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Missouri AG files suit against timeshare exit company

STLBBB

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The Missouri Attorney General's Office on Tuesday announced it has filed suit against Martin Management Group, a timeshare exit company that was based in Springfield, Missouri.


BBB St. Louis issued a consumer warning about the business in October 2017 - https://www.bbb.org/stlouis/news-events/bbb-warnings/2017/10/MMG/

The Missouri announcement comes days after the Washington AG's office filed suit against Timeshare Exit Team.

Not a good time to be a timeshare exit business.
 

RX8

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Thank you for sharing and doing your part to warn timeshare owners.
 

TUGBrian

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I certainly hope this trend catches on and sweeps the nation!

 

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Some of these companies solicit customers from multiple states. If they scam people the DOJ could prosecute under any number of federal statutes. I wonder why this has not happened.

That said and as others on this forum have commented, these "Exit" companies came into being to serve a neglected and much needed service. Initially developers paid no attention. Now they are. I believe this is the case not because developers suddenly became altruistic and want to improve a deteriorating (and costly) relationship with existing members but their laissez faire attitude was getting very bad national publicity and threatened new sales.
 

hrmoreau

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I find it interesting that the BBB still gives the Timeshare Exit team 4 out of 5 stars. Seems misleading to me.
 

RX8

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I find it interesting that the BBB still gives the Timeshare Exit team 4 out of 5 stars. Seems misleading to me.
It isn’t the BBB that decides how many stars a company gets, it is from customer reviews. The real question is whether or not those are real reviews from actual satisfied customers or fake ones planted by the company.

I have made previous comments about how these types of companies, in business for a very short time, all seem to have many more BBB reviews than legit companies that have been around for decades and in some cases centuries. To me, this doesn’t pass the smell test. Just saying, people out to take advantage of others look to gain a lot if consumers have a sense of security seeing many glowing reviews.
 
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Larry M

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I certainly hope this trend catches on and sweeps the nation!

Well, elections are coming up. We'll see more of this until November. Then wait for another 2- or 4-year cycle.:confused:
 

SeeMe

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Some of these companies solicit customers from multiple states. If they scam people the DOJ could prosecute under any number of federal statutes. I wonder why this has not happened.

That said and as others on this forum have commented, these "Exit" companies came into being to serve a neglected and much needed service. Initially developers paid no attention. Now they are. I believe this is the case not because developers suddenly became altruistic and want to improve a deteriorating (and costly) relationship with existing members but their laissez faire attitude was getting very bad national publicity and threatened new sales.
Specifically what Statutes?
there are a lot if exit companies doing somewhat shady business anda few that may provide a legitimate service. Problem is some people continue to buy worthless properties ( low season with no trading power ) at cheaper prices and think the can trade it for a Hilton or Westin in Hawaii. impulse buyers will keep those services thriving.
 

hrmoreau

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It isn’t the BBB that decides how many stars a company gets, it is from customer reviews. The real question is whether or not those are real reviews from actual satisfied customers or fake ones planted by the company.

I have made previous comments about how these types of companies, in business for a very short time, all seem to have many more BBB reviews than legit companies that have been around for decades and in some cases centuries. To me, this doesn’t pass the smell test. Just saying, people out to take advantage of others look to gain a lot if consumers have a sense of security seeing many glowing reviews.
I totally agree.

Also, perhaps it's me, but I get frustrated at the BBB's algorithms that show a company with 4 out of 5 stars yet they are a fraudulent company. Even this one in which they know is a fraud, still shows a C- BBB rating. I complained for years to the BBB about the fraud taking place and yet for most of those years they still showed an A rating. I know that the BBB wants to help people, but if their pages show great ratings even for companies they know are scamming millions of dollars from people then something just isn't right. If the BBB isn't going to show the truth about scams then who will? Besides TUG of course!
 

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To begin with the"exit" companies whose sole purpose is to perpetuate a scam may be charged with mail and wire fraud if they solicit customers via the phone and / or mail. This is in addition to other statutes that cover consumer fraud, bank fraud etc. There are in fact some exit companies that are legit and function the same way as real estate brokers charging a percentage of the sale price. let the buyer beware. Mexican law makes a distinction between real property as in a single or multiple family dwelling, condominiums and time shares to the extent that properties sold as time shares cannot be deeded. This is, I believe , also true in most of the Caribbean. Sint Maarten was (and still maybe) an exception. There are many people who own deeded properties there. However developers stopped selling deeded properties a few years ago. Disney never sold deeded properties and never will. Same holds true for other branded developers. Some people do indeed buy subpar properties. But the industry never created a sustainable secondary market as exists in other real estate products until recently - and even then, they will take what you own back at a cost with an inherent value = to zero dollars.......
 

TheHolleys87

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Disney never sold deeded properties and never will.
We have a deed, recorded with the Orange County (Florida) Comptroller's office, that says we own some percentage of a specific residential unit at Boardwalk Villas. We bought in November 1997. Yes, the deed expires January 31, 2042, but it's still a deed.

And within the last year, Disney paid Orange County substantial fees to register amended deeds to Old Key West, the original Disney Vacation Club, extending ownership from 2042 to 2057.
 

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Interesting. When we were lured to attend a Disney presentation, I inquired about the type of ownership they were representing. The sales associate said that Disney never sold deeded TS. I guess he was mistaken. If the deed expires, surely it reverts to Disney. Also, Disney has a vested interest to keep existing owners happy so why not extend......thx for clarification
 

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I wonder if these MO exit companies have anything to do with resort sales group on eBay out of Springfield Missouri. Seems odd that some of their listings are wrong, they advertised a Grandview worth “approx 122K RCI points” but when you looked at the RCI point chart, the deeded week advertised was actually worth 98K points. i think I’ll stay away from Springfield Missouri timeshare sellers lol
 

TheHolleys87

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Interesting. When we were lured to attend a Disney presentation, I inquired about the type of ownership they were representing. The sales associate said that Disney never sold deeded TS. I guess he was mistaken. If the deed expires, surely it reverts to Disney. Also, Disney has a vested interest to keep existing owners happy so why not extend......thx for clarification
Yes, the DVC ownership is deeded but functions like a lease - when the deed expires, ownership reverts to Disney.

The issue re whether Disney will extend or not is much debated on other Internet forums. I’m in the camp of those who believe Disney will sell off Vero Beach and Hilton Head entirely and then renovate/rebuild the WDW resorts and sell as new resorts, with entirely new points charts and of course for whatever price per point the market will bear at the time. I just hope I’m alive to find out!
 
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TUGBrian

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appear to have won a judgement in this case!



"According to the press release, the judgment permanently enjoins Martin Management Group LLC and Steve Martin from offering and selling timeshare-relief services in the State of Missouri and awards $222,768.90 to the State, including $170,247.61 in restitution for Missourians and $52,521.29 in civil penalties and costs of prosecution and investigation. "
 

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After several exit companies have ended up in court and lost, I am surprised they keep on opening new shops. They must make a lot of money if they think it is worth starting over every few years.
 
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pedro47

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How much have really changed with exit companies and the court systems in the passed years? There are new exit companies advertising every day on the internet, the radio and the television. IMHO.
 

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There are new exit companies advertising every day on the internet, the radio and the television.
They might not necessarily be "new". Like the upfront fee resale scammers, they probably just change names or operate under multiple names.

If they are indeed new, then that just shows what a market there is for TS owners needing to get out from under their ownership.
 

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just further proving that more folks need to file complaints with their AG's offices when they are scammed. That judgement amount would/should be much higher but is limited to the number of victims who filed a complaint! Costs nothing to file a report but a few minutes of your time, and is one of the only real legitimate chances you have of recovering any money!
 

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Brian, first, thank you for all that you do for time share owners. As someone who sold 3 timeshares via the Tug Marketplace years ago, we recently completed a deed back that took time, but cost nothing. We do not own timeshares now.

Here is the key element in getting it done. When calling the timeshare company, do not go through the sales department, try customer service and ask if the company has a deed back program? Changes are, it does. Since we can no longer travel,,we did not want our kids to sort through the timeshare usage which they and the grand kids enjoyed over many years. To thwart the Exit companies, we need to keep emphasizing that owners can get out of timeshares on their own in all likelihood. Thanks again everyone, sure enjoy your comments.
 

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That’s a good question, and I don’t have an answer, but I’ve seen many notes from those who have spent lots of money without the intended result. While there are comments thanking an exit company for getting them out of their timeshare, we cannot know if a legitimate customer wrote that comment.
 

LannyPC

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So are there no legitimate exit companies?
If you do happen to find one that is legal and legitimate and accomplishes what you pay it to do, at best, that company is going to charge you thousands of dollars to do something you can do yourself.

These companies that are legal and legitimate do one of two things.

1) Negotiate with the resort or TS company to take the deed back.: Some companies such as Diamond, Wyndham, and Westgate have programs in place where owners can surrender ownership back to the resort or the TS company. Other resorts and timeshare companies will take some deeds back if the owner persistently requests. The exit companies just do that on your behalf while charging you thousands of dollars to do so.

2) The Power of Attorney route: This is what most of the Post Card Companies (PCCs) do. They get you to sign over Power of Attorney to them authorizing them to do what they want with your TS. Then they list it in E-Bay with starting bids at $1 while throwing in an incentive to the taker such as a prepaid credit card. Again, an owner can list it himself on E-Bay (or in TUG's Bargain Deals section) and does not have to pay a PCC thousands of dollars to do that.
 
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