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.
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:
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.