Timeshare Maintenance Fees Lawsuit

Timeshare Maintenance Fees Lawsuit

Attorney General Michelle Henry has initiated legal action against Split Rock Investments, LLC, and SCH USA, LLC, operating under the trade name “Bel Air Owner’s Circle,” collectively referred to as “Bel Air.”

This lawsuit addresses allegations of deceptive business practices and failure to fulfill commitments made to timeshare owners at the renowned Split Rock Resort in Lake Harmony, PA. The lawsuit also claims that Bel Air imposed exorbitant timeshare maintenance fees and employed illicit tactics in fee collection.

Increased Timeshare Maintenance Fees and False Upgrades

The lawsuit contends that Bel Air hindered timeshare owners in making reservations and offered accommodations differing from promised ones. Moreover, Bel Air purportedly misrepresented downgraded lodgings as “upgrades.” Allegations extend to excessive fee charging and the use of unlawful methods for fee collection. Alongside seeking an injunction to prevent future harm, the lawsuit requests the court to mandate defendants to provide restitution to affected consumers and pay civil penalties.

Furthermore, the lawsuit claims that the defendants implemented timeshare maintenance fee hikes surpassing the 7.5% annual cap. They also imposed a usage fee for recreational facilities, even in cases where consumers neither utilized nor desired to use them. Additionally, the defendants allegedly levied a Mexican VAT tax of 16%, despite neither the Resort nor the consumers being situated in Mexico.

Purported Collection Violation to Collect Timeshare Fees

Additionally, the lawsuit states that the defendants declined to terminate timeshares for deceased members, persisting in billing timeshare maintenance fees and imposing late fees on those timeshares. Moreover, the lawsuit asserts that the defendants violated the Pennsylvania Fair Credit Extension Uniformity Act by employing coercive, abusive, and harassment tactics to compel timeshare owners to pay fees. One such incident involved the defendants sending a threatening letter. The PA Attorney General’s website states these letters were suggesting that the consumer’s account could be sent to collections, and they could potentially “lose out on job opportunities, loans for cars, houses, and so much more.”

Consider the Following Tips Before a Timeshare Purchase

Attorney General Henry offers the following tips to consumers who are looking to get the most out of their timeshares:

1. Deal only with licensed real estate brokers and agents.

2. Get everything in writing and make sure you understand all the terms and conditions, especially the timeshare duration, timeshare maintenance fees, additional costs, and terms related to selling the timeshare.

3. If selling a timeshare, seek out companies that do not collect fees until the services are performed and the timeshare is sold.

4. Ask for references from satisfied customers.

5. Be wary of high pressure sales tactics.

Consumers who suspect they or someone they know has fallen victim to similar timeshare practices are encouraged to lodge a complaint with the Bureau of Consumer Protection.

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