Timeshare False Statements of Fact and Abuse
Developers and the owners of timeshare properties all over the world are defendants in many litigations due to that fact that various scams against the elderly exist. Where there are instances of fraud, contract breaches and various violations of regulations and law, the consequences for them can be quite damaging. Many issues that are raised by consumers can be deemed to be elder abuse and if delivered in pleading they will be complex arguments which may lead to years of conflict. However, experts suggest that the issue must be raised.
Timeshare developers facing elder abuse litigation must defend against scams alleged with actions ranging from loss of income and disturbance caused by the ‘fraud’ to ‘breach of contract’ or interruption of their quiet enjoyment.
Elderly timeshare consumer residents do have complications in using timeshare property for the time stated in the contract or its location and when confronting the timeshare companies in such actions some consumer litigants band together to instigate similia fact evidence claims which adds significant credibility to the claims being made.
Some of the larger claims are delivered in specific states or countries, whilst others are placed in the UK in the Financial Ombudsman Service (what many are describing as the ‘well of nothingness’ despite FOS’s pledge to act fairly). When the older individual, the infirm or those who have debilitating illnesses suffer from such problems they sustain further harm when the timeshare resort stalls defences and the act is elevated to elder abuse.
Fraud and False Statements
While there are some single claims that are initiated by the elderly, as discussed, many do bind themselves together to strike at the developers in one fell swoop. By explaining the false statements of fact and detailing the consumer fraud that has affected many and the problems all have encountered, the timeshare resorts can progress the cases faster and consider the allegations better, having regard for the weight of evidence.
The primary issue is that many observers and indeed consumers feel that some timeshare companies purposefully seek to target the elderly particularly, because of their age or mental infirmity. Therefore, the fraud issue is secondary to that of the targeted attacks on the elderly by potentially nefarious activity.
Some issues with the timeshare deals arise when the victims of scams or aggressive dealing are put into a situation where they face additional pressure to accept the proposal put and without the time to fully consider the convoluted arrangements. After the pressure and the consequential acceptance, elderly individuals are not fully informed of their rights and thus are unaware that clauses and laws exist which permit them to rescind the contract.
When selling the timeshare contracts many sellers deliver an illusion that compliance checks are done. However, these checks do not occur, which causes confusion and aggravation to the buyers when they discover they had rights which were avoided by the instigation of the illusion.
The intention of the resort sellers is sometimes to deceive, mislead or confuse the older groups so that their quest to obtain sales is fulfilled. The elderly, being at a perilous risk in their deployment of traditional principles of fairness, honesty and reasonableness have an inner belief that the ‘suited and booted’ would respect their age and treat them accordingly. With their belief in such principles, many simply become targets and are, as a result, financially injured whilst the sellers are financially rewarded.
Elder Abuse in Timeshares
When financial injury does occur, the string of events include marketing campaigns, aggressive salesmen and misleading information all of which can feature in the abuse suffered by the elderly.
While the sales presentations require attendees to have a stated annual income an age limit is not a requirement. On the reverse side many in the industry promote a lifelong enjoyment, which if true, the young will receive a longer benefit whereas the elderly will receive a shorter benefit. As this disparity exists and an age limit is not part of the inducement process, the over 55’s will with certainty not achieve the benefits of others. However, the resorts can re-sell them time and time again resulting in much bigger profits if the middle aged and elderly are targeted.
Other problems occur when the middle aged and elderly customers try to book or make reservations. This is due to complete control and manipulation of the reservation system by the resorts, which on many occasion fall within the remit of a connected company who initially sold them the timeshare.
Other tactics often feature as part of past elder abuse cases. One such tactic is to sell the timeshares at a greater price than the market dictates. This could lead to reselling difficulties when the resale price cannot match the original purchase price. Other forms of abuse occur through gross misrepresentation and intentional or negligent actions of the salesperson. Many sellers of timeshare create an ‘urgency’ (must buy on the day or only available on the day) in the sales process when such a requirement does not exist.
All the manoeuvres described above are used by some companies who reach out to holidaymakers with perceived enrichments or attractive offers which are known to be likely to fail with resulting perilous outcomes.
Untrue Accounts in the Sale
Outright lies or untrue accounts of the value of the property are delivered in sales presentations. The consumer is entitled to be told the truth yet in many presentations the truth regarding the benefits is illusory, factitious, avoided or downright deceptive. They are introduced into the selling pitch to misdirect or confuse the people they target. The facts regarding the value of the property may reveal an entirely different picture and this truth can only be fully discovered if the many band together and share the costs.
An example as to inflated values would involve a location detailed to exist close to a beach or in a relatively peaceful place. However, the reality is the building may sit near crime areas or in a dilapidated section of the beach where poor amenities exist where no one travels to because of criminal activity. Before they invest in a property it is important for prospective timeshare owners to know their rights regarding the property. If involved and misled, they will face a lifelong problem.
The Lawyer in Timeshare Suits
It is important for elderly owners of timeshares to seek help when the possibility of elder abuse exists. These individuals need someone on their side when exposing such underhanded tactics that could lead to financial disaster. Filing claims together and after investigations have been conducted will present the opportunity of a better outcome - full stop.