Timeshare Fraud Results in $6.5 Million Settlement
The Attorney General of New York recently released a statement regarding the illegal practices of the owners and operators of the Manhattan Club, which includes 10 subsidiaries. The owners of the Manhattan Club, at 200 West 56th Street, must now pay $6.5 million in restitution, maintain a lifetime bar from the timeshare industry, sell all stakes to alternate parties, and remove all associated officers and directors as members of the Board of the Timeshare Association. Provisions of the settlement dictate that the owners and operators must also admit that they repeatedly misled timeshare owners about the reservation process, and lied about the ability of sell back timeshares. This settlement from a timeshare lawsuit is one of the largest for the Attorney General’s Real Estate Finance Bureau.
An investigation of the Manhattan Club began after the Office of the Attorney General received repeated complaints from many shareowners that were unable to make reservations at the hotel. The timeshare patrons paid tens of thousands of dollars for a “vacation ownership retreat [at a] residence-style boutique hotel for those who frequently visit New York City to enjoy Broadway theatre, fine dining, and shopping, [and] classical performances”. Despite paying hefty sums for their timeshares, the rooms were rented to the general public rather than the timeshare owners, which was in direct violation of the timeshare contract.
However, the illegal practices began even before the purchases. Investigators found that timeshare sales teams repeatedly deceived potential buyers regarding the reservation procedures, the capacity to sell back shares, and specifics of the offering plan. Prospective purchasers were subject to high pressure sales tactics that even went so far as to state that their timeshare ownership was “better than money in the bank.” The sales pitch included promises of exclusivity from public use of rooms, an easy reservation process, and scarce constraints regarding reservations for owners. All of these claims were found to be false by the Office of the Attorney General.
What the Timeshare Lawsuit Also Uncovered.
The investigation led to the discovery that the owners’ annual maintenance fees rose over 200% over the last decade, beginning at $2,000 per year for the smallest units. Similar to many frustrated timeshare owners across the world, many owners sold their timeshares for pennies to avoid the additional yearly costs.
Fortunately, the Manhattan Supreme Court barred the Manhattan Club from withdrawing any money from bank accounts, selling more timeshare interests, and pursuing foreclosures on current members, during the investigation process.
“The owners of the Manhattan Club lured thousands of timeshare buyers with false promises and shady sales tactics that violated New York law,” stated Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman. “While timeshares can be legitimate enterprises, scams like this one are common. To avoid becoming a victim, always be wary of high pressure tactics.” Unless you document occurrences that break the law, it’s going to be extremely difficult to progress with a timeshare lawsuit.
The Attorney General’s office does offer a brochure about how to avoid timeshare scams, however there does not seem to be any information regarding steps or processes once you have been victimized. The best thing you can do is file a complaint and wait to see if the government will investigate. But, proceeding with this process and walking away from your timeshare obligations isn’t recommended. Investigative action may take years to occur.
How to Access Information From the Timeshare Lawsuit
Regarding timeshare owners of the Manhattan Club, they were told they would be contacted by a claims adjustor at a later unknown date. Supporting evidence was crucial in their case and their patience was eventually rewarded. Not all timeshare owners are so lucky. In fact, most are unable to support their cause. While persistence may work out in your favor, it can also backfire over time. Some parties involved in the Midtown Manhattan timeshare lawsuit are still seeking restitution for the scam.
If you’re tired of dealing with incentivized “customer services” or the inability to access your timeshare, we’d be more than happy to go over your options with you. Our free consultations are meant to help you exhaust all options before attempting to get out of your timeshare contract. Once you’ve done everything you can to make it work, our timeshare cancellation services allow you to walk away free and clear of any obligation moving forward.
Would like to explore if I can get help re: The Manhattan Club on West 56th St. Manhattan, NYC I would like to sever my contract with them.
There is an email at the end of this article that is a law firm in New Jersey which states that they are filing law suit against The Manhattan Club on an individual owner basis. I just emailed them 15 minutes ago but have not received any answer back as of yet.
I was a co owner of the time share with the Manhattan Club for about 7 years.
I had to pay my way out because the fees became so high and I had to book a year to the date for a reservation.
The time share was under the names:
Please advise me if I am included in this law suit.
Hi Cindy, thanks for commenting.
You’re going to have to contact the New York Attorney General for this information. We’re simply bringing awareness to the issue so people like you can find relief.
Have a great week!
Hello Jordan, I work for a bank and have a time share in a trust. What are they worth at this time and will anyone buy such a thing?
Hi Matt. That’d be a great question for one of our consultants – they advise me on all VOC content. But here are some articles that may help with timeshare valuations.
We have tried to get out of this fraud for many years. Such a nightmare. Never saw anything from the settlement … is there a way to still get our without MORE $$$$ spent on this scam?
interested in being released from our time share at the Manhattan Club, after years of escalating maintenance fees.
Can you provide some direction on how to accomplish this?
I’d like the same info on getting rid of my timeshare at the Manhattan Club.
My current year reservation had to be cancelled due to CDC’s and WHO’s recommendation against travel during COVID 19 as well as NY closure order. The Manhattan Club refuses to extend this year’s contract usage to the many timeshare owners that have requested due to the necessary/mandatory cancellation. Meanwhile they have been prepaid all HOA and fees and will not honor the extension despite the above government orders. Please advise of resources for all owners affected.
They have just contacted me offering me to let me out of the contract and forgive any back maintenance we stopped paying. I paid an initial buyer and paid some 20k and was only able to use 1 time. It was never available when we wanted.
Is it wise to agree and send the executed documents back to them or is there some way I can get my money back based on the settlement?
I would like to get rid of my TMC week. The fees were escalating ridiculously.
¿Who did you contact for that?
I signed them and sent back in January. Never heard back but last week I did receive the $100.00 that was agreed to be paid once completed. I owed them over $5,500 in fees and was only able to use the place twice since 2005. I just called to confirm and I am no longer on their books and owe $0.00. Good luck!
I am an owner also. As a matter of fact
I am a charter member. This only means I’ve had many years of issues with Manhattan Club. I am booked for
this Dec 2020 for a week. Of course
because of Covid-19 I can use it but
they will not help in extended my time.
I want to get out of this nightmare.
Help Help Help!
My annual dues are due at the manhattan club currently. I would like any suggestions on how to walk away from this deal . When i bought my unit in 2004 the charges were 860, now they are over 3000. I will give the unit away if i can get out from the fees. Any suggestions.
I”m trying to get my sister, who has dementia and is in an assisted living, out of this nightmare. I don’t want to spend her money anymore and they’ve stonewalled me with not helping me get her out. Can you tell me what phone number/email you used to get out of this nightmare? thank you – Jill
Who did you contact? If you could share a name or department and phone number that would be great.