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Need advice, Wyndham says I owe them

briturner

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Greetings,

I am not sure exactly what is going on, but I just received a letter from a lawyer trying to collect on a debt from Wyndham.

14 or 15 years ago, I did go to a timeshare sales and originally signed up, but canceled a couple days later and thought the whole thing was over. I have not made any payments, paid any taxes, paid any maintenance fees, nor have any of these ever been requested. Now they say I owe $9700 for 105000 annual points worth in the timeshare, and they sent a lawyer after me to collect.

Anyone ever had a similar experience? It has been 15 years, I can't find the paperwork from back then.

If I have to pay, I wonder if I have 15 years worth of back points?

bt
 

rrlongwell

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Greetings,

I am not sure exactly what is going on, but I just received a letter from a lawyer trying to collect on a debt from Wyndham.

14 or 15 years ago, I did go to a timeshare sales and originally signed up, but canceled a couple days later and thought the whole thing was over. I have not made any payments, paid any taxes, paid any maintenance fees, nor have any of these ever been requested. Now they say I owe $9700 for 105000 annual points worth in the timeshare, and they sent a lawyer after me to collect.

Anyone ever had a similar experience? It has been 15 years, I can't find the paperwork from back then.

If I have to pay, I wonder if I have 15 years worth of back points?

bt

Check the court house in the county in which the resort is located in and see who is the owner of record. Either it is their or it is not their. Then call Wyndham Vacation Resorts and ask for their escalation department. If this does not solve the problem, file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau of Central Flordia and the Consumer Protection Office in the state the resort is located in. No, you would pay and not have use of the back points. It is my understanding from a number of the Wyndham Resorts is that they Association gets the annual use rights for timeshares in this catagory for no credit for the owner for the use rights. I would also contact an attorney in the state that the Resort is in to get advise as to what your rights are in that state. Check you credit resports (all three), you can get them for free, and challange any negative entries. As I understand it, the burden is on Wyndham to prove the debt is legal. It think after 15 years that could be a major problem for them. I would also call the resort and see who they show as the owner of the timeshare involved.
 
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timeos2

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If this is the first time they have contacted you in any way in 15 years(!) then you can make a cursory inquiry with a higher up as to what they are trying to pull but I'd not waste any time beyond that. It took us over 7 years to get the name changed on our second resale purchase so I now how poor their record keeping & follow up is.

Chances are someone uncovered that old sale, the rescission wasn't noted or attached so they assume you are still the owner. You can't win as if you say OK I owe - give me the points (which are gone after the year ends anyway) they will say "pay us the fees" so it wouldn't be a deal for you. Be thankful you wisely backed out of a retail purchase all those years ago, basically explain (once) to a higher up what happened and then simply forget it. And rest easy. They can't claim you owe something now for a purchase 15 years ago. The time to collect has already expired. Do follow up once just to be sure your story is told then move on.
 

briturner

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Thanks all, it just kind of surprised us to get a collection letter from a lawyer on this. Not something I was expecting.
 

Rent_Share

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With the exception of Kentucky and Ohio (15 years) the statute of limitations ran out at least 5 years ago. Most seller' contracts are written under the law the seller is located in to be convenient for the seller to litigate

PA is four years and Florida is five years

Here's a table of the SOL for all 50 states

http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/statute-of-limitations-state-laws-chart-29941.html

Inform the attorney and Wyndham Corporate that you rescinded the transaction timely, that you have received no contact from Wyndham regarding any balance due since ______, You dispute that anything is due, if there are any charges due relating to the rescission the statute of limitations has expired and and any further attempts to collect will be considered a violation of the fair debt collection act
 

pacodemountainside

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Howdy:

Rent Share is right on. Our legal systems have statute of limitations recognizing there are practical limits to bringing collection actions and lawsuits. Think IRS has 3 years and 3 months unless fraud.

As long as no communication in some 10+ years then not your problem. Even if delays in deeding you would have been billed MF!

Wyndham does audit last couple of years transactions for discrepencies and bills for errors in in their favor or defrocks VIPs who have gamed the system.

Since an attorney, would appear to be one of those companies who buys up old debts hoping customer cannot recall or is now in position to pay with new job and money in bank. Computer data banks allow storage of info back to day of great flood whereas in past after a couple years it got boxed up and sent to ware house to rot away. Several articles on hospital debts going this new collection route!

Also, consider calling one of those TV legal guys who say if being harassed by debt collector they can help and generally on contingency fee. David Larson 303-799-6895

Forget about BBB, Wyndham has an "F" rating.

Likewise, calling Wyndham will resut in a bucking around the circuit as no one will know what you are talking about!

You could try an e-mail to shelly.griessel.@wyn.com think title is VP owner relations

Paco
 
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Don

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There are also collectors on the "shadier" side who will call just to see if someone will pay with no questions asked. Many times if you demand proof of debt the calls will stop.
 

Rob&Carol Q

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Under no circumstances do you acknowledge that debt as yours...it becomes valid should you do so...ditto to sending them ANY money. Partial payment validates the debt.

"show proof" sounds like the next thing you need to do
 

briturner

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Thanks for the advice everyone. I emailed and faxed the lawyer saying I dispute the debt saying I didn't owe anything, and mentioned the 4 years statute of limitations.

Hopefully I will not hear back from them.
 

Laurie

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Inform the attorney and Wyndham Corporate that you rescinded the transaction timely, that you have received no contact from Wyndham regarding any balance due since ______, You dispute that anything is due, if there are any charges due relating to the rescission the statute of limitations has expired and and any further attempts to collect will be considered a violation of the fair debt collection act
This is true and if they start harassing you, you may be entitled to collect over their violations. You can google this for your state, but here are the federal regs:
http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre27.pdf

If they contact you again to collect, as suggested above, think about hiring an attorney in your state who specializes in "FDCP" (Fair Debt Collection Practices), b/c these cases are mostly on contingency. So keep good records of any phone calls, emails and paper communications, if there are any going forward.
 

richardm

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I'd question whether this is involved with Wyndham at all.. I'm also of the persuasion that this is likely just another version of a telemarketing scam looking for an easy mark.

Have you checked with the state bar to discover if this is truly an attorney? And then checked with the attorney's office to find out if they actually sent the letter? It will take a little research, but certainly worth the hour..

If this is really a "legitimate" collection claim, send in your written demand for proof of the debt.

Review http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre18.shtm for info on your rights when dealing with third party collectors.
 

Hobo1

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It's a scam but it can cost you $$$$$

This attorney is most likely a "paper buyer" who purchases old contracts whether they are legitimate or not and regardless of age.

The first thing you want to do is write back to the attorney and request verification of debt. He is required to provide you the documents supporting his allegations.

The second thing you want to do is be on the lookout for any notice of the filing of a lawsuit. This will often come to you through the mail by either the attorney firm or direct from the court. It is very important that you do not ignore it and that you respond within the number of days in the summons.

The Supreme Court has ruled that statute of limitations can be used as a defense in lawsuits involving debt. What that means is that even though this took place fifteen years ago and the statute of limitations has expired the plaintiff can still file a lawsuit and if the defendant fails to submit an answer claiming statute of limitations has expired than the plaintiff can file a motion for summary judgment and if there is no answer on file the court will grant the judgment and now you not only owe the amount claimed but you could also owe court costs, attorney fees, and interest.

It may not sound fair but it is the law in all fifty states and the District of Columbia.

Unfortunately, there are hundreds of these attorney firms in all fifty states who purchase all kinds of old contracts including credit cards, auto loans, mortgages, etc., and file lawsuits that people who know they don't owe the money or know the statute of limitations has expired ignore and then too late discover they have a judgment against them. Once the judgment has been awarded there is very little that you can do.

Good Luck.
 

Tia

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....
The Supreme Court has ruled that statute of limitations can be used as a defense in lawsuits involving debt. What that means is that even though this took place fifteen years ago and the statute of limitations has expired the plaintiff can still file a lawsuit and if the defendant fails to submit an answer claiming statute of limitations has expired than the plaintiff can file a motion for summary judgment and if there is no answer on file the court will grant the judgment and now you not only owe the amount claimed but you could also owe court costs, attorney fees, and interest.

.....

The defendant can get their court costs reimbursed though I believe from the plaintiff........happened in one case I know of involving the original developer of one of our ts.
 

briturner

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Continueing story (yes I got sued)

So, I thought I would be done, but no. I have now been sued. Being that I live in New Mexico and am being sued in Florida, this does cause a few issues.

I spoke to an attorney, and found out that the statute of limitations is the mortgage plus 5 years (or 20 years is the length is unknown). So they can misplace the recind letter, and never get back to you for 19.5 years then sue and it is still legal. I have not found a copy of my recind letter from 14+ years ago and multiple moves, so the attorney said it would basically be my word against them.

The next thing I did was start my own due diligence, which included looking at the county records online. Here I found that they did indeed register my deed and mortgage (which should not have happened since I recinded the offer).

The good news is that they also registered a "Satisfaction of Mortgage" with the county. This says the mortgage was canceled. So, I should be free and clear.

I am now trying to get the lawyer to drop me from the suit. We will see how it goes.
 

rickandcindy23

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Well that is just scary. Think of all of the people over the years that we have advised to rescind. If Wyndham, or some attorneys start going after all of those people and then say, "It's our word against yours," then how do you provide proof after that many years.

I always hope Wyndham will see a thread like this. As though Wyndham Corporate needs any additional bad press. :mad: Wyndham's sales department is the worst anywhere, and then this happens to a person who rescinded.
 

Passepartout

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This truly takes the cake! If any outfit richly deserves a BBB 'F' rating, it's Wyndham. Now we'll have to counsel folks who rescind to keep the rescission letter receipt in their safe deposit for 30 years. Ridiculous!

Nice resorts, but it'll be a cold day in Hades before I'll support them with my $$!

Jim
 

ronparise

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So, I thought I would be done, but no. I have now been sued. Being that I live in New Mexico and am being sued in Florida, this does cause a few issues.

I spoke to an attorney, and found out that the statute of limitations is the mortgage plus 5 years (or 20 years is the length is unknown). So they can misplace the recind letter, and never get back to you for 19.5 years then sue and it is still legal. I have not found a copy of my recind letter from 14+ years ago and multiple moves, so the attorney said it would basically be my word against them.

The next thing I did was start my own due diligence, which included looking at the county records online. Here I found that they did indeed register my deed and mortgage (which should not have happened since I recinded the offer).

The good news is that they also registered a "Satisfaction of Mortgage" with the county. This says the mortgage was canceled. So, I should be free and clear.

I am now trying to get the lawyer to drop me from the suit. We will see how it goes.

So are they suing you for the mortgage? or for the unpaid maintenance fees..

That the mortgage is cancelled ought to be enough evidence in the first case. but if they say you still own it and they are suing you for maintenance fees, thats another issue altogether
 

briturner

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That leaves some interesting points. They are suing for the principal on the note, plus interest. so that should go away.

But now what? I just went back and checked, and they recorded the warranty deed in my name with the county, even after I recinded. So, am I now an owner? Are they going to come after me to back fees. This is just all messed up. I think this is where the statute of limitations will help me. Contracts have a shorter limit than mortgages.

Well, step one is to get out of the law suit, or if not, respond and as for reimbursement since due diligence on their part would also have found the cancellation that was recorded with the county (on the online version, the documents are linked).
 

geekette

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I would also be interested in what the stated Wyndham policy is on unpaid maint? can't imagine they let it go 15+ years. Perhaps you can uncover some documentation that shows THEY WILL CONTACT YOU at certain intervals in an attempt to collect unpaid maint, and they never contacted you. Not sure that's your loophole, but it has to help. No lawyer here, but if they never showed good faith in trying to contact you, it's too late to try it now.
 

Rent_Share

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This Trial needs to be done in the Media
 

ampaholic

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You may also be able to contract a lawyer by phone in Florida to help you with this and then go after the costs.

Keep in mind even a judgement against you would only be enforceable in Florida - as long as you never plan to own real estate in Florida it should only be a one year hit (about 25 - 40 points) on one or two of your credit report files.

So it may and/or may not be worth the expense of fighting.

my $.02 only
 

carl2591

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Joined TUG '96, Wyndham Grand Palms AKA, Presidential Villas at Plantation Resort, 3 bed lockout.
just another reason to STAY away from Wyndham. Stupidity abounds it appears and after 15 yrs..

WOW every week it seem something come up on this board that make me glad i am not a wyndham owner.

I know some of you are happy as clams..:( but in reality you are just having to take it up the "shorts" and move on not able to sell or give away you points.

Too bad as all the Wyndham properties i have visited are actually nice places.

stupid is as stupid does sir....FG
 

Rent_Share

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You may also be able to contract a lawyer by phone in Florida to help you with this and then go after the costs.

Keep in mind even a judgment against you would only be enforceable in Florida - as long as you never plan to own real estate in Florida it should only be a one year hit (about 25 - 40 points) on one or two of your credit report files.

So it may and/or may not be worth the expense of fighting.

my $.02 only


Sister state judgments are not that expensive, especially if the judgment debtor has identifiable assets
 

rrlongwell

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Well that is just scary. Think of all of the people over the years that we have advised to rescind. If Wyndham, or some attorneys start going after all of those people and then say, "It's our word against yours," then how do you provide proof after that many years.

I always hope Wyndham will see a thread like this. As though Wyndham Corporate needs any additional bad press. :mad: Wyndham's sales department is the worst anywhere, and then this happens to a person who rescinded.

You are right in your observation of the possable consequences of that type of advise not to mention possable legal ramifications for giving it. I hope the people that gave it were licensed attorneys at the time.

For the orignal poster, I think it is time to retain an attorney.
 

Passepartout

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This from my attorney wife. Get a certified copy of the Satisfaction of Mortgage from the county. Present it to the court along with a motion to dismiss. Then file suite for attorney fees against the lawyer who brought the suit. He should have found the 'Satisfaction of Mortgage' during discovery.

Hope this helps.

Jim
 
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