A majority of the lawsuits we cover on our blog have to do with vacation owners seeking restitution. Whether the outcome results in a settlement or an extensive legal battle, many plaintiffs simply want to get out of their timeshare agreement. But what is one to do when the timeshare company (defendant) has their legal team file a lawsuit against your lawyers? This is what some Wyndham owners are facing after going through with a lawsuit against them in Missouri.
According to Freddie Francy (the lead plaintiff in the initial class action suit), Wyndham is attempting to intimidate them into dropping their claims against the prominent hospitality conglomerate. But it doesn’t appear to be working. The class action accuses Wyndham of wrongfully assessing and charging a multitude of timeshare owners for $350 worth of processing fees.
Why Are Wyndham Owners Upset Over $350?
The plaintiffs, led by Francy, claim the mandatory expense was “a violation of Missouri state laws and constitutes a deceptive form of legal business.” In turn they believe they’re legally entitled to a full termination of ownership. It appears that Wyndham doesn’t agree and they’re taking action to tie up their owner’s representation in a Federal lawsuit in Florida. Although both matters have yet to be settled in court, the sequence of events is rather telling.
Those opposed to Wyndham’s stance had this to say about the matter: “The Florida case, and others filed like it by attorney defendants, has been instigated for the improper purpose of intimidating those timeshare owners who dare to assert their legal rights and attorneys who assist defrauded timeshare owners into silence and inaction and fear of public participation, and to chill access to counsel and to the courts for victims of timeshare and travel club fraud,” reiterated the plaintiffs.
Additional Details About Wyndham’s Sales Pitch.
According to Francy, those fighting the charges should have never been in this position to begin with. He believes aggressive sales strategies and deceptive marketing efforts placed them between a rock and a hard place. The timeshare presentation was so long that he felt like he had to make a purchase just to escape the demonstration. The ability to “sell his timeshare for a profit” is what was said to have closed him on the deal.
The Wyndham class action lawsuit went on to say Francy was, “detained at the sales presentation against his will for a lengthy period of time. The extended, unreasonable, lengthy time period of the sales presentation constituted duress and coercion to force the plaintiff to make a purchase before he was allowed to leave the premises.”
Did Additional Statements Get Under Wyndham’s Skin?
At first glance, most of these accusations are fairly common in previous lawsuits filed against the industry as a whole. Unexpected fees, for the most part, result in conflict with timeshares. But there was a loaded phrase in the lawsuit filing that probably elicited the retaliation of Wyndham’s legal counsel. It said, “Wyndham along with its counsel, have preyed upon the elderly and less sophisticated buyers to wring billions in profits in exchange for ‘worthless’ timeshares, vacation points, and memberships in travel clubs.”
Since most of the class action members have been financially devastated by Wyndham’s timeshare product, Francy doesn’t appear to be too interested in how the lawsuit makes them feel. He claims the purchase has negatively impacted people’s credit scores and their ability to pay other bills. After committing to a financial obligation of more than $134K for his timeshare, Freddie is looking for a full refund and determined to get it. Can you blame him?
The lawsuit was filed (and can be viewed) under Francy v. Shutts & Bowen LLP, et al., Case No. 20CA-CC00062, in the Circuit Court of Cass County, Missouri. The attorneys representing the Plaintiff et al – and now facing Wyndham in Federal Court – are David Vaughn, W. Todd Newcomb and M. Scott Montgomery of Montgomery and Newcomb LLC. You can find more information regarding the countersuit at docketbird.com. Feel free to share additional findings below.