Industry Sees Rise in Unscrupulous Third Party Companies Preying on Timeshare Owners
May 8, 2019 (LAS VEGAS, Nev.) – Diamond Resorts®, a global leader in the hospitality, vacation ownership and entertainment industries, announces it has reached a settlement with Orlando lawyer Austin Aaronson and his law firm Aaronson, Austin, P.A.
The settlement ends a Diamond Resorts lawsuit against Aaronson that accused the firm of intentionally making false statements to encourage Diamond Resorts members to breach agreements with the vacation ownership company.
Having already defeated a motion for summary judgment, in which the Court denied Aaronson’s contentions that Diamond Resorts’ claims fail as a matter of a law and that “a reasonable jury could find that [Aaronson’s] Advertisements deceived or are likely to deceive the viewers of [Aaronson] Advertisements and this deception influenced or is likely to influence their timeshare purchasing decision,” the lawsuit became the first of its kind to reach the trial stage.
The lawsuit was filed after Diamond Resorts commenced efforts to protect its members from a disturbing new rise of unscrupulous companies – marketing themselves as “timeshare exit companies” – that prey on timeshare owners. These fraudulent companies charge owners thousands of dollars in upfront fees but don’t fulfill on their promises, leaving customers deeper in debt and with damaged credit histories.
“We’re very concerned about members being preyed upon by third parties, often through scare tactics. This is a very positive outcome that will help protect our members,” said Mike Flaskey, Chief Executive Officer of Diamond Resorts. “The vast majority of our members love their vacations but we also know that sometimes life’s circumstances can change. If any of our members want to transition or modify their vacation ownership, we work to help them in a safe way.”
In addition to this settlement, Diamond Resorts has pursued 12 additional actions in federal courts across the country against numerous companies marketing themselves as timeshare exit companies and attorneys. So far, Diamond has obtained permanent injunctions in seven lawsuits, and one exit attorney has been disbarred. Just last month, a federal bankruptcy judge appointed a trustee to oversee a bankrupt timeshare exit company, stating that “the business of the debtor appears to be engaged in substantial fraud and dishonesty” and “the Debtors, despite being paid substantial upfront fees from timeshare owners, have minimal cash in their bank accounts and have insufficient reserves to cover potential 100% ‘guarantee’ claims they made to thousands of timeshare owners.”
Diamond Resorts members can visit more than 400 resort properties worldwide and enjoy unforgettable getaways, amazing vacation experiences and exclusive events.
About Diamond Resorts
Diamond Resorts offers destinations, events and experiences to help members make a habit of breaking from the routine. From unforgettable getaways to exclusive concert series to VIP receptions and dinners, members turn to Diamond to recharge, reconnect and remind each other what matters most. Our focus on quality resorts, customer service and flexibility means members can return to a favorite resort, book a cruise to explore new countries or attend a once-in-a-lifetime event with the same level of confidence and anticipation. With access to a world of entertainment and activities, a Diamond membership ensures that people are always looking forward to vacation.