The ever-evolving digital world has allowed the timeshare cancellation industry to explode over the last decade. The problem is, not all exit services are created equal. Many have the intention to benefit themselves and not the consumer. Because fraudulent timeshare operations are being exposed more than ever before, exit programs are taking a lot of heat. At VOC, we’ve realized consumer skepticism comes with the territory. But it doesn’t change the fact thousands of buyers are still looking for an effective way to escape timeshare contracts. In order to extend the life of our 5-star reputation, we have to prove that we actually know how to get rid of timeshare properties the right way.
Speaking with tens of thousands of unhappy timeshare owners has allowed us to truly understand their remorse behind the purchase. Most fractional owners simply feel betrayed and discarded. They just want to find someone willing to listen and fight for them. They need someone they can trust. But that’s difficult to find when many solutions only tell you what you want to hear. You deserve to know what’s realistic.
No matter how the cancellation industry is perceived, timeshare owners need to be able to navigate their options and identify deceit on their own. In order to differentiate the way we go about our business, we wanted to discuss a few companies that ceased operations in the most inconvenient of ways. Listen, finding someone that actually knows how to get rid of timeshare properties is easier said than done. But by helping you recognize fraudulent activity sooner, we believe we can help you avoid costly decisions. With that being said, let’s take a look at the pitfalls of some cancellation companies and how their deception eventually caught up to them.
Castle Law Group Was All Talk and No Walk.
Judson Phillips launched Castle Law Group PC while he was employed as a legal representative of a timeshare company. After realizing a number of timeshare owners were being scammed by timeshare exit teams, he figured he might as well give it a try. So he used illegal data from previous resources to formulate an action plan. Without any form of credibility, he began marketing a seemingly promising solution to timeshare owners.
According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Phillips launched his company on September 16th, 2014. Before reaching the midway point of his first year in business, the BBB already had a case open against the company. Dozens of consumers were claiming Castle Group wasn’t communicating with them and that the company hadn’t made any progress on their timeshare cancellation requests. The company’s integrity was also in question when consumers weren’t receiving the refunds they were promised.
Despite not following through with their guarantees, Phillips and the legal operation continued to go about business as usual. Days after the BBB file was opened, Phillips attempted to combat warnings by establishing a local business for his firm. Everything about the operation was sketchy from the get go. If you do the research, you’ll see the company never really knew how to get rid of timeshare properties. Most of their efforts went towards sales and deception. Since the company refused to work with the BBB to resolve complaints, they eventually received an “F” rating. By this time, most consumer platforms were well aware of the dark cloud hovering over Castle Law Group.
After processing nearly 100 complaints on the lawyer’s operation, the Supreme Court of Tennessee disbarred Mr. Phillips on August 24th, 2018. While the attorney’s sale’s pitch might have been compelling, consumers could have easily picked up on his empty promises. Even with the advantage of timeshare data, there’s no reason anyone should believe something that hasn’t been proven. If the company doesn’t have a steady flow of positive reviews proving they know how to get out of timeshare contracts, then the exit service is probably phony.
As you’ll continue to see throughout our articles, thoroughly researching relief programs will help you avoid incompetent solutions and costly decisions. Phillips claims he was only offering mediation and arbitration for his clients and that the services he rendered were billable. To date, hundreds of timeshare owners have been left without restitution and more debt because of Castle Law Group PC.
A Consumer Credit Suddenly Files for Bankruptcy
In September of last year, American (“A”) Consumer Credit became the latest timeshare relief company to bite the dust. The questionable service unexpectedly filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy late last year. The Florida Middle Bankruptcy Court eventually notified the general public to “obtain a proof of claim form” if they needed to process “monetary claims.” A Consumer Credit left hundreds of people hanging when they suddenly realized they didn’t exactly know how to get rid of timeshare properties. Fractional owners went from thinking they were finally free from payment obligations to receiving past due balances from timeshare.
Out of the 208 complaints the BBB has received over the last 3 years, 181 have been closed in the last 12 months. Customers continue to leave complaints on the BBB’s website but they’re immediately resolved because the company is no longer in business. Some of A Consumer Credit’s clients are just now realizing the company isn’t getting rid of timeshare properties anymore. While they’ve been waiting to hear about relief, owner Dana Micallef is moving on. Even the company’s attorney, Michael Saracco, has notified the media he’s no longer associated with the business.
As we noted in our guide to identifying timeshare exit fraud, researching company employees and stakeholders can help you determine the legitimacy of the service. The latest complaint on the A Consumer Credit’s BBB profile proves the value in this. The former client stated he researched the representative he was talking to and found out she had a criminal record for similar misconduct. It goes to show that vital red flags can be found if you take the time to look.
What’s troubling about American Consumer Credit is that they knowingly used the reputation of a bankruptcy and consumer debt counseling service with the same name. They must consider themselves experts now that they’ve experienced bankruptcy for themselves and their clients are in debt from trying to get rid of timeshare purchases. All jokes aside, the real American Consumer Credit took legal action against the latter company’s mischief nearly 3 years ago. Customers constantly got the two companies mixed up, damaging the reputation of the counseling service. It seems as though this mix up was able to cover their tracks for an extended period of time so they could rip off a few thousand more timeshare owners.
Like many unethical operations in the timeshare relief realm, it’s possible they’re preparing to retarget those they’ve already ripped off. Think about it. After regretting their timeshares, many buyers make decisions they regret even more. Thousands of dollars are wasted when they try to sell the property or attempt to litigate with an attorney. Some continue their misfortune by hiring inadequate cancellation services.
When timeshare owners continue to end up right back where they started, there’s a good chance they’ll need credit repair services. What many disgruntled buyers don’t realize is, they end up paying the same operation for resale, cancellation and credit repair services. These “companies” are one in the same. They simply rebrand themselves and bombard former victims with a new service that caters to their pain. All of this is intensely connected and very real.
Unfortunately, a good number of scams in the timeshare industry are able to tear down shop just as quickly as they set it up. By the looks of it, A Consumer Credit could be another predatory agency looking to milk the pockets of timeshare owners. Who knows what’s to come from the question surrounding their operation. They could possibly be in the final stages of what has been a complicated scam, executed over a long period of time. Only time will tell.
Filing for bankruptcy might’ve saved them from immediate consequence, but we expect their sketchy paper trail to eventually catch up to them. Either way, tons of timeshare owners never got their refund. That’s the price of doing business with a company that never even knew how to get rid of timeshare properties.
Trust is Everything When Getting Rid of Timeshare Purchases.
While the aforementioned operations had no business selling timeshare cancellation services, they did. Even though thousands of people deserve to be relieved of fractional ownership, they’re not. Educating the general population on the details behind the deceit is the only way we can save them from misfortune. Nearly anyone can create an online business these days. Whether the products or services rendered are real or not, consumers need to know what they could be getting themselves into. Informed decisions make a big difference.
When it comes to timeshare ownership, a number of things can hinder the enjoyment of your experience when you’re not paying attention to the details. From the timeshare contract to 3rd party solutions, one wrong turn can cost you a lot of money. It’s important you understand not everyone plays by the rules in the relief industry. You might think a promise is a promise. But here, unless you have something in writing, assume nothing is guaranteed.
Misleading companies know the tendencies of timeshare owners and it’s easy for them to prey on consumer desperation. But it’s just as easy for you to research companies before doing business with them. If you’re willing to locate coupons for groceries, then you better be willing to find reputable companies that know how to get rid of timeshare properties.
At the end of the day, we take pride in providing you with supporting evidence that backs up our guarantees. Genuinely helping timeshare owners sort out their options allows them to trust and believe in our company. You can learn more about our detailed qualification process by scheduling a FREE consultation or proceeding with our intake form below.