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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 9/8/18

Let's Honor our Veterans - Let's not Defraud Them

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Message Irene Parker
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September 11 commemorates the Twin Towers. Like Vietnam era veteran George Yamada, exposed to Agent Orange, Twin Towers first responders also suffered health effects as a result of their service to our country.

Vietnam Veteran George Yamada
Vietnam Veteran George Yamada
(Image by George Yamada)
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George Yamada and his wife Dawn are engaged in a battle they never expected. George is 71 years old, a Vietnam Army veteran, 70% disabled from Agent Orange. Veterans exposed to Agent Orange experience diabetes, kidney disease and other health risks.

Mr. Yamada invested over $100,000 in a timeshare, losing about $50,000, then forced to default on the balance. He purchased timeshare points he believed to be an investment.

According to the Federal Trade Commission:

For all fraud reports in 2017, among military consumers, median losses were (44%) higher than the general population.

Travel, vacation, and timeshare frauds were the most costly with people losing a median amount of $1,710.

Since I started writing articles about timeshare fraud, the industry now over $9 billion a year, I have heard from 73 veterans and active duty service members alleging unfair and deceptive timeshare business practices.

Timeshare exit companies often promise a money back guarantee if the timeshare buyer is not released from their timeshare contract. Not all exit companies are a scam, but any company not living up to their money back guarantee is in violation of Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission's "Unfair and Deceptive Trade practices."

The timeshare exit company's money back guarantee should be read carefully, as three words like "or in process" can made a big difference. This guarantee from the timeshare exit company:

All Paid in Full Timeshare Cancellations are Guaranteed to be Transferred or In Process within ONE YEAR or Your Money Back !*

Although Mr. Yamda's timeshare was not paid in full, he is adamant the company provided him this guarantee, even with an outstanding loan. The timeshare company ultimately issued George a notice of default. A default is not a transfer.

George purchased over $100,000 timeshare points as an investment. He learned the points are worthless. He contacted the timeshare exit company December 2017 and paid them $6,000 to get out of the contract. They said it should take four to six months. In April of 2018 he was told it could take a year.

At his last purchase October 10, 2017, the timeshare sales agent wrote $3.49 on a sheet of paper and then showed him the current price at $9 per point. He said that the points previously purchased had gone up so could not purchase at the previous price. As a pension administrator, Mr. Yamada understood investments.

He purchased 20,000 additional points for $58,000.

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Irene Parker, MBA opened the first Edward Jones office on the Big Island of Hawaii in 1995. After Edward Jones she worked for CASA of South Central Kentucky from 2009 to 2011, writing court reports and editing volunteer court reports on behalf of (more...)
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