The Facts: Washington AG’s Frivolous Complaint Against Timeshare Exit Team

You may have seen news stories from earlier this year concerning Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s complaint against Timeshare Exit Team.

We assure you that these allegations are completely frivolous, and we look forward to making that clear to the public and all involved parties.

In the meantime, rather than depend on news stories that rely primarily on the language in the complaint and strip away vital context about Timeshare Exit Team and the timeshare industry more broadly, we wanted to make sure you have the facts:

• ALLEGATION: “Defendants mislead consumers at every step of the process.”

FACT: Timeshare Exit Team has proven itself as an industry leader, with more than 21,000 successful exits, because it has empowered consumers to confront not only outright fraud in developer’s high-pressure sales tactics, but also unconscionable practices that result in oppressive contracts.

There is nothing misleading or deceptive about our process; in fact, it’s just the opposite. Timeshare Exit Team prepares its customers for a long battle ahead and assures them that they will provide them with all the tools necessary to fight as long as it takes to free them from the lifelong burden that they would otherwise be saddled with.

If you’d like to see an industry that misleads consumers at every step of the process, look no further than the timeshare industry itself.

ALLEGATION: “Customers can wait months or years for an exit that may never come, all while continuing to owe money for their timeshare.”

FACT: Timeshare Exit Team promises its customers that it will try every avenue possible to get them out of their timeshare. We do not have control over any charges, fees or payments that are due to the timeshare while that process is underway. The customer is aware of this fact and we make sure that they understand—from the initial sales consultation and throughout the duration of the process—that their ownership fees are entirely separate from the exit. The vast majority of Timeshare Exit Team’s customers choose to continue with the exit process and are adamant that they do not want a refund because it’s a much better option to wait a little longer to obtain an exit and get out from the overwhelming pressures of the lifetime financial burden put on them by their timeshares.

• ALLEGATION: “The majority of Defendants’ customers do not receive the promised exit.”

FACT: An exit is complete when a customer is no longer burdened by an unwanted timeshare contract. The plain and simple truth is that the majority of our customers do receive an exit—to date we have succeeded in more than 22,000 exits and that number keeps growing every single day.

• ALLEGATION: “The majority of Defendants’ customers receive an exit that causes the customer unanticipated negative financial or other consequences.”

FACT: Our service is about finding a path out of a timeshare for consumers who are frustrated about the lack of response or a solution from timeshare developers.

Very few customers have reported any sort of negative consequence during the exit process or after. For those few who have received negative credit reporting, which is an action the developers chose to take in retaliation against their owners, we have provided referrals to unaffiliated third-party credit repair companies to assist them with credit repair.

• ALLEGATION: “The majority of Defendants’ customers receive an exit the customer could have obtained for themselves, without paying thousands of dollars to Defendants.”

FACT: Timeshare Exit Team provides a service focused on getting people out of their timeshare. We do this through a variety of avenues including third-party transfer companies, lawyers, conversations with the developers and more, and it can often be quite complicated. To say that the average customers have these connections and processes in place would be disingenuous at best.

Most of our customers come to us after trying many different options themselves to get out, including going directly to the developer to ask, often beg, for relief and being unsuccessful with their independent efforts. We provide our customers with precise strategy and with our internal contacts and connections that we have built over the last 8 years—they cannot obtain this information on their own despite their best efforts.

Additionally, we often provide them with an attorney who gives them legal guidance and legal protection throughout the entire process no matter how long it takes. If a consumer went to an attorney on their own, they would spend substantially more money, and if the attorney was unable to exit them, they wouldn’t get a refund or have another exit avenue available to them. We provide our customers with multiple exit avenues at one time in the hopes of completing our services as quickly as possible.

It’s disappointing to see Attorney General Ferguson side with the timeshare developers in their position that nobody can get a customer out of a timeshare unless the developer agrees; however, we, alongside our legal and non-legal partners, have proven 22,000 times over that this is absolutely incorrect. The exit process is not free, but the vast majority of our customers have agreed that the freedom from being out from under the oppressive lifetime financial burden is well worth it.

• ALLEGATION: “Reed Hein has manipulated customers into failing to make payments to the timeshare developer or resort (Resort), which then forecloses on the customer.”

FACT: We never manipulate our customers and we are extremely clear from the initial point of contact, which is made by the consumer direct to Timeshare Exit Team, that they remain financially responsible for their timeshare until the exit is complete.

A substantial number of our customers are already in default on payments they owed to the timeshare when they contact Timeshare Exit Team for help. It is our company policy, and one we take extremely seriously, that we do not instruct customers not to pay the resort. Many years ago, we learned that there were some internal communications telling customers that it would be a faster exit if they didn’t pay, and we put an immediate stop to this.

• ALLEGATION: “Reed Hein customers have suffered credit damage and have been subject to debt collection as a result of exits procured by Defendants.”

FACT: Reed Hein customers suffer credit damage because the timeshare industry tricks them into signing timeshare contracts that require them to make payments they cannot afford, for the rest of their lives. Again, it is a very small minority of customers who have ever reported suffering negative credit reporting throughout the exit process or after. The timeshare resort makes an independent decision regarding their internal collection process, but this is not based on the exit achieved for the customer.

• ALLEGATION: “Defendants have also congratulated many customers on “successful” exits, only for the customer to find out months or years later that they still own their timeshares and are now behind on their payments.”

FACT: There have been a few instances when a lawyer who was hired by us told Timeshare Exit Team that an exit was complete when it was not. Immediately upon learning that those exits were not complete, we instructed the original lawyer to finish the exit or, paid another lawyer, at our expense, to complete the exit. To say this happened to “many customers” is a serious and irresponsible misstatement.

• ALLEGATION: “Of the more than 38,000 exits Reed Hein has been hired to perform since 2012, Reed Hein has delivered only approximately half.”

FACT: We have successfully exited more than 22,000 consumers who were frustrated with their timeshare. Unfortunately, the industry makes it as difficult as possible for this to ultimately occur, and in the instances when we can’t get them out of their timeshare, we have a refund policy in place. There are people waiting for exits and we will complete all of the promised exits or honor our refund policy. The majority of our customers do not want a refund even when we offer it. Instead, they ask us to keep trying to complete the exit, many telling us that they’ll wait as long as it takes, because the alternative is a lifetime sentence of being beholden to the financial disaster that is timeshare ownership.

• ALLEGATION: “The Washington Attorney General has received more than 90 consumer complaints from Defendants’ customers regarding their unfair and deceptive business practices.”

FACT: Given our success since launching in 2011, we’ve had some growing pains along the way – some of it due on the industry’s desire to make it even harder for people to exit their timeshares – while other challenges are due to the huge number of people who want our services. We’re deeply sorry for any customer who feels that they were not adequately kept in the loop, and we apologize for any of the challenges they’ve faced while leveraging our services. We can assure you that we have been working tirelessly to help our customers exit out of their timeshares, and no lapse in clarity or communication was done maliciously.

It’s interesting, and quite concerning, that Attorney General Ferguson is unmoved by the vast number of complaints they have received against timeshare developers and related timeshare activity. According to Attorney General Ferguson’s own public record of complaints, they have received hundreds of complaints against timeshare developers – 173 against Wyndham alone, while other timeshare giants like Westgate and Diamond have faced numerous consumer complaints as well. Still, the AG continues to sit in silence while their own constituents suffer at the hands of this billion-dollar beast.

• ALLEGATION: “Defendants offer debt adjusting services and credit repair services without complying with the provisions of the Debt Adjusting Act, RCW 18.28, or the Credit Services Organization Act, RCW 19.134. As such, many of Reed Hein’s customer contracts are void, and Defendants have committed thousands of per se violations of the CPA.”

FACT: Timeshare Exit Team does not sell debt adjusting services or credit repair services and therefore the statutes the Attorney General has cited to do not apply. We do not have a single contract for debt or credit services because we have never provided them and never will. We do not settle out consumer debt. Third-party attorneys hired by Timeshare Exit Team for our customers may negotiate, directly with the resort, to settle their clients’ debts, but that is a service that is lawfully provided by the attorneys, not Timeshare Exit Team. We cannot begin to understand why Attorney General Ferguson would want to keep our customers from receiving the benefits of that service.

In the few instances when customers have been victimized by a resorts’ tactics of negative credit reporting, we have provided them with referrals to unaffiliated third-party credit repair companies to help them directly, outside of their contract or relationship with Timeshare Exit Team, repair their credit.

Should you have any further questions about the allegations – and the facts – involved in this complaint, please reach out to wecare@reedhein.com.

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