by this “law firm”. Inside Timeshare is in agreement as we already know that this “law firm” is fake and nothing but a fraud. More on this story as and when new information comes in.

Now for today’s article.

Diamond Resort’s Subpoena to Irene Parker

My $25,000 GoFundMe Launches Friday

September 24, 2019

By Irene Parker

I will not be publishing my regular articles for Inside Timeshare due to a subpoena I received from Diamond Resorts. Instead, I will publish my progress towards my $25,000 Legal Defense GoFundMe goal. My original goal was $50,000, but after discussion with the two law firms I have retained, and given that I really am a volunteer with no gold coins buried in my backyard, it is anticipated there may even be funds left to donate to a consumer protection organization.

I am not being sued by Diamond, but have become centre stage in what seems a strange lawsuit Diamond Resorts filed against Finn Law Group in 2015, especially since I’m playing such an important role.   

My Timeline

I met attorney Mike Finn late January 2016 after reading Gretchen Morgenson’s New York Times article, The Hard Sell Timeshare Comes Roaring Back. (Highlight the link and right click to open).

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/24/business/diamond-resorts-accused-of-using-hard-sell-to-push-time-shares.html

I contacted California attorney Eric Ridley March of 2016 after reading how Mr. Ridley sued Diamond Resorts, accusing the company of Elder Abuse. Louis Wolff was 81 years at the time of this lawsuit.

Louis Wolff claims Diamond Resorts International Club and six affiliates used high-pressure sales tactics to open credit cards in his name, run up bills on them “before plaintiff even realized the cards existed,” and charged him more than $50,000 for “membership ‘services’ in DRI entities.”

https://www.ridleylawoffices.com/blog/diamond-resorts-timeshare-accused-elder-abuse/

In January of 2017, I contacted Albright Stoddard Warnick and Albright to learn more about a billion lawsuit filed against Diamond Resorts. The judge ruled in favour of the arbitration clause, so the class action did not go forward.

https://insidetimeshare.com/1billion-law-suit-diamond-resorts-international/

Later in 2017, I contacted the law office of Amir Goldstein after finding this lawsuit filed against Diamond on behalf of Fe Jocson. I referred Fe to Amir.  

https://www.classaction.org/media/jocson-v-diamond-resorts-international-club-et-al.pdf

I could go on, but suffice to say the reason for my research was because in 2015 I was invited to be interviewed by the late Las Vegas attorney, Bob Massi, host of the popular FOX television show called Property Man. After a horrific timeshare presentation experience at Grand Beach Resort in Orlando, I saw Bob’s segment about a 90,000 square foot home being built in Orlando by Westgate owners. My husband and I were on our way to Venice, Florida, moving from Kentucky, when we attended the presentation. I wrote a sort of Fairy Tale about it:

“The Queen of Versailles and the peasant of Venice”

https://insidetimeshare.com/peasant-venice-queen-versailles/

I even had business cards made

Sometime in the fall of 2016, the Saldana family reached out to me, referred by a licensed broker who felt awful after telling the family Diamond points have no secondary market value. I reached out to a Diamond attorney on the family’s behalf, an attorney I actually liked. I referred the Saldana family to Eric Ridley when Sylvia asked me a legal question I could not answer. Diamond’s attorney resolved the matter, so Sylvia did not retain Mr. Ridley.        

https://insidetimeshare.com/irene-parker-write-barclay-card-usa/

I referred Diamond members to Finn Law Group and will continue to do so. Now, however, we have a list of seven law firms we know and trust. I have met face to face with five of them. I have heard from over 1,000 timeshare members, spanning the globe. There were a few from as far away as Australia and Malaysia. I receive timeshare complaints from timeshare members concerning a variety of timeshare companies.  https://www.finnlawgroup.com/

Sometimes members ask to speak to an attorney or ask me a legal question I can’t answer. Often they are at the end of their rope. We promote self-advocacy, but not everyone has the time or temperament to self-advocate.

The lawsuit Diamond v Finn Law Group as reported by the Orlando Sentinel:

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.

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

Based on the account above, it sounded like lawyers squabbling. I never dreamed I would become the centre of the lawsuit! I’ve retained two law firms. One would have been enough, but I retained the second to help with future plans.

Indirectly, these attorneys are representing you – anyone who has experienced unfair and deceptive sales practices.    

The subpoena I received from the law firm of Baker Hostetler below is nothing short of bizarre. I attended the Whistleblowers Summit this past July and even participated as a panel member in a discussion on ethics and resiliency. I’ve learned any whistleblower worth his or her salt should expect retaliation.  

When I hear from a timeshare member, I direct them to contact their resort instead of contacting an exit company. I provide contacts for the appropriate department and explain the pathway to file regulatory complaints if the member reports unfair and deceptive practices. It is every consumer’s right to file regulatory complaints.  

What Happened to Us 

We purchased Diamond timeshare points, in 2012, only to learn it would cost approximately $8,000 to stay in New York hotels using Diamond points, compared to about $3,000 for the same hotel, same week booked online. I checked year-round. We purchased these points because our daughter lives in New York City. Eventually, after filing complaints with the Arizona and New York Attorneys general, I was offered my money back. I refused to sign the NDA.

I contacted Diamond’s Member Services about the extreme disparity in value. The agent I spoke with explained that those types of properties are for people who bought so many points they don’t know what to do with them all. Having garnered complaints from over 100 Diamond Platinum members who say they mistakenly bought points told they would be relieved of maintenance fees, I understand. 

My daughter Michelle has experience fundraising. I’m hoping she will start a jar: “My Mom’s Legal Defense Fund for Helping Timeshare Hostages” at Daredevil. Michelle raised $30,000 on Kickstarter to launch DareDevil Tattoo Museum. A lot of people seeking tattoos find DareDevil. Over 200 lineup every Friday the 13th as documented by Forbes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TpHYJCmDJjM

The CEO of Airbnb personally helped launch Michelle’s Airbnb “Experience,” a tour of the Bowery. Michelle is the only NY tattooist also a licensed tour guide.   http://insidetimeshare.com/tuesday-slot-airbnb-v-timeshare/

Michelle’s tattoo was featured in a New York Times article when her artefacts were displayed at the New York Historical Society a while back.

Thanks to Diamond, I inadvertently became a contributor for Jim Cramer of Mad Money, Cramer’s investment news service TheStreet.   https://www.thestreet.com/story/13624491/1/is-apollo-returning-to-its-junk-roots-with-its-acquisition-of-diamond-resorts.html

Employing the skills I learned as a CASA supervisor, which included writing and editing court reports on behalf of children in foster care, I started interviewing timeshare members the way I was trained to interview biological parents and their kids. CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates. Our court reports helped judges make a determination as to the best outcome for a child in state care. Listening to a timeshare member is a lot like listening to a mom whose child has been placed in state care. You can substitute “timeshare member” for “child”, Give a Timeshare Member Hope.

Baker Hostetler, the law firm that sent the following subpoena, is closely associated with the timeshare lobby ARDA. This is #1 of 13 demands imposed by the subpoena. Next Tuesday I will publish #2 of 13.   

Subpoena demand #1 of 13

Diamond has demanded the following documents (edited for brevity).  

The first subpoena demanded the history of my life since I was old enough to talk. The judge ordered a “narrower in scope” subpoena so that I only have to produce documents that pertain to the Diamond v Finn Law Group lawsuit.

Definitions and Questions pertaining to #1 of 13    

Correspondence – Letters? I have no telegrams, cables, telexes, facsimiles.

Emails: I’m happy to provide emails, but we have a dilapidated HP printer that gasps when I print five pages. I’m told you can hire a company to help with discovery, so I’ll need to raise money for that too. 

Text messages: I thought they disappeared after a while. I can provide many text messages, but I don’t even know how to do a Facebook screenshot. I will need technological support for this one.

Contracts and Proposals and Agreements: That’s an easy one. I don’t have any.

Minutes: I don’t have any of those either.

Acknowledgements:  noun: acknowledgement

  1. acceptance of the truth or existence of something. “there was no acknowledgement of the family’s trauma”
  2. an author’s or publisher’s statement of indebtedness to others, typically one printed at the beginning of a book.

I ask Mike to review an article if I think I might have written something defamatory. For example, I once used the term Ponzi scheme. Mike said that was defamatory, so suggested Monopoly Money.

Notes: I jot down notes like when I reach out to an expert to ask something like, “What the hell is a Travel Club anyway?”

Memoranda: Definition: I had to look this one up.

Analysis: I have analyzed and tracked Diamond sales agents repeat offenders since 2016. I’m more than happy to provide that information as for years I have been trying to get anyone to listen to me.  

Projections: I don’t have any formal projections, but unfair and deceptive sales practices are on the upswing, based on my research.

Work Papers: I have a spiral bound notebook when someone calls. Is that a work paper or a note? 

Books: I edited All about Timeshares: Before During and After the Sale. The book was authored by a former Navy Journalist, timeshare sales agent and executive, Wayne Robinson. I received no compensation or royalties. I highly recommend this book which can be purchased through Barnes and Noble.

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

Forecasts or Appraisals: Nope

Papers:  Like a White Paper? What’s the difference between a note, a work paper and a paper? 

Records: I kept a record of the first 1000 families to contact me, but I stopped counting after 1,000 because I feel I have enough data. The volume of disgruntled members has increased to the point I can’t keep up.

Reports: What’s the difference between an analysis and a report? Doesn’t a report contain the analysis of DATA?

Diaries: It’s called Inside Timeshare and is available online.  

Statements: I’m more than happy to produce my bank statements. This timeshare ministry is costing me $400 a month in lost piano student revenue.

Questionnaires:  I surveyed the members of the Licensed Timeshare Resale Broker Association because I wanted to know why they would accept a listing for any major timeshare except Diamond. Most would not say anything in fear of being sued, so I must redact this report. They said Diamond has draconian restrictions on the use of points acquired on the secondary market.   

Schedules: I’m retired. I have no schedule.

Computer programs or data: I will have to ask my husband. He does all that.

Books of account: My chequebook?

Calendars: I have one of those! 

Graphs, Charts, transcripts: I have none of those, although a Diamond member emailed me transcripts of a deceptive presentation. 

Tapes or Recordings: I recorded Irene and Dale, a Bronze Star Veteran, who has been financially devastated because of their last Diamond purchase. We received 21 complaints against their agent who reported earning over $2 million a year.  

Photographs: One of Diamond’s Platinum members wondered if they could find a courtroom big enough to hold us all.

Pictures or films: Films? We may have one in 2020 suggested by a timeshare buyer whose son is a director.  

Videos and audio recordings: I thought that was tapes and recordings.

“And all other information where data can be obtained, including all underlying, supporting or preparatory material now in your possession, custody or control.”

The term “documents” specifically includes documents kept by individuals in their desk, at home or elsewhere.  

In conclusion:

Those so motivated by greed cannot be expected to understand someone motivated by compassion. These big outside counsel law firms can bury a small law firm, much less a 68 year old lady who has been working for you for free, now at 52 volunteer hours per week. It’s a labour of love. I’m not complaining.  

#1 of 13 – How’s this for a run-on sentence: 

1. Any printed, written, taped, recorded, graphic, electronic, computer materials, from whatever source, whether in draft or otherwise, whether sent or received, or neither, which contains of from which information can be obtained and which is in Your possession, custody or control, including, but not limited to, the original, a copy, and all non-identical copies whether different from the original because of notes made on or attached to such copy or otherwise of any and all writing, correspondence, letters, telegrams, cables, telexes, facsimiles, emails, text messages, contracts, proposals, agreements, minutes, acknowledgments, notes, memoranda, analyses, projections, work papers, forecasts or appraisals, papers, records, reports, diaries, statements, questionnaires, schedules, computer programs or data, books or account, calendars, graphs, charts, transcripts, tapes, or recordings, photographs, pictures or films, ledgers, registers, work sheets, summaries, digests, financial statements, pictures, videos, audio recordings, audio recordings, and all other information where data, records, or compilations can be obtained, including all underlying, supporting or preparatory material now in Your possession, custody or control. The term “document” or “documents” specifically includes documents by individuals in their desk, at home or elsewhere.

To be continued  

Posted on RedWeek by “Janet” on a thread about Finn Law Group followed by Irene’s response:

https://www.redweek.com/forums/messages?thread_id=19198;page=last

This place (Finn Law Group) is a real law firm but shady. If you look at their BBB all the reviews are in 2019 and roughly a week apart. Also, a lady by the name of Irene Parker (diamond advocate FB forum) was referring all the people on her site to him. She claims her process is free knowing she’s not getting anyone out so after they realize this, she sends them to Finn and he charges thousands of dollars. Well, now it’s claimed that he was giving her kickbacks, commissions, and a finders fee. See, lawyers are not allowed to call or use any form of phone solicitation. How perfect was this set up. He probably contacted her to make a deal. You send them my way and I will take care of you. Ie cash money. Problem is, lawyers can’t split legal fees so I’m sure it’s all under the table.

Diamond is suing him and it looks like she is in hot water too. Diamond is shady yes, but so is Finn law group and Irene Parker. She now Is forming a go fund me page to help pay her legal fees. Why not use the free lawyer she claims will help and she is so tight with. Her quote. Last story. I had a diamond timeshare and went through her form to fill out. It’s a joke. I could tell it wasn’t going to work and asked many people if they had results. No responses, but she also chimed in with how many people she helped. Well, I found a local law firm and was able to get out of mine. It took 9 months but I was out. So I go to her forum to share my experience and got blasted by her and was asked to delete my post. She told me that the law group I used wasn’t approved by her. Well hell,I. never mentioned who it was. She knew it wasn’t Finn because she knows every client she refers. Anyway, I left her fb group. I knew right then she didn’t want any of her thousands of followers to maybe ask me who I used. It would have put a damper on her little side hustle. It’s fine if you want to help people and refer them to a law firm, just be straight up and tell what you’re really doing. Truth always comes out and will eventually. Thanks

Last edit by julieb989 on Sep 20, 2019, 07:24 PM.

My Response to this loon: (#1 a positive outcome requires an NDA)

Janet,

Thank you for posting false and defamatory statements. I have forwarded them to Finn Law Group. #1 the FB is not my site. It is a Facebook launched by an economics professor. It has grown to 3600 members. https://www.facebook.com/groups/DiamondResortsOwnersAdvocacy/

I do this because of symptoms of PTSD. My best friend Jayme Simmons lived with me the last two months of her life, in fear of her husband. He shot her in the face three times in front of her two-year-old. I was to testify premeditation but John switched his plea to guilty. He got 7 years. This is not the first time I worked full time for free. I worked for a year for free to raise money to fund my position at CASA, Court Appointed Special Advocates for children in foster care. With the proceeds, I raised from car shows, and a grant, I launched Fostering Futures, a program to aid teens ageing out of foster care, one of our nation’s high-risk populations. I also designed the volunteer program working for two years for free for the Diocese of Newark, at the Aids Drop-In Center.

I don’t get anyone out of their timeshare. I read their complaint, direct them to contact their resort, and if dismissed with “you didn’t say anything on the recorded QA,” we direct them to file regulatory complaints. I have several who have been through our process of helping other members, answering questions about regulatory filings. As a consequence, hundreds of disputes have been resolved.

Your comments don’t bother me. I consider the source. Here’s a testimony from one of the over 1000 families who have contacted me. Over 100 Diamond Platinum members have contacted me. One of them said she hoped they could find a courthouse big enough to hold all of us. About 90 of the Platinum complaints have resolved.

“My dad has had the contract he was upset with rescinded leaving him with his original contract, as he wanted. I was the one who did all the contracting and emailing for him and I truly do not know if that was responsible, the notification came through his attorney. Whether it was the attorney or the emailing, etc., I have no doubt at all that your efforts have changed the climate of the topic and the industry, and in some way affected the positive outcome for my father. Txxx and I will continue to support your efforts and hope that you also find some satisfaction in definitely being the person who interjected hope for a 90-year-old person who was despondent and really disappointed in himself.

I’ve suggested Inside Timeshare publish your comments, Janet.

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.

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 Group

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

Thank you Irene, Inside Timeshare will be following this case closely and along with all our readers wish you and Mike all the very best.

To all our readers please support Irene with her GoFundMe campaign, she has given so much and she now needs our support.


2 Comments

  • Susan Harbison

    September 24, 2019

    To “Janet” from Redweek: I do not like to see misinformation on the internet, nor do I like to see censorship. I put most of this on Redweek but will repeat it here:

    “This place is a real law firm but shady. If you look at their bbb all the reviews are in 2019 and roughly a week apart.”

    There is nothing shady about the Finn Law Group. The timing of reviews on the BBB is hardly an indication that a law firm is shady!

    “Also a lady by the name of Irene Parker (diamond advocate fb forum) was referring all the people on her site to him. She claims her process is free knowing she’s not getting anyone out so after they realize this, she sends them to Finn and he charges thousands of dollars. Well now it’s claimed that he was giving her kickbacks, commissions , and a finders fee.”

    No such claim has been made by anyone! Where are you getting this idea? There IS a claim that she was soliciting clients for Finn, but as yet it is an unproven claim. You may or may not know it but DR is trying to shut down all exit firms and exit attorneys. Finn Law Group specializes in TS exits. Therefore they are on DR’s hit list. Some bad TS exit companies have been exposed and shut down. But the only thing DR has been able to say about Finn is that he allegedly violated a confidential settlement he agreed to with DR in 2015. They are a LONG, LONG way from proving that claim and the fact that it is all they can come up with to try and shut him down, indicates he runs an honest and effective exit business.

    “See, lawyers are not allowed to call or use any form of phone solicitation. How perfect was this set up. He probably contacted her to make a deal. You send them my way and I will take care of you. Ie cash money. Problem is, lawyers can’t split legal fees so I’m sure it’s all under the table.”

    On the other hand, a TS advocate that is trying to help consumers HAS to find some attorneys that are reliable. Sometimes the only recourse the consumer has requires an attorney. If you love your family Dr. and you tell everyone you know about him, are you soliciting for him? I don’t know about you, but I think it is pretty common practice for people to recommend professionals if they think that individual can help others. No one accuses them of “soliciting” for the professional and God knows the professionals don’t usually offer the person any kind of kickback.

    “Diamond is suing him and it looks like she is in hot water too.”

    Irene Parker is not in any “hot water” for referring people to Finn. Since when is recommending a professional to others a crime?

    ” Diamond is shady yes”

    You are being too generous. In my opinion, DR is much worse than “shady”.

    “I had a diamond timeshare and went through her form to fill out. It’s a joke. I could tell it wasn’t going to work and asked many people if they had results.”

    Many people have had good results from working with Irene Parker. But not everyone has legitimate grounds to cancel a TS contract. It’s not like anyone that wants to get out can just go to IP and get their perpetual contract cancelled. So whatever your situation was, it was specific to you. You have no way of knowing how many other people, who had legitimate grounds to cancel, have been helped.

    “Well, I found a local law firm and was able to get out of mine. It took 9 months but I was out. So I go to her forum to share my experience and got blasted by her and was asked to delete my post.”

    I don’t like censorship and in fact I have a pretty long thread on Redweek about how I was censored on TUG. While most of what you have said here is incorrect, if it is true that you found an attorney that was able to help you with your TS, why don’t you post that information here?

    “She told me that the law group I used wasn’t approved by her. Well hell I.never mentioned who it was. She knew it wasn’t Finn because she knows every client she refers.”

    I guess you are inferring that if your atty wasn’t Finn she didn’t want to hear about your experience. I don’t think that is true. We are always looking for information about attys that help TS consumers. I am asking you who you used, but in order to consider his success I would have to know some of the facts of your case as well. That would give me a better idea of how much he knows about TS.

    “Anyway I left her fb group.”

    Why leave the FB and then go to Redweek to make your complaint? Why didn’t you discuss it further on the FB page so others might be able to weigh in on the situation?

    “It would have put a damper on her little side hustle.”

    I really doubt if that was the case. We really need to find as many qualified attys as we can. This is partly because of jurisdictional issues. It would be wonderful to know of a good TS atty in every state. But so far we only know about 7-8 TS attys in the whole U.S. I am not sure what happened on the FB page because I don’t think I saw your thread. But I’m sure you know there are some bad exit companies and bad exit lawyers out there. So I guess, if you really want to recommend the atty you used, the best thing would have been to PM Irene and tell her all about your experience. I am sure she would have been interested if there is any chance there is a good TS atty out there that we don’t know about!

    Feel free to email me the information. I definitely want to know about this atty!

    Reply
  • Irene Parker

    September 27, 2019

    Thank you Susan. Today’s Inside Timeshare (September 27) disproves the nonsense of Finn Law Group being shady. Pick on me fine, pick on my friends, not fine. Please donate to my Legal Defense GoFundMe.
    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
    From 9/27 article: “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.

    https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20151222006023/en/Finn-Law-Group-Settles-Consumer-Class-Action

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

    Reply

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