Timeshare Owners Want to Restore Marriott Lawsuit That 11th Circuit Dismissed.


After years of awaiting restitution and watching their lawsuit disappear, Marriott timeshare owners are back for vengeance. On the 20th of last month, former class members, alongside their representation, plead with the 11th circuit court to revive their dismissed ruling and reopen the arranged Marriott lawsuit immediately. One can only assume the effects of the Coronavirus played a role in their secondary restitution efforts.

What Was the Initial Timeshare Problem?

Nonetheless, the initial class action claim accused Marriott Ownership Resorts of manipulating timeshare prospects into purchasing baseless real estate contracts through timeshare “points programs.” Anthony and Beth Lennen led the charge then and continue to do so today. Aside from financial hardship and potential fraud, the former plaintiffs argue that the decision to dismiss their suit does not follow Florida property laws

The class member’s attorney echoed their argument. “The points are not property under any law,” he told the 11th circuit panel. According to the plaintiffs, the Marriott Vacation Club’s Destinations Trust Points Program (MVC Trust) violates Florida law because it is “disguised as a real property interest”. 

A federal judge previously agreed that consumer deeds for the MVC Trust timeshare product are void because they lack valid legal descriptions of the property interests being conveyed. “[Florida’s] timeshare statute expressly excludes these types of interests from being sold as timeshares,” the Marriott lawsuit went on to say.

Both Sides of Argument Leverage Florida Law.

“In order to find otherwise, you’d have to find that the Florida Legislature created property rights on par with actual partitionable land,” their attorney stated. This is all rather interesting as timeshares have been steadily evolving into point based structures that provide more revenue and control. Traditional timeshares involve fractional interest in real properties that people can reserve for a week (or two) at a time. 

The Marriott lawsuit claims that MVC owners were given increments of points to book nightly stays at various Marriott condos, like a travel club. Marriott’s attorney, Elliot Scherker, counter argued that the timeshare deeds “in the transaction identify a timeshare estate as the property interest being conveyed, and under the law, that timeshare estate is real property.”

Co Conspirators Labeled in Marriott Lawsuit.

Although the original Marriott lawsuit was dismissed, class members believe a number of entities aided the timeshare conglomerate out of selfish gain and negligence. The Lennens have been especially vocal about the involvement of Orange County (OC) and First American Financial Corporation in the “scheme”. Both were (and are still) being accused of illegally recording deeds and arranging titles that benefit the timeshare resort. 

According to the Lennens, they should never be on the hook for property ownership costs (Fees for maintenance, assessments, closing costs, etc..) if they do not own a true share of the property – and the benefits that come with ownership. They believe the product is nothing more than a license to use “selected corporate-owned timeshare estates in various locations across the country,” they said.

Marriott’s Accusers Dig Deep for Motives.

While the Lennens are frustrated with the result of their alleged misrepresented purchase, they’re just as concerned about Marriott’s future intentions. Class members believe the hotel chain is dealing with heightened costs due to holding tens of thousands of timeshare properties during the 2008 real estate market collapse.

Although this may be difficult to prove, a points-based product may have given Marriott an ability to “monetize its inventory or corporate owned estates while avoiding related costs.” The Marriott lawsuit points heavily to these accusations.

Even though a majority of the class action’s arguments were dismissed by March of 2019 (3 years later), they did so “without prejudice”, this gave plaintiffs a sense of hope they’re still holding onto. At the recent 11th Circuit meeting, members from Orange County, Marriott and First American were in attendance.

More On the Meeting and Those Involved. 

During the plaintiff’s proposal, U.S. Circuit Judge Andrew Brasher questioned whether they had suffered “any injury” from the timeshare deeds that had not been voided. Victims responded by saying they’ve “had to take on the burdens associated with property ownership, like title policy premiums, taxes and maintenance fees,” since making the purchase. But instead of receiving actual real estate, they got limited points. This is still a problem in their eyes – and they’re not alone in their rebuke.

The Marriott lawsuit is filed under Lennen et al. v. Marriott Ownership Resorts Inc. et al., case number 19-13215, in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Judges Robert J. Luck, Andrew Brasher and Beverly Martin sat on the 11th Circuit panel in November. Marriott Ownership Resorts was represented by Elliot H. Scherker, Brigid F. Cech Samole and Katherine M. Clemente of Greenberg Traurig PA. Stay tuned to see what transpires.


Check Your Eligibility

Complete our eligibility form to see if you qualify for our timeshare cancellation program. You deserve to work with a company that knows how to get out of a timeshare this time.

5 Responses

  1. I recieved a timeshare in a company contest and it was deeded to me as the owner. I had never listened to the information associated with the ownership or maintenance of the timeshare. When I figured out how to properly use the elements involved in the securing of vacation weeks and the availability to send the week to Interval International (II) for exchange, I started using it that way. After several years of ownership, Marriott decided they would change the way that owners could use the property they supposedly owned. The details of how to get the best use of your timeshare totally changed from when it was awarded to me. Now Marriott comes up with the idea, if they make the property only worth an arbitrary number of points, they could restrict availability of many properties I and many had been using over several years. I now could not use II in the same manner as before and II told me that they had a much smaller inventory around the world because owners now could only use the number of points awarded in the new system. I would have to buy additional points to value up to certain places I had traveled for years. Traveling to your own resort or lower value places (points) were the only way to travel or spend more money with Marriott to go where I’ve been going for years. THE GAME CHANGED! I didn’t change it, Marriott and after millions had bought timeshares (TS) based on what they were told under the old system. You could still exchange with II but the chance of getting the same places as in the past were slim or none. I went to Aruba for example about 13 times because owners there were exchanging for other places and their place was open the exchange and I did. Now the points only gave us fewer availability in places because I didn’t have enough points to go to Aruba as an example. Remember, I was given the timeshare, I didn’t buy it, but now they want me to continue to pay the now exorbitant fees as they grew over the years and the value went down as the price went up, not only for fees but to buy more points from Marriott. I felt like I was buying the property all over again. I didn’t have the thousands of dollars the others paid for the TS but I also didn’t want to have to spend more now because Marriott found a way to make me and others do the same. I spoke with several Marriott owners that felt the same way, but with apparently no recourse. No court should allow this type of illicit action to take place, Reinstate the system or let us go without having to continue for something wit hear less value than it had, brought about by the sellers (Marriott) actions. HELP!!

  2. I bought a three bedroom prime season deeded to me. I don’t get the trades I use to and it is of no use to me anymore. I always thought Marriott was an above board company and it was while Bill ran it. It is a shame that it is what it is now!

  3. We purchased a Vacation Club based on points from Marriott while in Hawaii. The sales rep told us at that point we could use the program to stay at a home in St John – showed us pictures of it and everything. This was not true. We had to be at a different level to even access this home. We were told we could sell the timeshare back – for what we paid- and now I find out that is NOT true. I called Marriott today to start this process and was told they decided to stop offering BuyBack. How can they legally do this? We have tried for 3 years to schedule a vacation – a 2 day trip or a week at several places. They are always booked up even if we try months in advance. They have oversold their vacation clubs. We attended 3 other sales presentations trying to get help with this – one in Florida, one in NY City and one in St John. We were told in NY City that we could use our points to stay at the Westin in St. John once the sale was complete. The sale is complete. Has been for some time. Guess what – no availability. So while in St John this summer – we had to rent a villa on our own of course – we visited the Westin. They do not even participate in the points program. There you buy a week in a certain house. They whole yada yada about you owning property. Marriott lost in a class action suit along with the Florida court that was supposedly registering “deeds” in property to our timeshare. This is ridiculous. I , like an idiot, paid off my timeshare with a $33,000+ check. Now they tell me I can just relinquish my membership so I can stop paying my annual maintenance fees of $1800 – which we of course pay every year without being able to go anywhere! Stay away from Marriott or any property they try to sell you. They cannot be trusted and they somehow are getting away with this. It’s time for another class action suit. Anyone want to join me?

  4. Is there any update on reviving the class action lawsuit against Marriott for the Destination Points?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out the form to get a Free Consultation

More Posts

4 Changes in the Timeshare Industry That Owners Should be Aware of.

Due to the current state of our country, the inability to use your timeshare may seem valid. Pandemic-driven restrictions have made it nearly impossible for anyone to enjoy any type of vacation over the past year. At the same time, it’s important that owners are able to move forward with an informed state of mind. Truth be told, there are some changes in the timeshare industry that owners ought to take note of.

Read More »
aerial shot of real estate in st. helena california for blog regarding timeshare-like estate by private llc broker suing city for unethical discrimination of business model and enjoyment of region pacaso development

Real Estate Dispute Over What Defines a Timeshare in St. Helena, CA.

This past week, the city of St. Helena was sued after accusing a stand alone housing operation for being a timeshare entity. Pacaso, a five-home development project, claims to offer homeownership for up to 8 different tenets per each property. But the city hasn’t been buying it and on April 6th, Pacaso fired back.

Read More »
Ebook Cover
Download Our Free Guide to Understanding How it’s Possible to
Cancel Your Timeshare Contract!

Written by the top Real Estate Litigators in the Timeshare Industry.