A class action lawsuit against Marriott Vacations has again asked a federal judge to certify their claim against the timeshare giant.
The suit accuses the company of duping them into signing up to invalid real estate deals via a points program. They say that Marriott Vacations made their points program seem like they were purchasing valuable real estate, when what they were actually purchasing was just a holiday points scheme.
The case has been ongoing since 2016, when the timeshare giant was hit with a class-action lawsuit lead by Anthony and Beth Lennen. The Lennens had purchased their timeshare at Marriott’s Crystal Shores Resort on Marco Island in 2013. They owned two weeks at the resort, one in January and another in August. However, under Marriott’s revised points system business model, the suit alleged that points amount to false real estate and is not attached to any physical property. Under American law, all timeshares are required to be a deeded real estate purchase. The suit also stated that Marriott was cheating its legacy timeshare owners by diluting the value of the genuine real estate. When the Lennens brought their timeshares it was to a specific week at their chosen resort, but when Marriott added that resort in its points network, a much larger pool of timeshare owners had use of that resort, devaluing the Lennens timeshare purchase.
Marriott tried to dismiss the suit in March this year, but the judge ruled that the consumer deeds are void because they lack the valid legal descriptions of property interests. This could spell big trouble for Marriott if the Judge agrees to validate the suit with class action certification, as tens of thousands of Marriott vacation Club owners all received consumer deeds, which the judge now says are invalid and void under Florida law.
The Lennens said: “Through this action, plaintiffs will demonstrate that Marriott Vacation Club is merely a scheme to sell illusory real property interests and that the instruments making the scheme possible are invalid and void. There are tens of thousands of MVC owners whose purchases of points were made to look like real property.”
The suit also claims that MVC owners are paying the costs and taking on the burdens associated with property ownership, such as taxes and maintenance fees but not receiving any of the benefits that come with typical timeshare ownership. The Lennens and other plaintiffs will have to wait for the Judges ruling on whether or not to certify the class action.
People who enter into Timeshare agreements often find it difficult to keep up with the mounting maintenance fees and simply cannot afford it any longer. They may also find that the Timeshare no longer suits their needs and simply want to end the contract. There are too many individuals who are willing to take advantage of Timeshare owners and offer fake products, along with Timeshare exit schemes. Before agreeing to any Timeshare termination or exit procedure with an individual or company, seek independent advice and fully research any company you are thinking of working with.
It is also important to remember that purchasing a Timeshare should NEVER be viewed as a financial investment. Timeshare is an investment in lifestyle, in future holidays and family time together. There is almost no resale value to a Timeshare.
The mis-selling of holiday products is, unfortunately, common practice within the holiday industry and these type of crimes often go unreported by the most vulnerable in our society and criminal convictions are few and far between.
If you have purchased a Lifestyle / Concierge Service, a Timeshare or a ‘Holiday Points’ based product from a resort or company and feel unhappy with the service, or feel you have been mis-sold this product, please get in touch with us to discuss how we may be able to help you with a possible Money Back Claim.