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Marriott Vacation Club Class Action Lawsuit Claims Buyers Were Defrauded

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In recent years, the successful litigation of major timeshare resorts has really opened the eyes of many consumers. But as fractional owners increasingly voice their displeasure with the way the purchase plays out, resorts continue to find new ways to retain their users and find new buyers. While one might assume timeshares have altered their strategy to better satisfy customers and keep up with travel trends, it couldn’t be further from the truth. In reality, they’ve simply altered the product itself to better benefit themselves. One of the first cases to confirm this pivot was a Marriott Vacation Club class action lawsuit in 2016.

Despite the need to create a more appealing product, we have to go back to the real estate market crash to really understand the depth of Marriott’s alleged deceit in this case. This period of time left the hotel chain with an inventory full of foreclosed and unused condos throughout the country that they needed to get rid of. Since the market was scarce and many current owners wanted to get out of contracts, Marriott adopted a points program that promised beneficial interest and land trusts to potential buyers. The problem was, a Florida company named First American Trust was the actual trustee of the land that held all of the timeshare properties.

Why this Timeshare Lawsuit has a Strong Case.

Despite only being able to offer licensing to use the timeshare properties (because they were owned by affiliate businesses), Marriott told potential buyers they could purchase a title that included interest in a land trust. In reality, the new points program simply gave “owners” access to condos that were held in the land trust. Throughout all marketing efforts, Marriott placed value on owning more points to gain even more access. This led buyers to believe the opportunity was valuable. By positioning the product this way, Marriott was able to not only charge buyers for points programs, but also closing costs, title policy premiums, real estate tax and recording fees. 

Over the course of the buyer’s ownership experience, it appears Marriott did a poor job of providing transparency regarding the purchase. Although the points program wasn’t “illegal” itself, Marriott should have never charged buyers for something they’d never be able to acquire. After the purchase, members of the lawsuit claim they never really understood what they paid for. Even the ownership percentage of their trust fluctuated on a daily basis. 

While Marriott was able to manipulate the system for quite some time, buyers eventually grew tired of the lack of disclosure. They decided that filing the Marriott Vacation Club class action lawsuit was the only way they could escape the scheme. Amongst a plethora of complicated evidence against the hotel chain, allegations essentially stemmed from the initial point of sale.

More Details on the Marriott Vacation Club Lawsuit.

While it became apparent that the complainants, buyers, had definitely been misled by Marriott, additional parties involved also administered misconduct. After an investigation, it was found that the former Orange County Comptroller, Martha Haynie, accepted and filed deeds that didn’t exist. This is what led buyers to believe title costs were valid. Because of this, she was also listed as a defendant in the lawsuit. First American Title’s role started when they charged Marriott to write title insurance policies without any type of legal title documentation. 

Selling this type of product and going extra lengths to attempt validation is usually considered criminal activity. It’s why the Marriott Vacation Club class action lawsuit didn’t have to focus on much outside of Florida law violations. While it may have seemed like a good idea at the time, Marriott and those involved in the transaction faced racketeering charges. 

Over the years, it’s been proven that some timeshare companies will do nearly anything to recoup losses. Participating in questionable sales tactics is how many have been able to remain afloat for so long. Hundreds of thousands of vacation owners have been told one thing and sold another. It’s why we’ve made it a priority to help you understand the traps of the timeshare trade. 

This Marriott Vacation Club class action lawsuit should tell you that even the most prominent resorts may have something up their sleeve. So be careful what you’re signing up for and always confirm the terms.

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28 Responses

  1. I got a phone call several weeks ago about a lawsuit against Sheraton/Marriott timeshares. I blew it off but wish I hadn’t. Was this you? If so, I’d like to talk to you. we are “owners” at Sheraton Desert Oasis and very unhappy with it. we’ve been lied to over and over.

  2. Is there a way you can have your own blog site instead of contributing to one already made.. I have no idea how a blog works? How do you pay for it? How do you start one? Please help! It would be much appreciated! Thank you!.

  3. We purchased Vacation Club points prior to Marriott’s purchase of Sheraton, Wyndham, Interval, etc. They have added these hotel chain timeshare owners and interval subscribers to use Marriott Vacation Club Resorts. As a result everything is overbooked and there is not availability to use the points we purchased. We continue to pay maintenance fees every year to keep our points, but we are actually unable to use the points… when we go to use points, we cannot find anyplace to use them or vacation because every place is booked. They like to take our money, but not provide a service. As a result we have tons of points and no place to go… we keep getting emails that our points are going to expire …I’d love to use them, but where are we supposed to use them when everything is booked?? I think this should be it’s own class-action lawsuit …is there a case here???

    1. I’m in the same predicament as Mary, I bought points that i can’t use but have to pay the increasing fees every year. How do I get out of this? I paid $30,000 up front…

    2. Has anyone on this class action site ever been contacted by any law firm? I’m curious as how I would go about getting information re: these class action(s) suits. I don’t want to be contacted by an EXIT team as I’m not interested in leaving MVC but I would like to know about the fraud and misrepresentation by MVC.

  4. Before we purchased vacation club points, I asked if Marriott would “buy the points back if we did not want them any longer”. The sales person answered ” why yes, of course. Marriot will buy them back at 75% of the price per point at the time of repurchase”. Well, this sounded okay, because he was offering to sell at that time at $9.20 per point and stated that the point price was raising to $11.50, and was told the price will escalate as time goes by. So I purchased 4500 points for a little over $40,000.00. after 9 years of paying fees and not being able to book vacations because of lack of availability, I decided to call and sell my points. Well, to make a long story short. I called Marriot and they put me in contact with their “resale” department who informed me they are paying $2.00 per point or $9,000.00. What a racket!!!

    1. And now MVC is offering $0 per point! The agent happily stated that they we could “release” our ownership to them. For nothing. I was floored. SO disappointing to try to book resorts like Marbella in Spain 13 months out with no availability and then go search online and find availability. What?!!!

  5. We own weeks and points with Marriott. When we bought the points we were told we would have 1200.00 for weeks and 600.00 for points in HOA fees. The second time we bought points we were told we would have a total of 2400.00 in HOA fees for both . I clarified it several times as I was concerned about the amount. Now I’m billed 2400.00 for my weeks and 2400.00 for my points . I’m told that some cap was removed and they can bill as much as they want. We are on a fixed income and can’t afford both. We would like to get rid of the points but keep the weeks . Is that possible?

  6. Unfortunately, I got into the trap buying Marriott Vacation Club membership in June 2018 and I deeply regret and trying to explore options for the same. I appreciate any guidance.

    Thanks in advance!
    Anantha

  7. We have a similar story to the others. Have been long time users but it’s getting harder and harder to do anything with Marriott any more. Scheduling is a nightmare, promises are false. It’s become a total sham! I understand about the earlier law suite regarding the sale of property transactions which were in essence illegal. That law suit was thrown out because Marriott “fixers” paid a lot of money to Political interests in Florida who rewrote laws. However, the judge ruled the plaintiffs could resubmit. Does anyone know of any other suits against Marriott Vacation Club? If so we’d like to partake.

  8. Instead of purchasing a time share I opted for the “encore” package and agreed to put $200 down. They forged my signature on 4 other documents and started charging me 160/mo. When I attempt to talk to anybody they act SO shady.

      1. Hello there,

        I have used every number I can find to speak to someone about my ownership and cancellations during COVID. Nobody answers the phone and there are all these penalties for canceling. However, we can’t travel if we’re going to have to just get to Hawai’i and sit in a room due to restrictions on the Islands. How can I get some help?

  9. Own a “week” in a Marriott property and have enjoyed it. Recently purchased “points” in the trust. The entire sales presentation was based on lies and the marketing agent departed shortly thereafter. Attempts to address our issues were met with a token offering of a few rounds of golf. Marriott must fess up to this fraudulent behavior.

    Would be interested in any additional information about the suit.

  10. We are in the same predicament as some of the others who have posted including the shock of finding out what little the buy back offered. My husband has some health issues which I won’t go into here but, long story – short, it let to us buying points in May of 2019. What really surprised us was Marriott also said we had purchased points in 2017. We have no paperwork/contracts regarding that purchase. We have a letter from an attorney saying the sale was completed. We can’t use any of the points and this has created quite a financial burden. If anyone has had success with any actions they have taken please let me know. We are considering defaulting but are concerned about what Marriott can then go after.

  11. Class action suit against MVC.

    How do we get in contact the firm hosting the class action suit?

    Dan P

  12. We bought a week at 2 different resorts 20 years ago and the first couple years it went great , then it got harder to book places we desired, then nearly impossible and we had to settle for what we could get in our desired time frame. The maintenance fees have doubled and more while the resorts are being booked during remodeling and less appealing. I tried to sell a couple of times after my husband became permanently disabled and had to plead with family members to pay the fees and use because Marriott would not sell for us to get out …now I have had it…sick of the hoops you gave to go thru for Interval and Marriott and lack of helpfulness…they make it all so confusing and frustrating you just give up…which I think is their intention. I was told no one is buying..what a crock..so,yes, you win Marriott, I’m giving up…you can have my weeks back and I get $0…remember when I bought and your rep said you will buy them back no problem…you lied..we are told now we get half if they sell… but that’s not true either..I have Cypress Harbour a popular destination only you say there are no buyers…beware if you are thinking of buying a Marriott Timeshare…it can become a nightmare

  13. This year we lost all our points could not book any resort and the pandemic stopped all travel Marriott Vacation club did not care.
    I’m done how do contact to get out.

  14. WE’ve been members for over 20 years and we’ve watched a good program turn against it’s legacy owners. We went to a meeting to air our grievances about how the shift to the Destinations program changed the promises made to former owners. We were talked into “upgrading” so we could rent houses instead of small condos. SHAM. Our upgrade doesn’t get us near enough points to dream of any of those properties. It was a lie, a shell trick, and we’ve never been able to reach that sales agent again. We want to join a class-action lawsuit and get out of this nightmare. My husband is 70, and this has become a nightmare.

  15. Where can one join this class action? I know there are some companies that can get you out of owning the timeshare but also charge as much as the timeshare is worth, if they are so confident in their work, get my $ back and take a share. What these timeshare companies do are predatory tactics.

  16. We had MVC send us their buyback contract (which of course is for $0.00) which will put an end ti the annual and monthly payments into this black hole. But, in reviewing the documentation, we found that this includes signing our life away on any current and future lawsuits and sworn to confidentiality here on out. It’s a balancing act as to whether we continue to pay mindlessly with hopes of lawsuit proceeds or to bail out and forfeit claims, Any info on whether on the impending lawsuit and/or the legality of their buyback contract would be greatly appreciated.

  17. Marriot scams just keep coming.
    What big law firm out there would be willing to take them on? It would be YEARS before a settlement and we would get zip. Right now even IntervalWorld can’t get me my deeded 1 week. It was all a big scam from the start.

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