Study highlights level of exit company fraud in US
A new study by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) of Eastern & Southwest Missouri & Southern Illinois, has highlighted exit companies’ fraud against timeshare owners across the U.S.
The American Resort Development Association – Resort Owner’s Coalition (ARDA-ROC), representing over 1.5 million timeshare owners, is recommending that timeshare owners read the study before engaging with any third-party exit or relief company.
In the June 2019 study, ‘Timeshare Exit Trap: Better Business Bureau Study of How Some of Southwest Missouri’s Timeshare Relief Operators Victimized Timeshare Owners across the U.S’, the BBB surveyed complaints and documents from more than 400 consumers who believe they had been victimized by third-party exit companies.
As part of the study, they conducted over 70 in-depth phone interviews with these consumers.
Robert Clements, VP of Regulatory Affairs and General Counsel of ARDA, said: “The common theme among the findings is that owners were convinced to pay large up-front fees, ranging from $1,000 to more than $30,000, for promised services that were not delivered.
“While the exit companies named by the BBB in the study were domiciled in Missouri, the victim’s complaints came from 48 states and the District of Columbia.
“This is not an isolated problem to Missouri. We are hearing this from across the country and working with the appropriate government and enforcement agencies to educate them on the facts and to protect consumers.
“This report does an excellent job at framing the issues and I encourage regulators, legislators, and consumers to read it.”
The timeshare industry, which has over nine million owners and generates over 540,000 jobs and $10.8 billion in federal, state and local taxes in the U.S., has become a target for unscrupulous individuals and companies.
As a result, it has increased its engagement with owners who want to understand safe timeshare exit options, often directly through their developer or property manager, which may be available for exiting their product. For more information visit www.responsibleexit.com