The past few years haven’t exactly been full of positive memories for some of the timeshare owners at Diamond Resorts International, Inc. (DRI). It appears there has been an increasing number of buyers who have not been able to match their expectation with the actual experience – giving them more of a desire to escape the perpetual contract than to continue on with ownership. These types of situations usually stem from allegations for misleading sales practices, omitted information by a sales rep and some even complain of flat out lies. While the timeshare industry has been rather sloppy in these areas in the past, it’s not the only causes for scrutiny.

Another DRI Debt Collection Violation Emerges.  

In 2018, the timeshare operation brought the hot water back to a boil when they decided to bypass debt collection regulations and threaten owners for payments. This is a lot different than the DRI debt collection lawsuit that we covered last week. Either way, it appears Diamond is not messing around when it comes to the money they believe they’re owed.

Because of their alleged decision to pursue payment outside of industry requirements, a class action lawsuit was filed against them in the U.S. District Court of Arizona. The plaintiffs accused DRI of violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (15 U.S.C. § 1692 et seq. (“FDCPA”). 6.) by means of “abusive, deceptive, and unfair debt collection practices by many debt collectors.” The FDCPA was involved in this designation.

According to the proposed class action, “Congress enacted the FDCPA for the following purposes: to protect consumers from a host of unfair, harassing, and deceptive debt collection practices; to eliminate abusive debt collection practices by debt collectors; to insure that those debt collectors who refrain from using abusive debt collection practices are not competitively disadvantaged; and to promote consistent State action to protect consumers against debt collection abuses.”

Getting Out of a Diamond Timeshare is One Step.

Although many owners find it extremely difficult to legally (and totally) terminate their timeshare agreement, doing so can be a liberating experience. At the same time, it doesn’t always mean timeshare problems have been fully eliminated. No matter how much evidence is stacked up against resorts, they never seem to cease a claim of innocence. The signature of uninformed consumers is constantly the scapegoat. 

It’s sad to know that timeshare companies refuse to see an unhappy vacation owner as a victim. Even if the timeshare purchase were to completely wipe someone out, rarely is mercy shown. This suit sheds light on how Diamond reacts when an owner wants out of their agreement and financial obligation

A Reminder From VOC About Timeshare Credit Lines.

When it comes to credit reporting for an owner who walks from their financial commitment – the timeshare company may have the ability to affect a timeshare owner’s credit report. Since consumers agree to a property owner’s terms, the resort’s collections division (or hired agencies) manage this. You should never hire a cancellation firm because they promise an untouched credit report. Unless you receive something in writing from the resort, you can’t expect this to occur. 

Even then, they still have the ability to impact a credit report with credit reporting errors that may be able to be successfully disputed. Owners still find credibility in a well-known brand and assume the reporting is valid, however oftentimes there are many errors on an owner’s report where the creditor or timeshare company can be penalized with large fines for reporting the errors. 

Many former owners are still forced to pay the price for a long time because of bad credit scores. Although we have tools in place to aid with this process, not everyone does. This is why it’s important for vacation owners to understand the industry and their contract before making decisions. The DRI debt collection procedure is questionable at best. Nearly every pitfall stems from a sales pitch that isn’t entirely true. Canceling under verbal pretenses – after buying an undisclosed product – implies that owners haven’t learned their lesson and they will continue to get burned.

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