For the second time in three years, Marriott Vacations Worldwide is defending itself in a federal court against claims of fraud. 200+ Marriott timeshare owners have sued Marriott claiming their timeshare property has been devalued in Aspen because of Marriott’s inflated and confusing sales of timeshare points instead of a deeded week.
RCHFU, LLC et al v. Marriott Vacations Worldwide Corporation et al, was filed in 2016. The second charge now in 2018 is that Marriott has dragged their feet, failed to respond, and concealed key evidence.
Back in 2015 similar allegations of fraud and gross misrepresentation were raised by plaintiffs who claimed Marriott and First American Title were intentionally misleading timeshare buyers into believing they were buying real property. Real property, even if it is only a fractional amount, is what was sold by Marriott up until 2010. That is when they switched to selling points in a “Land Trust”.
The problem with the land trust concept is that the title company closing the sales for Marriott timeshares has been giving meaningless account numbers to be assigned as if it were “real property” when no legal description is available. In fact, what the owners under the new plan possess is a certain number of points that they can use to rent nights at various Marriott resorts. Not something tangible.
So why the need for closing costs, title history search, and other typical land sales costs in a timeshare transaction? That would be like trying to track the history of $1,000 in $20 bills through the retail and banking system. It makes no sense at all.
That is why the owners, and many other owners of timeshare points, continue to press Marriott to change their ways.
Unfortunately, many other big timeshare companies are doing the same thing. The others like Wyndham and Starwood for example are quickly going to find themselves in the same position as they press owners to buy more points so they can use what they thought they already owned.
Looks like a pretty sophisticated form of robbery: just wearing a jacket and tie.
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