Georgia Law Regarding Timeshare Sales – Need a Georgia Timeshare Attorney?

Timeshare law in Georgia is regulated by Georgia Code, Title 44 which is also referred to as the Georgia Timeshare Act.  This code is responsible for the enforcement and compliance of timeshare statutes in the state of Georgia.  Georgia timeshare attorneys rely on this Code.

Timeshare Cancellation in Georgia

Under timeshare laws in Georgia, purchasers and developers have an opportunity to cancel a sales agreement within a seven-day rescission period, not including Sundays and Holidays. All payments made by the purchaser before cancellation must be refunded by the developer within 30 days of notice of cancellation. In addition, you may be protected under consumer protection laws of Georgia.

Georgia Timeshare Contract

Per O.C.G.A.44-3-170 (10): If your timeshare (or reservation) is not available and you are legally entitled to it through your timeshare contract, then the resort must compensate you through either monetary compensation or another use period. If you are denied your “week” or right to use, then per this Georgia timeshare law you have a right to take action.

Timeshare Advertising Scams

Have you been a victim of a timeshare advertising scam? O.C.G.A. 44-3-185 protects your rights as potential buyer and owner through Georgia timeshare law. O.C.G.A. 44-3-185 (a) states that it is unlawful for a timeshare advertiser or salesperson to put forth any advertisements which are misleading or false. This includes misrepresentation of the resort, right to use, or future improvements that do not exist.

Timeshare Dispute in Georgia, Penalty or Suspension of Rights
Under Georgia timeshare law, O.C.G.A.44-3-170 (11), if you are facing a penalty or suspension of your owner rights from the developer, you have an opportunity to dispute before the penalty is enforced.

Timeshare Contract Matters

  • Questions regarding management agreements, listing agreements, or sales contracts and leases.
  • Earnest Money or security deposit disputes
  • Disputes over payment by/for licensee for services
  • Landlord/tenant disputes regarding condition of property, eviction or past owed rent
  • Discord with/regarding homeowners’ association management
  • Ethical behavior or poor business practices of licensees

For these types of complaints an attorney or local magistrate should be contacted.

Have you received a letter of determination stating no evidence of fraud or violations of the Georgia Timeshare Act were found following a written complaint? Did you fail to obtain meaningful communication or a favorable result following complaints to the Better Business Bureau, The Georgia General’s Office, or other administrative body?

Should you have questions regarding a lawsuit against a timeshare entity, a timeshare agreement/contract or protecting your rights, please contact our firm. Craig Thrift and Ryan McLemore will be happy to assist you and answer any questions you may have. We offer confidential, non-binding, free consultations to potential claimants and have the ability to facetime or skype- should those options be more favorable to your needs.

Georgia Timeshare Attorney

Georgia Timeshare Lawyers

Filing a Consumer Timeshare Complaint in Georgia

Start with the Attorneys General Office

If necessary, continue to the FBI at IC3.gov

Finish with the Federal Trade Commission, if Section 5 is violated

FTC Unfair Practices

An act or practice is unfair where it

• causes or is likely to cause substantial injury toconsumers;

• cannot be reasonably avoided by consumers; and

• is not outweighed by countervailing benefits toconsumers or to competition.

FTC Deceptive Practices

An act or practice is deceptive where

• a representation, omission, or practice misleads or is likely to mislead the consumer;

• a consumer’s interpretation of the representation,omission, or practice is considered reasonable under the circumstances; and

• the misleading representation, omission, or practice is material.

https://www.federalreserve.gov/boarddocs/supmanual/cch/ftca.pdf

“I was told that in order to be released from my timeshare, which was a deeded timeshare week, I had to turn the deed into points, buying $12,000 worth of points. Believing the sales agent, on June 19 we agreed, only to learn July 7, the company has a voluntary surrender program. The company said it doesn’t matter what the sales agent said. All that matters is we signed a contract.”

Inside Timeshare received 486 U.Stimeshare complaints as of July 7, 2018. All but a handful of complainants allege they had been deceived. In all but a few cases, the member was dismissed with “You signed a contract” or “It doesn’t matter what the sales agent said.” If timeshare companies would acknowledge that some timeshare sales agents do intentionally mislead the consumer, there would be no need to file complaints and no reason for the existence of member supported advocacy groups

According to FBI agents and lawyers our advocates have consulted, it is not legal to hide behind fine print, but it takes volumes of complaints to raise a regulator’s eyebrow. The Federal Trade Commission released its 2017 complaint report, listing travel, vacation, and timeshare as one of the most costly frauds at $1,710. Our reader complaints range from $12,000 to $400,000 or more. We wish members were only losing $1,710.   

Travel, vacation, and timeshare frauds were the most costly with people losing a median amount of $1,710. The FTC also broke out fraud losses for members of the military and found their median fraud loss to be 44 percent higher than the general population.

https://www.jacksonsun.com/story/opinion/columnists/2018/04/06/ftc-releases-2017-complaint-statistics/493425002/

Timeshare Members need to be especially vigilant about “Get you out of your timeshare firms because many are scams. This 15 page US Department of Justice timeshare scam report illustrates the seriousness and extent of the problem.   

https://search.justice.gov/search?query=timeshare+scam+report&op=Search&affiliate=justice   

Advocates for reform feel the problems that exist in the industry today are caused by an overreliance on the oral representation clause, iron clad developer based contracts, the lack of an adequate secondary market, and lack of enforcement. We don’t dispute there are many who use and enjoy their timeshare and many sales agents who sell the product properly.

The most common timeshare complaints:

• The agent said I could easily sell my points,
• The agent overstated the value of travel awards to pay for airline tickets, or the use of a travel credit card to pay maintenance fees,
• The agent said I had to give up my deeded timeshare and buy points,
• The agent said I have to give up my deed and buy points or my heirs will be burdened,
• The rescission clause was dodged because the agent said the (bogus) program would not be available until after the first of the year, or told they will not be able to access the booking site until after the rescission period had passed.    

Information Needed to File a Timeshare Complaint in Georgia

Name(s) and age of member(s)

Phone Number

State of Residence – Georgia

Member Number

For each contract in dispute:

Where Purchased and Date of Purchase

Number of Points Purchased 

Sales Agent and Sales Agent ID# (if available)

Purchase Price

Down Payment

Amount Financed and Interest Rate

Loan Number

Current Loan Balance

Name of Credit Card if one was used to pay the down payment

MOST IMPORTANT – Purchase Timeline

It is better to state your narrative as a narrative referring back to the contracts and figures at the top of your complaint. Begin with when you first became involved with the company and proceed chronologically. Keep your history brief up to the point when things began to go wrong. 

After you complete your complaint, email it to the appropriate resort department. Expect to be denied. Typically your resort reviewer will restate your concerns, produce your initials and signatures, point out the oral representation clause and inform you, “If something was important to you, you should have asked for it to be put in the contract. File a rebuttal if you disagree with their response

Mark your email to the resort urgent if you are in financial distress. It is best to file a complaint before the debt collectors are hounding. If one of our advocates is assisting the member, the member will report back to us if the issue is resolved. Due to the required non-disclosure, terms and conditions will not be discussed

Georgia Attorney General and State Attorneys General

If the resort has dismissed your complaint, the next step is to file a complaint with the Georgia Attorney General and the Attorney General of state where you signed your contract. It can take a month or more to hear back from an AG but once your complaint has been accepted, debt collectors are not allowed to call. You can find any Attorney General by searching the state name and Attorney General.Some states will direct you to the real estate or consumer division. You should file a complaint with the state Real Estate Division against the agent if the agent was deceptive. Not all states require timeshare sales agent be real estate licensed.   

Summary of Regulatory and Law Enforcement Agencies

• The Attorney General’s office where you signedyour contract. Most AG complaints can be filed online.
• The Real Estate Division of the state where the agent is licensed if your complaint is against the agent. 
• The FBI at IC3.gov portal if you feel you were deceived. For allegations of a serious nature you may also contact an FBI field office to file an oral tip. Have your facts and figures ready. The FBI complaint website is called IC3.gov which stands for Internet Crime. This is a bit confusing. IC is the name of the portal. That doesn’t mean it has to be an internet crime. Click IC3 as your choice when filing. Sometimes your local field office will pay closer attention than say Las Vegas, where losing money is a tourist attraction. You can find your nearest field office from this website. https://www.fbi.gov/contact-us/field-officeshttps://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx
• The Federal Trade Commission is one of the most important agencies to file with, because it is federal. Most states have incorporated a portion of the “Unfair and Deceptive Trade Act” in their state law.  
• The media – the court of public opinion is often the only court availableInside Timeshare, published in Spain, publishes timeshare articles online focusing primarily on the need for reform and oversight.
• The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for credit card or lending complaints under the mortgage option (even if no mortgage), selecting the bank involved. Timeshare has dodged this regulatory bullet because most members don’t know the identity of the lender as the timeshare company often services the loan. Timeshare companies are not an option from the CFPB’s drop-down menu. CFPB is the organization that helped Wells Fargo victims. The CFPB lost influence after the roll back of the Dodd Frank act March 2018. The Dodd Frank act was enacted after the abuses caused by subprime lending. The CFPB is still considered a regulator. https://www.consumerfinance.gov/
• File a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. The company’s BBB rating can be misleading in that the BBB only rates how efficiently a company responds to complaints. Sometimes the BBB allows you to log in and file a rebuttal. If you file a complaint, a review is not allowed. 
Have you received a letter of determination stating no evidence of fraud or violations of the Georgia Timeshare Act were found following a written complaint? Did you fail to obtain meaningful communication or a favorable result following complaints to the Better Business Bureau, The Georgia General’s Office, or other administrative body?

Should you have questions regarding a lawsuit against a timeshare entity, a timeshare agreement/contract or protecting your rights, please contact our firm. Craig Thrift and Ryan McLemore will be happy to assist you and answer any questions you may have. We offer confidential, non-binding, free consultations to potential claimants and have the ability to facetime or skype- should those options be more favorable to your needs.

Georgia Timeshare Attorneys

Georgia Timeshare Lawyers

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