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Lawyer Helps People Escape Timeshare Hell

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Largo, FLTimeshare contracts are easy to get into and hell to get out of says veteran Florida attorney Michael Finn.
Finn’s latest battle is a deceptive practices class-action lawsuit filed against Festiva and the Zealandia Holding Company on behalf of people who bought into a timeshare resort previously known as Celebration World Resort, in Kissimmee, Florida.

Between 2008 and 2011, Festiva sold “upgrades” to some 900 timeshare owners to increase the number of points they had. They could apply those extra points to reserve time at other resorts at other times of the year through a points exchange company called RCI.

But when the resort was sold to Zealandia, the new owners refused to honor the upgrades. “Our clients are all clearly victims,” says Finn. “The loss of points is considerable,” says Finn. “They lost about 80 percent of what they thought they had. That’s a significant kick.

“Hopefully at the end of the day these timeshare owners will get what they bargained for,” says Finn who is also a former chartered accountant. “And hopefully they will get their legal fees paid for too.”

Finn has hundreds of clients who’ve found themselves chained to extremely restrictive timeshare contracts. “A lot of clients come to us and say just get me out of this darned thing, I don’t care if don’t get any money back, just get me out,” says Finn.

So many people are regularly ensnared by problems with timeshares that the Finn Law Firm now devotes a substantial portion of its practice to helping consumers untangle themselves from timeshare shackles.

In the last two years alone, 1,500 people hired the Finn Law Firm to get their money back or get them out of their contract. Finn’s team has managed to extricate about half of them from tricky contracts signed in ultra-high-pressure sales schemes. “That may not sound like much but I am very proud of that success rate,” says Finn. “When you look at these contracts, I am telling you, there is no way out.

“The first thing we tell people to do is to stop paying the monthly fees,” says the very affable and easy-to-understand Finn. “We have people in our office that will make sure that doesn’t impact on their credit rating.

“We’re just not big fans of timeshares here in this office,” says Finn who has visited some of the timeshare sales offices to see firsthand what kind of tactics timeshare sales people use. “They do things like bus potential buyers to the sales site so they can’t get up and leave even if they want to,” he says.

“Most of these people get no value for their purchase,” says Finn. “The maintenance fees seem to go up every year, and for cost of the fees, you can jump on Travelocity and book yourself a nice vacation at a nice resort anytime or anywhere you want.”


Michael D. Finn is the lead attorney at the Finn Law Firm in Largo, Florida. Since 1970, Finn has been providing legal services with a focus on real estate law and timeshare-related matters.

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READER COMMENTS

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Me and my family we went down to the Myrtle Beach after we got there we was invited to Wareham for a presentation during that time everything sounded nice and we had ask question about if we decide to back out can we cancel out they say yes but they didn't tell us that we only had 5 days to back out so when we came back home we decide to back out and they agreed that we could back out everything else but the contract we couldn't back out cause we only have 5 days. Which they forgot to tell us that part.

Posted by

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Me and my family we went down to the Myrtle Beach after we got there we was invited to Wareham for a presentation during that time everything sounded nice and we had ask question about if we decide to back out can we cancel out they say yes but they didn't tell us that we only had 5 days to back out so when we came back home we decide to back out and they agreed that we could back out everything else but the contract we couldn't back out cause we only have 5 days. Which they forgot to tell us that part.

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please help me i am78 years old just diagnosis with breast cancer. i have been trying to get rid of westgate resorts timeshare for awhile . i even consulted att finn . they told me that for 3.500 they would negotiate with westgate to take it back i paid over ten thousand dollars for this timeshare . this seems like another scam to cover original scam from westgate every one is trying to make a lot off money ofa phone call or two im at a loss on what to do is there any reputable out there

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The end of May me and my husband bought a timeshare from blue green. We made two payments so far and we decided to separate. I don't want to and can afford it my soon-to-be ex doesn't want it and can't afford it we've tried to call him and explain this to them and they won't listen I think is wrong what you're trying to do. In the meantime my son wife and two grandkids moved in with me I'm supporting them. My other my other son plays in a godly amount of child support for months he called and said his landlord was going to evict him because he didn't have the rent money so I got hold of my husband and he got a little loan to send him to help him out then I fell at work and busted my knee upand I just can't afford to sing at all I want is for them to either take it back or salad for me all I get is a runaround if you don't pay a bill for clothes what do I

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I purchased a timeshare in Dominican Republic on April 21, 2015. Before my departure on April 24, 2015 my boyfriend and I felt as though it so was not worth it. We were not informed that we had a cooling off period of 4 days. Nor did we receive any documents pertaining to this nor on the procedures to take to Iinitially cancel. I did some research and discovered this on my own. I asked my home resort and they said I was granted a 4 day cool off period and the documents are in the package they sent me home with. However there is nothing pertaining to any such thing in my package. What should I do? What are my rights?

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Need to get out of this:Not a Time Share-but a quite new "Vacation Club", called UVC AMResorts. We dealt with in Puerto Vallarta. Required a sizable half downpayment.(almost $15,000.USD). The rest, to be paid monthly, with Interest.
For 30 years, accommodation in one of their top rated Resorts for a discount on the room rate, plus a few other perks, e.g. 1 or 2 weeks "free" accommodation in a year.
Will not work for us.
Contract says that they are governed by Law of the Dominican Republic. Have heard head office is in FLorida. Not sure.
Our home is in Canada.
Has anyone dealt with this Company, and wanted to Cancel their Contract?
Thanks

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My husband and I purchased a 3 bedroom lockout in 2000 from celebration world. We paid it off in full in 2006. We were encouraged to go to points for more flexiablity so we did. We later learned that Festiva had bought Celebration out and we went fro 320,000 points every two years to 31,000 points.

What can we do?

Posted by

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To be honest, getting rid of a timeshare is not as easy as buying one. In fact, there are many timeshare owners who are even willing to give away theirs even for free. However, it is important to know that every timeshare contract has a rescission period. This rescission period depends of the timeshare law regulations of the city or country where the purchase was made.

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Timeshares need to be looked up as a purchase and not an investment. Regardless of how timeshares are presented, they don´t perform as well as a house or stock investment. If you look around the resale market for timeshares on websites like EBay, Redweek, or TUGBBS will find that you can buy a timeshare for far less money than what the first owner purchased it for.

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We have been owners with Escapes Resorts, which is a Cooper Community property for several years with our home property being at Los Lagos, Hot Spring Village in Arkansas. We, also, have RCI membership. Our timeshare is a 2 bedroom, 2 bath lock-off unit that we pay yearly maintenance fees. We are supposed to be able to deposit with RCI if we do not make use of the property. We were unable to make use of the property in 2013. I called Escapes December 23, 2013 to ask them to deposit to RCI. I was informed that I had waited too late to do so, and that I should have requested this 30 days prior to the end of the year. This is the first I had heard of this policy. In fact in the year 2011 I deposited our unit to RCI on December 28th. As a result of this we lost $552.00 we paid for our maintenance fees. Recently Festiva has acquired this property, and for premium membership we will be required to pay an additional fee. Thank you for any advice or help we might receive for these deceptive trade practices.

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Unfortunately the timeshare industry is riddled with scam and fraud companies that are linked with each other. Many of the rental or resale companies that the timeshare developers recommend charge upfront fees, and are another scam. If the company is willing to work on a commission basis for a successful outcome, then they are likely reputable, but if they ask for fees in advance, this is the first sign to walk away.

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I want to get out of my contract with legacy vacation club. The timeshare is already paid. I want to know if you have other clients with the same goal with legacy vacation club, before Celebrity Resort (I bought to them). Thank you for the information I can get.

Hi i am in the same boat would love to get rid of this mill stone from around our necks maintenace fee are killing us
colin.

Posted by

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Thousands of International travelers, particularly from the US and Canada, have fallen victims of timeshare fraud while vacationing in Mexico. Resort developers hire skilled salesmen to represent their timeshares as many different attractive packages, such as financial investments, deeded properties, or vacation clubs, just to increase their sales. timesharescam.com/blog/79-getting-out-of-timeshare-contract/

Posted by

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I want to get out of my contract with legacy vacation club. The timeshare is already paid. I want to know if you have other clients with the same goal with legacy vacation club, before Celebrity Resort (I bought to them). Thank you for the information I can get.

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