If you are reading this article, you are likely one of the legions of timeshare owners that need to get out of their contracts. You are tired of paying monthly maintenance fees for the rest of your life. You don’t want the pressure that comes with having to take vacations (which should be restful) with a certain company, subject to that company’s rules.
Lots of people want the same thing you do. So many, in fact, that there are a lot of companies offering timeshare exit services. These companies know that canceling a timeshare on your own can be hard at the best of times. They offer to handle the situation for you, making it easier and potentially more successful.
Not all exit companies are created equal though. Companies like Centerstone Group have high standards and are recognized for providing excellent service. For example, our Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating speaks for itself.
Other companies present serious legal and business issues that can make your timeshare problem worse. They use high-pressure, pushy sales tactics to get you to sign up for incomplete services that don’t get the job done. Maybe they offer a money-back guarantee. Then, once the scam is done, they go silent, and your money is gone.
One of the companies that is currently experiencing serious legal problems is Timeshare Exit Team, a Washington company that targets unhappy timeshare owners with promises to get them out of their units. Timeshare Exit Team’s track record, though, is not great. Besides the lawsuit filed by the Washington Attorney General, they also have received a BBB rating of F.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the troubles presented by Timeshare exit team and what you can learn from them. We’ll also explain how Centerstone Group takes steps to avoid those problems by behaving responsibly and ethically.
A Brief History of Timeshare Exit Team
Timeshare Exit Team: Articles of Incorporation document
The Washington Secretary of State’s records show that Timeshare Exit Team — first called World Travel Seattle LLC — was formed by Brandon Reed in 2012 in Kirkland, Washington. The next year Trevor Hein changed the name of the company to Reed Hein & Associates LLC. Timeshare Exit Team advertised itself as a company that helps people exit unwanted timeshares.
According to the Washington State Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division, Timeshare Exit Team represented that it could force resorts to take back timeshares. At the start of the lawsuit, though, Washington alleged that only about half of the requested exits had been accomplished. There was also concern that the exits accomplished may not have been proper.
Alleged Business Practices
Woman looking stressed while being forced to sign a document
According to the publicly filed allegations of the Washington Attorney General, Timeshare Exit Team itself did not have any prior experience in the timeshare industry. Before starting Timeshare Exit Team in 2012, Hein and Reed sold rain gutter systems. This lack of experience in the industry makes them ineffective at securing releases for their clients because it takes an inside knowledge to achieve success.
In an attempt to make up for the lack of experience, their business model matched unhappy timeshare owners with “vendors” who did have experience.
For example, if a timeshare owner needed to file a lawsuit to get out of an unconscionable contract, Timeshare Exit Team would contact an attorney who would then represent the timeshare owner. It does not appear that Timeshare Exit Team had any control over the vendors it selected to help timeshare owners.
Some of the exit practices were legally risky. For example, some timeshare owners were allegedly advised to stop paying maintenance fees and mortgages. This then resulted in foreclosure proceedings against timeshare units, causing more legal problems for timeshare owners.
Perhaps the biggest alleged problem with the Timeshare Exit Team model was their huge fees, which were sometimes tens of thousands of dollars. Timeshare Exit Team did offer a money-back guarantee for its services. But according to BBB complaints, people often had difficulty getting these refunds, when they did get them at all.
While litigation and fact-finding regarding Timeshare Exit Team’s practices is ongoing, these stories should give you pause. If you are trying to legally and ethically exit your timeshare contract, it is imperative that you hire the best, most experienced people possible, not rain gutter salesmen. You should also make sure that their policies are in your best interest.
In the case of these alleged policies, it should be of concern that Timeshare Exit Team did not apparently have any record of timeshare exit experience before 2012. Putting together a team of people to exit a legal arrangement is difficult. Without strong leadership and vision, the task becomes much more difficult or even impossible.
Perhaps most importantly, your timeshare exit company should do its best to limit your upfront cost. Timeshare Exit Team has a reputation for charging exorbitant fees upfront, with little or no results. Centerstone Group, on the other hand, offers long-term financing and an escrow option that can help ease your financial pain.
Every timeshare exit case is different. While one owner may need a lawyer to get out of their contract, the next might need a Realtor. Charging thousands of dollars upfront to simply look at a file and assign vendors is a huge red flag.
How Centerstone Group Is Different
Three people having a meeting
A quick look at the BBB reviews and rating for Centerstone Group should ease any concerns you have about our practices. First and foremost, Centerstone Group’s professionals have over 33 years of combined experience in the timeshare industry. Though an unwanted timeshare problem can seem like uncharted waters, rest assured that we have probably seen it before.
Centerstone Group also has a unique three-pronged approach to ensure maximum chances of success in getting rid of your unwanted timeshare. First, it enters into a pressure campaign that involves both direct contact and smart use of social media to change a developer’s position. Sometimes, a pressure campaign can even include government regulatory complaints.
At the same time, Centerstone Group will see whether you qualify for a transfer process with a receiver. In the context of timeshare exit cases, a receiver is a person who takes over the financial and other obligations associated with your timeshare during the exit process. This particular feature of Centerstone Group’s strategy gives you peace of mind and control over your situation.
Finally, Centerstone Group realizes that some timeshare exit cases are going to be more difficult than others. Particularly contentious cases may require the aid or opinion of a lawyer. The most complicated may involve a lawsuit to rescind a contract or address fraudulent behavior by your timeshare developer.